MANAGER Chris Wilder thought his Sheffield United side just about shaded the goalless draw at Ipswich Town and enjoyed the best of the limited chances.
It was a game of few clear-cut opportunities, with neither side able to muster much in the final third.
It meant the Tractor Boys have failed to score a goal in four straight home games and left them languishing in 12th place – nine points off a top-six spot – with United ninth, five points adrift of a play-off berth.
“There were two honest teams and both were going for a result, but the wicket wasn’t the best,” said Wilder.
“It’s uncompromising and relentless is the division, and the schedule, and I thought my players in the second half really dug in and were positive in trying to win the game.
“I think we’ve spurned a couple of chances to win the game and I think if we had got our noses in front I believe we would have won.
“We just keep going – there’s still a lot of games and it’s a huge week for the football club leading up to the international break, with two home games on the trot.”
Chances were few, but Ipswich goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski, who has been called up into the Poland international squad, got down low to save a shot from George Baldock in the second minute.
Martyn Waghorn’s cross-shot went narrowly wide of Jamal Blackman’s right-hand post and Richard Stearman then held back the Ipswich striker and was booked.
In the 33rd minute the Blades appealed for a penalty following Luke Chambers’s challenge on striker Sharp, but referee John Brooks was not interested.
United could not capitalise on a goalmouth scramble in the Ipswich penalty area three minutes into the second half and, after Blackman had made another couple of saves, Blades substitute James Wilson’s shot from outside the area 15 minutes from time hit Bialkowski’s right-hand post and rebounded to Sharp, who was unable to steer the ball in.
Ipswich manager Mick McCarthy said: “I thought it was a right royal scrap from two teams who commit themselves to everything they do.”
Ipswich Town: Bialkowski, Iorfa (Spence 46), Carter-Vickers, Chambers, Webster, Kenlock, Gleeson, Skuse, Connolly (Hyam 61), Waghorn, Celina, Spence (Garner 81). Unused substitutes: Ward, Sears, Nydam, Crowe.
Sheffield United: Blackman, Basham, Stearman, O’Connell, Baldock, Lee Evans, Lundstram (Donaldson 87), Fleck, Stevens, Ched Evans (Wilson 69), Sharp (Brooks 78). Unused substitutes: Moore, Leonard, Lafferty, Holmes.
Referee: J Brooks (Leicestershire).