Kenny bags Blades a point
Paddy Kenny won a private battle with QPR striker Dexter Blackstock to earn Sheffield United a point.
Last Updated: 07/03/09 6:26pm
Paddy Kenny won a private battle with QPR striker Dexter Blackstock to ensure Sheffield United left Loftus Road with a share of the spoils.
Blackstock cannot claim he lacked service in a game that United will be happier to take a point from, with wastefulness in front of goal hampering QPR's own bid for the play-offs.
United extended their club-record unbeaten run on the road to 13 matches, and although second-placed Birmingham won this was definitely a point gained.
Rangers boss Paulo Sousa had his players in for extra shooting practice this week in a bid to boost their flagging play-off hopes, but they drew another blank and have still not won at home since December.
Wayne Routledge had already blasted a shot high over the crossbar before, in the tenth minute, Blackstock raced onto Mikele Leigertwood's long ball only to fire too close to Kenny.
Blackstock came even closer moments later when he collected Liam Miller's pass on the edge of the area, turned and shot in one movement and saw Kenny tip an awkward, bouncing ball over the top.
Routledge then teased Gary Naysmith before crossing for Blackstock to volley at goal, only for Greg Halford to block the shot. The home fans shouted for handball, but Halford's bloody nose suggested otherwise.
At the other end, Kyle Naughton's free-kick was headed onto the top of his own crossbar by Blackstock, and Chris Morgan slid the loose ball into the side-netting.
The visitors did liven up after the break and Nick Montgomery's fierce strike from 20 yards forced a smart stop from Radek Cerny in the Rangers goal.
Cerny was in action again in the 54th minute, beating away Danny Webber's angled shot. The resulting corner was cleared and from the subsequent Rangers attack, Leigertwood's cross was headed inches wide by Blackstock.
Rangers then missed two gilt-edged chances within a minute.
First, Jordi Lopez's mis-hit shot found Samuel Di Carmine on the angle of the six-yard box and his sliced effort back across goal was met by Blackstock.
But Kenny kept out his header at point-blank range before referee Neil Swarbrick blew for a foul.
Moments later Blackstock crossed for substitute Matteo Alberti, but the midfielder snatched at his shot from 12 yards and the ball flew over.
The Blades finished the stronger, with Craig Beattie introduced from the bench, but could not nick a late winner.