Blades frustrated by Forest
Sheffield United's promotion push suffered a setback as they were held 0-0 by Nottingham Forest.
Last Updated: 13/04/09 5:26pm
Sheffield United's promotion push suffered a slight setback on Monday as they were held 0-0 by 10-man Nottingham Forest.
The Blades could have moved into the Championship's top two with victory at Bramall Lane, but were left frustrated by Billy Davies' plucky strugglers.
Forest, who had Kelvin Wilson dismissed after just 16 minutes, slip back into the relegation zone but have now gone unbeaten through their last three fixtures.
Kevin Blackwell's side, who secured their fifth league win on the trot at promotion rivals Reading on Friday, played without the composure or purpose they had displayed in recent weeks.
A slow start to the contest saw neither side create an opportunity of note before a moment of madness saw Forest reduced to 10 men in the 16th minute.
Wilson inexplicably butted Greg Halford following a tangle on the edge of the visitors' penalty area and referee Mike Jones, standing only yards away, instantly brandished a red card.
But United struggled to make an immediate impression against 10 men and had to wait until the 33rd minute before their first sight of goal when Darius Henderson headed Halford's centre over the crossbar.
Blades defender Gary Naysmith then foiled Wes Morgan at the far post as Forest refused to be pushed onto the back foot.
Henderson thundered another header over from David Cotterill's corner, but Paul Smith did well to keep out Halford's far-post header.
The home side continually probed for an opening after the restart, but their first effort on goal, blasted over by Halford from 15 yards, came in the 63rd minute.
Substitute Craig Beattie, a 57th-minute replacement for Cotterill, headed wide soon after, but at the other end Joe Garner wasted a chance to test goalkeeper Paddy Kenny following Chris Gunter's gallop into the box.
Beattie was wayward with a header from Kyle Naughton's cross, but Forest continued to chase and harry to thwart each United attack.
Ian Breckin was penalised for his foul on Henderson in the 82nd minute, but Halford's drive from the subsequent free-kick was comfortably gathered by Smith.
Beattie headed down and wide from Lee Hendrie's corner, then fired in a late curling effort which Smith held, and despite five minutes of injury time Forest continued to throw themselves into every block and challenge to deny Blackwell's outfit.