Kilgallon keeps up Blades' run
Sheff Utd maintained their unbeaten start to the season as Matthew Kilgallon's header secured a 1-0 win at Derby.
Last Updated: 12/09/09 3:14pm
Sheffield United maintained their unbeaten start to the Championship season as Matthew Kilgallon's header secured a 1-0 win at Derby County.
The visitors had a goal disallowed in the first half after Darius Henderson was adjudged offside and the Blades finally took one of their chances late in the second half.
The decisive breakthrough arrived 10 minutes from time when Kilgallon met Keith Treacy's free-kick to end Derby's 100 per cent record at Pride Park.
Both sides showed positive intent early on and on-loan Blades winger Treacy came close with a left-footed strike from 12 yards out.
Treacy featured prominently in the opening 15 minutes and he had two more opportunities but failed to test Rams goalkeeper Stephen Bywater.
The Blades continued to ask questions of the Derby defence and Bywater had to be alert to deny Irish midfielder Stephen Quinn.
United had a goal disallowed when Bywater parried Jamie Ward's shot into the path of Henderson, who slotted the ball into the net but had his celebrations cut short due to an offside flag.
Nigel Clough's side finally forged an opportunity but former Blades striker Rob Hulse volleyed over the crossbar from 12 yards out.
Henderson spurned an opportunity to put the visitors in front when he fired over the bar from just six yards out after 32 minutes.
The Rams created the first opportunity of the second half but Hulse headed straight at United keeper Mark Bunn.
Kevin Blackwell's side responded and Henderson missed another chance to break the deadlock, firing wide from the centre of the penalty area.
Clough replaced Paul Green with on-loan Tottenham midfielder Jake Livermore as the home side looked to push on for all three points.
Former Watford striker Henderson was once again given an opportunity to put United in front but failed to make the most of the chance.
On-loan United defender Kyle Walker rose at the back post to meet Treacy's corner but his header was off target.
Kris Commons entered the fray with 18 minutes remaining and the Blades introduced big-money summer signing Ched Evans.
Scotland forward Commons was in the thick of the action straight away when his inviting corner was met by Hulse, who should have opened the scoring but powered a header wide of the target.
Gary Teale tried his luck from 25 yards out but his drive was straight at the alert Bunn.
But it was United who took the lead against the run of play with 11 minutes remaining when Kilgallon rose to head Treacy's free-kick beyond Bywater.
Ward should have added a second goal in stoppage time but Bywater produced a good save to deny the former Chesterfield man.