Stoke 2-2 Sheffield United: Enda Stevens strike seals late point for Blades
Blades finish in second place with Norwich crowned Championship winners
Last Updated: 05/05/19 4:48pm
Enda Stevens' late equaliser earned promoted Sheffield United a final day 2-2 draw at Stoke.
Already assured of automatic promotion from the Sky Bet Championship, United had to settle for a point and the runners-up spot behind Norwich, who won at Aston Villa.
Forward Sam Vokes opened the scoring for Stoke with a well-struck volley after 19 minutes before substitute Kieran Dowell equalised three minutes into the second half.
Ryan Shawcross' put Stoke back in front from close-range prior to Stevens' late leveller which saw Chris Wilder's promoted Blades end their stellar season with a point.
The first effort of the game came when midfielder James McClean created space for himself in a central position before flashing a right-footed shot across goal and past the post of visiting goalkeeper Dean Henderson.
At the other end, David McGoldrick's 25-yard low left-footed attempt did not trouble Jack Butland in the hosts' goal.
But the Potters were in front on 19 through Vokes, who chested the ball down on the edge of the penalty area after defender Jack O'Connell failed to clear, before thumping a right-footed volley which beat Henderson to find the bottom left corner.
As the first-half drew to a close, Wilder's side almost drew level after left-back Stevens' cross fell to captain Billy Sharp - but his effort from 10 yards deflected off Shawcross and hit the bottom of the left-hand post before being cleared to safety.
But the South Yorkshire club were back on terms within three minutes of the restart after Dowell's low left-footed shot drifted into the corner past Butland, to the delight of the 2,903 away supporters who had travelled from the Steel City.
Stoke regained the lead midway through the second half after Shawcross hooked in right-footed from the left side of the six-yard box following Tom Ince's corner.
Butland then twice came to his side's rescue late on, pushing McGoldrick's header over the bar before keeping out a long-range John Fleck effort with his left foot.
But United grabbed a point with 13 minutes remaining following a swift team counter-attack, as Sharp squared the ball to Stevens on the left side of the area and the Irishman composed himself before drilling low left-footed across Butland and into the net.
Nathan Jones: "It was a different kind of draw to what we have had.
"We looked solid, we haven't conceded much. I thought in the first half we were excellent. Sheffield United changed in the second half for us which I think is a massive compliment.
"But I think it is a glimpse of what we will achieve and what we will turn in to.
"We were on the front foot, we were very positive, it was just a three, four- or five-minute period after half-time that I was really disappointed and considering the end-of-season game, I was really pleased with the level of performance today and I thought that we probably had enough chances to have won.
"We've had a tough season. It has been a tough season in choices I have had to make, what I've been through, we've come in to here to embark on something and that's why we did it.
"I sacrificed a promotion at Luton to come here as it was a big job and we've made great inroads and I'm excited as to what we can achieve."
Chris Wilder: "It was a tough one for the players after the emotions of last weekend as well as drinking every pub in Sheffield dry for the last four days.
"In the first half it didn't go for us but we were up against some really good players who want to end the season on a high, so we knew it was going to be a tough afternoon for us here.
"In the second half, we were more like it. We epitomised what we are about.
"The result is the right result as far as I am concerned. We didn't do enough to win but I was just delighted with the way we turned it around in the second half and went for what is a powerful club in this division with a lot of powerful players.
"Congratulations to Daniel (Farke) and Norwich City, it has been a thrilling race between us, Norwich and Leeds and I've always said the best team wins the Championship and we are delighted and proud to be joining them in the Premier League."