Chris Wilder celebrated his 100th game in charge of Sheffield United with an unremarkable 0-0 draw at home to Birmingham City on Wednesday.
Neither side really dominated throughout the game, with less than a handful of shots on target between them.
Wilder made five changes from his side’s 1-0 away defeat to Bristol City on Saturday. Baldock, Fleck, Johnson, Washington and Clarke all came into the starting eleven.
The game began in a fashion that became familiar over the 90 minutes. Conor Washington had the best opportunity in the first ten minutes but couldn’t keep the ball under his control in the box with Lee Camp smothering it at his feet.
Birmingham City had their first chance four minutes later as Maghoma headed wide from inside the box.
Marvin Johnson made an impact on his first start for the club with surging runs towards the Blues defence.
Leon Clarke had several opportunities after the twenty-minute mark, but neither Fleck nor Duffy could quite find him at the far post.
Duffy turned from provider to creator, testing Camp from long range which brought the Bramall Lane crowd to life.
The Blues won their first corner after the half hour mark as a stinging Maghoma shot was blocked by the Blades defence. Birmingham failed to capitalise as United cleared their lines.
Jutkiewicz almost found an opener for Birmingham on 35 minutes, striking the post with a low left footed effort.
The half-time whistle blew to end a half which was not particularly a memorable one for Wilder’s centenary.
United began the second-half with renewed vigour. George Baldock was played in on 47 minutes only to see Camp save his effort before a goal-kick was awarded.
John Egan had a golden opportunity to score the first goal but directed his header straight at Camp.
Chris Wilder made his first roll of the dice on the hour mark, with substitute McGoldrick being involved moments later to fire wide of the far post.
The home crowd were becomingly continually frustrated with United’s misplaced passes, culminating with McGoldrick’s poor cross which couldn’t find the head of Leon Clarke.
Birmingham nearly found a breakthrough with ten minutes to go. Jutkiewicz turned Jota’s cross into the path of Bogle, who somehow didn’t get the ball over the line.
Gary Gardner raised the temperature inside the stadium with six minutes to go, hitting the post from a free-kick.
Connor Mahoney found himself through on goal with two minutes to go thanks to a one-two with Jota, but Dean Henderson pulled off a vital low save for his side.
After the game, Chris Wilder spoke of his frustration about fixture congestion and confirmed that there will be a meeting with the EFL to discuss how it can be improved.
Wilder said: “The fixtures are just ridiculous, we have a net disadvantage of our midweek game of minus two. Nothing is getting changed in terms of Sky games. What’s all that about?
“It was just about a fair result and we have to move on quickly. Sometimes we have really excited people here at Bramall Lane, but sometimes it is a bit of grind like it was today.
“We are disappointed that we have picked up just one point out of two games, but we have to be ready to go again on Saturday.”
Sheffield United face Preston North End at home on Saturday.
Sheffield United: Henderson, Baldock, Fleck, O’Connell, Basham, Clarke (c) (Sharp 68’), Egan, Norwood, Duffy (Woodburn 78’), Johnson, Washington (McGoldrick 60’)
Birmingham City: Camp, Pedersen, Colin, Adams (Bogle 68’), Jutkiewicz, Dean, Maghoma (Mahoney 78’), Gardner, Jota, Morrison (c), Lakin (Harding 88’)
Referee: Gavin Ward
HT Score: 0-0
FT Score: 0-0
Man of the Match: Chris Basham