Blades fail to hurt Huddersfield but Paul Heckingbottom hails ‘decent spectacle’

Huddersfield Town v Sheffield United – Sky Bet Championship – John Smith’s Stadium
(Image credit: Isaac Parkin)

Sheffield United head coach Paul Heckingbottom admitted he would have loved to end Huddersfield’s recent unbeaten run after both sides shared the spoils from a goalless draw at the John Smith’s Stadium.

Town were denied a first-half opener in controversial fashion as Jon Russell thought he had scored when heading home from a corner in the first half.

However, referee James Linington blew for a Danny Ward foul on United goalkeeper Wes Foderingham, with subsequent replays showing that it was George Baldock who had pulled Ward down in the build-up.

The Blades almost broke the deadlock in the 84th minute when Nicholls tipped John Fleck’s long-range effort onto a post following a well-worked corner routine, but in the end both teams had to settle for a point each.

Heckingbottom said: “Selfishly we would’ve loved to have ended their unbeaten record.

“But they’re playing well and you’ve got to respect that and you can see why, they’re really hardworking and well organised.

“It looked like two good teams going at it, trying their own way to win a game, no one taking a backwards step. It probably made for a decent spectacle.”

Heckingbottom relished the derby atmosphere which greeted both sets of players, adding: “When the crowd really get up, it’s breaking one way then the other, then there’s a big tackle, that’s the bit I love.

“I’m stood on the sideline enjoying those moments and I think the players are beginning to enjoy them again. I really fancy us when the game gets stretched.”

On Huddersfield’s disallowed goal, Heckingbottom claimed he had not yet watched any of the action back.

He said: “I just saw both of them on the floor so he’s got to give one or the other hasn’t he.

“I’ve been told it was Pipa or (Josh) Ruffels and now I’ve been told Ward and again you’re telling me something I’ve not seen there.”

Town boss Carlos Corberan revealed that his team felt hard done by when their goal was disallowed.

He said: “The feeling from the players is that they didn’t make a foul.

“I know that when the game is balanced, demanding and challenging, these types of situations are going to happen in the boxes.”

Lee Nicholls produced a wonderful save to deny Fleck six minutes from time, earning his side a valuable point.

Corberan said: “It would be impossible to be more happy with him. I would rather he didn’t touch the ball than have to make saves but the players have a lot of trust in him.

“He has had some clean sheets where he has made excellent saves and that was one of them today.”

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