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Swindon Town 0-0 Sheffield United

Town had to settle for a point after a gritty stalemate with Danny Wilson’s Sheffield United at the County Ground on Tuesday.

Paolo Di Canio handed teenager Louis Thompson a full debut in the centre of midfield while James Collins and Matt Ritchie were also restored to the starting line up.

It was anything but a classic at the County Ground, though both sides will have felt they deserved the win having gone close to stealing the points.

Town flew out of the blocks and might have been ahead as early as the fourth minute as Matt Ritchie’s dipping 25-yard volley crashed into the crossbar and over.

Though the visitors began to find their feet thereafter, it was Town who fashioned the next clear cut chance on the half hour mark, but skipper Simon Ferry found Blades ‘keeper George Long in defiant mood; the stopper palming Ferry’s 15-yard effort wide of the post.

Joe Devera squandered another good chance for the hosts on the stroke of half time as he headed wide when well placed, but it was Town who went into the break with the upper hand.

After a slow start to the second half, Gary Roberts breathed life into the encounter with a rasping 20-yard effort which crashed into the post with Long beaten.

Seemingly galvanised by the scare, the visitors took the game by the scruff of the neck and might have gone in front on two occasions around the hour mark, as first Ryan Flynn headed inches wide before Matt Hill nodded just over from close range when he might have done better.

James Collins nearly broke the deadlock after 70 minutes as he rose well to meet Louis Thompson’s cross, but he couldn’t hit the target from close range.

There was nearly late heartbreak for Town as Neill Collins and Harry Maguire drove shots goalwards from inside the box, but a combination of Nathan Thompsons and Jay McEvely managed to deny them in an almighty scramble to preserve a point for Di Canio’s side.

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