Last Time: Blades 0-0 Boro (17/02/2008)

Last updated : 13 September 2009 By @blades_mad1889

Collectively twenty-seven shots were fired for both sides in Kevin Blackwell's first game in charge at the Bramall Lane helm - and the former Leeds United boss would be pleased with his teams performance against a Boro side whom on paper were expected to see a safe passage into the Quarterfinals of the Worlds greatest cup competition.

However, after a goalless draw will be forced to play it again at the Riverside Stadium on Tuesday, 26 February, which no doubt the BBC camera's will once again be present to witness the replay.

The new manager gave the Blades fans new hope just days after parting company with Bryan Robson and the draw with Boro extended United's unbeaten run to six games which admittedly included five draws since their fourth round win over Manchester City.

With a new leadership the Blades faithful are hoping or a reprieve in the Championship and a good run of form will see them fire up the table, starting at Loftus Road next Saturday as they face Queens Park Rangers, the Blades are just twelve points away from a top six spot.

Blackwell introduced new changes to the line-up which drew (0-0) with West Bromwich Albion last Tuesday night with Jonathan Stead being brought into an attractive line-up which also featured James Beattie and Billy Sharp along with the ever impressive Rob Hulse and Luton Shelton in reserve.

United started the game brightly and almost snatched the lead early on when a half-hearted Clearance fell to Matthew Kilgallin who was kept out by Australian keeper Mark Schwarzer from 16 yards.

The Blades were playing with a confidence not seen under the leadership of Bryan Robson since they beat West Bromwich Albion 1-0 at the Lane last August and went close again when Jon Stead steamed at the near post to head wide.

Middlesbrough had there chances too and more-or-less dominated the second half but former Arsenal striker Jeremie Aliadiere saw his chance in the first kept out by the reliable Paddy Kenny.

And soon after David Wheater was every unfortunate to escape a red card when he pulled back Billy Sharp at the edge of the area, he was however handed a yellow card for his troubles with many hoping it would be red. From the resulting free-kick, James Beattie who was targeted by Boro last December struck the post with his thunderbolt effort.

After the re-start Matthew Kilgallon saw his far post header crash against the side netting at a tight angle before Kenny tipped over Ahmed Mido's and David Wheater's efforts over the bar within space of a minute to keep the home side in the tie.

Brazilian midfielder Fabio Rochemback then flashed a low strike wide of goal as the visitors looked like they might snatch it late on. And they almost did when a corner was booted off the line when Mido looked to capitalise.

It wasn't the glamorous of cup-ties but the draw keeps United in the cup and with potential of earning money in the replay and more importantly the possibility of landing Manchester United or Chelsea in round six - but they must beat Boro first.