Sheffield United 0 Stoke City 0

Last updated : 10 August 2004 By Footymad Previewer

Stoke produced another gutsy display after Sunday's surprise 2-1 win over Wolves to frustrate Neil Warnock's play-off specialists Sheffield United in a 0-0 draw at Bramall Lane Tony Pulis' side, who effectively ended United's hopes of a top-six finish on the same ground in April hung on after being down to 10-men for most of the second half.

Striker Gifton Noel-Williams was the man given his marching orders after a reckless challenge catching United skipper Chris Morgan in the face with a boot.

Morgan produced a stunning display for United the big centre back twice going close as well as clearing off the line.

Stoke started brightly, John Halls drilled a fierce shot from 25 yards inches over the top before Noel-Williams saw his shot flash a fraction wide off keeper Paddy Kenny's post.

Centre-back Morgan sped in to pull a ferocious header over the top before racing back to his own area seconds later after Clive Clarke picked out Ade Akinbiyi.

The Stoke striker beat Kenny to the ball looping it towards the United goal as Morgan steamed in to head clear.

The ex-Barnsley stopper was foiled in the 37th minute from his shot from the edge of the box stopped on the line by the diving Ed de Goey before Noel-Williams was ordered off in the 51st minute.

Andy Liddell saw his shot beat the keeper as it flashed across the face of the goal to curl narrowly wide of the far-post before de Goey saved bravely to snatch a low cross as Barry Hayles waited to pounce.

Jon Harley was foiled by the keeper as he guarded his near-post, defender Phil Jagielka squandered a chance heading a Michael Tonge corner wide from close range before de Goey pulled off a stunning last minute stop from substitute Ashley Ward.