Stephen Quinn made the most of Sheffield United's only real attack
Stephen Quinn kept Sheffield United in the play-off hunt as the Blades came from behind to earn a point at promotion rivals Cardiff City.
Jay Bothroyd had given the Bluebirds the lead on the stroke of half-time with a superb strike after making the most of Kyle Bartley's mistake.
But United drew level midway through the second half when Quinn tapped home.
Cardiff's Ross McCormack was denied by Steve Simonsen while Michael Chopra hit the Blades' bar with five minutes left.
The result will be more beneficial to Cardiff who occupy the last play-off spot as they increased the gap between themselves and Blackpool - who are one place behind - to five points.
United are also five adrift of the Bluebirds in eighth but will be thankful for the point as they should have been out of the game by half-time.
Cardiff dominated the opening period and could have gone ahead after just two minutes when Bothroyd skipped the challenges of three defenders before shooting narrowly past the right-hand post from 25 yards.
McCormack then sent a free kick straight at keeper Steve Simonsen, as did Bothroyd moments later.
But it was top scorer Peter Whittingham who almost broke the deadlock on 15 minutes.
He got on to the end of Bothroyd's flick-on to volley goalwards from a tight angle, but Simonsen was on hand to push it away.
United found it difficult to get into the game and were restricted to half chances with Glenn Little unable to catch out Bluebirds keeper David Marshall with a chip.
Cardiff remained the better of the two sides and just when it looked like they would go in at half-time scoreless, Bothroyd broke the deadlock with his 11th goal of the season.
Jay Bothroyd's first-half strike was not enough for Cardiff City
Paul Quinn's long ball up field was misjudged by Bartley just outside the United box and scuffed the ball into the path of Bluebirds captain Bothroyd who blasted left-footed into the top left-hand corner.
The Blades coped better in the second half but did not look like getting back into the game as Cardiff continued to control.
Chris Burke tested Simonsen with a first-time shot from McCormack's lay-off and then Bothroyd tried to claim a penalty, but picked up his 10th booking of the season instead for diving.
United boss Kevin Blackwell brought on Mark Yeates for Jordan Stewart on 66 minutes and that proved to be the turning point in the game as the former Middlesbrough winger made an instant impact.
It was his ball into the box which found Quinn who got a toe to it and Marshall thought he had kept the ball out, but the Irishman got his foot on to it again to tap home from three yards.
It was a goal out of nothing from the visitors' first real attack and very much against the run of play.
Cardiff did almost restore their lead within a minute when Burke's cross from the right found McCormack at the far post to head towards goal, only for Simonsen to deny him.
And then with five minutes to go, substitute Michael Chopra hit the crossbar as the Blades held on.
Jones unhappy with officials
Cardiff City manager Dave Jones:
"Chances were there to win the game and it was one-way traffic for most of the match as we battered them but one mistake has cost us.
"It was a fantastic goal by Jay but one is not enough certainly against a big side like Sheffield United and they scored with their only chance.
"I don't think the referee helped us at all tonight as they kept stopping the flow of the game with fouls and he did little about it."
Blades point delights Blackwell
Sheffield United manager Kevin Blackwell:
"Defeat tonight would have been very costly as far as our play-off hopes are concerned and now perhaps we can get a few players back fit as we are still in a position to fight for it.
"We worked hard for that point tonight and I know we have the right attitude so that should be recognised as it was a real achievement to get that point tonight.
"When you realise that I was forced to put on two unfit players from the bench you can understand why we are so delighted to have earned a point."
Live text and stats
Wednesday, 24 March 2010
23 Blake yellow card
09 Bothroyd yellow card
44 McCormack (Chopra 82)
06 Nosworthy yellow card
16 Taylor yellow card (Lowton 90+1)
19 Stewart (Yeates 65)
31 Connolly yellow card
25 Little (Williamson 71 yellow card)
28 Quinn yellow card
Ref: Danny McDermidAtt: 18,715
Attempts on target
Attempts off target
90:00+6:03 The referee brings the game to a close.
90:00+3:55 Free kick taken by David Marshall.
90:00+3:55 Booking Lee Williamson receives a yellow card.
90:00+3:30 Lee Williamson concedes a free kick for a foul on Peter Whittingham.
90:00+3:15 A cross is delivered by Lee Williamson, Darcy Blake makes a clearance.
90:00+3:07 Lee Williamson produces a cross, David Marshall makes a clearance.
90:00+0:02 Substitution Matthew Lowton comes on in place of Andy Taylor.
89:44 Jay Bothroyd produces a cross, Nyron Nosworthy makes a clearance.
87:31 Jay Bothroyd gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Nick Montgomery. Paul Connolly takes the free kick.
86:13 Darcy Blake restarts play with the free kick.
86:13 Booking Andy Taylor goes into the referee's book for unsporting behaviour.
85:45 Andy Taylor concedes a free kick for a foul on Chris Burke.
84:22 Michael Chopra takes a shot.
83:07 Richard Cresswell is adjudged to have handled the ball. Tony Capaldi restarts play with the free kick.
82:45 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Michael Chopra by Nick Montgomery. Tony Capaldi takes the free kick.
81:36 Free kick taken by David Marshall.
81:36 Substitution Michael Chopra is brought on as a substitute for Ross McCormack.
81:36 Andy Taylor concedes a free kick for a foul on Chris Burke.
79:01 Lee Williamson challenges Stephen McPhail unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Darcy Blake.
77:56 Corner taken by Mark Yeates, Paul Quinn manages to make a clearance.
77:18 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Mark Yeates, save by David Marshall.
76:52 Andy Taylor sends in a cross, save by David Marshall.
76:21 Darcy Blake concedes a free kick for a foul on Richard Cresswell. Andy Taylor takes the free kick.
75:04 Jay Bothroyd gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Nyron Nosworthy. Steve Simonsen takes the indirect free kick.
74:41 Foul by Lee Williamson on Tony Capaldi, free kick awarded. David Marshall takes the indirect free kick.
73:15 Corner taken left-footed by Peter Whittingham from the left by-line, Shot from just outside the box by Chris Burke goes over
72:07 The ball is delivered by Chris Burke, Gavin Rae takes a shot. Save by Steve Simonsen.
72:00 The ball is sent over by Ross McCormack.
71:34 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Peter Whittingham, clearance made by Nyron Nosworthy.
70:51 Substitution Lee Williamson comes on in place of Glen Little.
70:26 Glen Little sends in a cross.
68:33 Mark Yeates takes a shot. Save by David Marshall.
67:55 Centre by Ross McCormack, clearance made by Nyron Nosworthy.
67:15 Centre by Chris Burke, Ross McCormack takes a shot. Save by Steve Simonsen.
66:28 Mark Yeates provided the assist for the goal.
66:28 GOAL - Stephen Quinn:Cardiff 1 - 1 Sheff Utd A goal is scored by Stephen Quinn from inside the six-yard box low into the middle of the goal. Cardiff 1-1 Sheff Utd.
65:58 Paul Connolly delivers the ball, Stephen Quinn takes a shot. David Marshall makes a save.
64:00 Substitution Mark Yeates joins the action as a substitute, replacing Jordan Stewart.
64:00 A cross is delivered by Peter Whittingham, Headed effort from deep inside the area by Jay Bothroyd misses to the right of
63:54 The ball is swung over by Chris Burke, blocked by Nyron Nosworthy.
61:44 Steve Simonsen takes the indirect free kick.
61:44 Booking Jay Bothroyd receives a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
61:04 Chris Burke takes a shot. Save by Steve Simonsen.
59:42 James Harper handles the ball and concedes a free kick. Tony Capaldi takes the indirect free kick.
57:28 Peter Whittingham restarts play with the free kick.
57:28 Booking Stephen Quinn is given a yellow card.
57:15 Free kick awarded for a foul by Andy Taylor on Ross McCormack.
54:34 Stephen Quinn produces a cross, David Marshall makes a save.
52:39 Shot by James Harper from outside the box goes over the target.
50:26 Booking Darcy Blake is cautioned.
50:05 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Steve Simonsen by Darcy Blake. Steve Simonsen restarts play with the free kick.
49:33 Inswinging corner taken by Peter Whittingham from the right by-line, Paul Connolly makes a clearance.
49:22 Chris Burke takes a shot. Kyle Bartley gets a block in.
Correction - 48:01 The ball is swung over by Paul Connolly, clearance made by Darcy Blake.
48:01 The ball is delivered by Paul Connolly, clearance made by Darcy Blake.
47:32 A cross is delivered by Glen Little, clearance by Darcy Blake.
45:21 Gabor Gyepes challenges Stephen Quinn unfairly and gives away a free kick. Paul Connolly takes the free kick.
45:01 The referee gets the second half underway.
45:00+2:16 The referee blows for half time.
44:01 GOAL - Jay Bothroyd:Cardiff 1 - 0 Sheff Utd A goal is scored by Jay Bothroyd from just outside the penalty area to the top right corner of the goal. Cardiff 1-0 Sheff
43:41 Paul Connolly delivers the ball, save by David Marshall.
41:13 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jay Bothroyd by Nick Montgomery. The free kick is delivered left-footed by Peter
Whittingham from left channel, Richard Cresswell makes a clearance.
38:23 Corner from left by-line taken by Ross McCormack.
36:13 Jordan Stewart challenges Peter Whittingham unfairly and gives away a free kick. David Marshall takes the indirect free kick.
34:28 Corner taken right-footed by Chris Burke, save by Steve Simonsen.
33:40 Stephen Quinn concedes a free kick for a foul on Paul Quinn. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Ross McCormack, clearance
by Andy Taylor.
32:05 Free kick awarded for a foul by Kyle Bartley on Ross McCormack. Indirect free kick taken by Tony Capaldi.
28:15 Paul Quinn concedes a free kick for a foul on Nick Montgomery. Free kick taken by Steve Simonsen.
27:50 Glen Little sends in a cross, save by David Marshall.
25:23 The assistant referee signals for offside against Jay Bothroyd. Steve Simonsen restarts play with the free kick.
23:53 Centre by Stephen Quinn. The referee blows for offside against Jordan Stewart. David Marshall takes the free kick.
22:59 The ball is sent over by Jordan Stewart, save by David Marshall.
22:20 Foul by Darcy Blake on Andy Taylor, free kick awarded. Andy Taylor restarts play with the free kick.
22:04 The ball is swung over by Peter Whittingham, clearance by Andy Taylor.
20:58 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Richard Cresswell by Gavin Rae. Indirect free kick taken by Andy Taylor.
19:28 Pass corner from right by-line crossed in by Peter Whittingham.
19:21 The ball is crossed by Chris Burke, Nick Montgomery manages to make a clearance.
17:42 Glen Little takes a shot. Save by David Marshall.
17:18 Jay Bothroyd takes a shot. Save by Steve Simonsen.
15:49 Jay Bothroyd takes a shot. Steve Simonsen makes a save.
15:29 The ball is delivered by Chris Burke, Paul Connolly manages to make a clearance.
14:51 Peter Whittingham takes a shot. Save by Steve Simonsen.
13:01 Foul by Kyle Bartley on Jay Bothroyd, free kick awarded. The free kick is delivered left-footed by Peter Whittingham from
left channel, clearance made by Paul Connolly.
10:08 Shot comes in from Jay Bothroyd from the free kick, save by Steve Simonsen.
10:08 Booking The referee shows Nyron Nosworthy a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
10:01 Nyron Nosworthy gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ross McCormack.
7:27 Nick Montgomery gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jay Bothroyd. Strike comes in from Peter Whittingham from
the free kick.
5:06 Richard Cresswell is caught offside. David Marshall takes the indirect free kick.
4:19 Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Glen Little, clearance made by Paul Quinn.
3:50 Foul by Ross McCormack on Kyle Bartley, free kick awarded. Nyron Nosworthy takes the free kick.
2:54 Ross McCormack fires a strike on goal direct from the free kick, Steve Simonsen makes a save.
2:54 Booking Paul Connolly shown a yellow card.
2:26 Unfair challenge on Tony Capaldi by Paul Connolly results in a free kick.
1:37 Shot from just outside the area by Jay Bothroyd misses to the left of the target.
0:31 Corner taken right-footed by Glen Little, save made by David Marshall.
0:03 Jay Bothroyd is adjudged to have handled the ball. Free kick taken by Paul Connolly.
0:00 The referee starts the match.
Live text and data provided by The Press Association.
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