Wednesday face a fight to the finish

Sheffield Wednesday 1 Sheffield United 1

The 125th Sheffield derby was billed as the most important league game between Wednesday and United in three decades. After a draw which left the home club in the Championship relegation zone, Hillsborough's last stand this season, against Crystal Palace, promises to be even more momentous.

Wednesday, having led through Darren Potter's volley before Lee Williamson's free-kick gave United a deserved point, appear likely to have to beat Palace – who are a point ahead with each side having two matches remaining – to avoid slipping back into the third tier.

Potter's goal came not only against the run of play but at a time when United were down to 10 men as former Wednesday striker Richard Cresswell had stitches in a head wound following a touchline collision with home winger Jermaine Johnson. The United manager, Kevin Blackwell, accused Johnson of a "poor challenge", and when asked whether Cresswell thought an elbow had caused the injury he replied: "He doesn't think. He knows."

Blackwell felt United had shaded a typically robust contest fought out on a "rubbish" pitch. Pressed on whether he accepted a draw was a fair result, he said: "No, I don't. I think we should have won it, but I would say that, wouldn't I? Their goal was very harsh in that it came when Cresswell was off. I gave the medical men some stick because it took so long to sort him out, but the cut was so jagged that they couldn't get the stitches into it.

"People might consider our goal was a bit fortuitous, but it was a set-play that we work on and if people don't get touches, the ball goes in. We had three or four really good chances after that, but we knew that with it being Wednesday there would be a long throw or set-piece that could cause us a problem, and once or twice the ball bounced around our box dangerously."

Wednesday's manager, Alan Irvine, was unaware of any suggestion that Johnson had deliberately swung an arm at Cresswell. "I spoke to Cressie and asked him what happened. He said he'd got caught with an elbow. It was the first I'd heard of it. Kevin [Blackwell] didn't seem to make anything of it at the time."

Irvine said it was "a game we could have won". He added: "We got a fantastic goal, but in the second half we gave away needless free-kicks and they scored from one. It's still in our hands. If we can match or better Palace's results, it goes to the last game."

United almost took a seventh-minute lead when Darius Henderson's header struck Wednesday captain Darren Purse and came out of a post. Potter's goal, a 12-yard volley on the run from Luke Varney's cross, set Wednesdayites singing about the 4-0 "Boxing Day Massacre" of 1979, only for Williamson to ensure parity with a free-kick that drifted in off the far post.

Sheffield Wednesday (4-4-2): Grant; Nolan, Purse, Beevers, Spurr; Johnson, Potter, O'Connor, Varney; Clarke (Soares, 78), Tudgay. Substitutes not used: O'Donnell (gk), Hinds, Jeffers, Esajas, Simek, Gray.

Sheffield United (4-4-2): Simonsen; Connolly, Morgan, Nosworthy, Taylor (Bartley, 61); Williamson (Little, 79), Montgomery, Harper (Camara, 51), Quinn; Cresswell, Henderson. Substitutes not used: Bennett (gk), Evans, Yeates, Seip, Bartley.

Referee: C Foy (Merseyside).

Booked: Sheffield Wednesday O'Connor, Nolan; Sheffield United Taylor, Quinn.

Man of the match: Quinn.

Attendance: 35,485.

FootballGerman sparks three goals in four minutes at favourite No 10 role
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Radamel Falcao was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after undergoing surgery
premier leagueExclusive: Reds have agreement with Monaco
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Life and Style
Children at the Leytonstone branch of the Homeless Children's Aid and Adoption Society tuck into their harvest festival gifts, in October 1936
food + drinkThe harvest festival is back, but forget cans of tuna and packets of instant mash
New Articles
i100... she's just started school
New Articles
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
New Articles
i100... despite rising prices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam