Crewe Alexandra must try again in ten days time following a 0-0 draw with last season’s FA Cup semi-finalists Sheffield United at Gresty Road.
Ryan Flynn was an early threat for the visitors and forced Adam Dugdale into clearing off the line while Jose Baxter should have done better when slotting wide after the break.
On loan Greg Leigh drifted a shot wide from the edge of the area in Crewe’s only real attempt of the opening forty-five minutes.
Blades’ Jamie Murphy actually had the ball in the net but was deemed offside and Ben Garratt kept out substitute Stefan Scougall before Bob Harris went close when clipping the woodwork.
Recalled striker Marcus Haber saw a reply deflected behind and Mark Howard was required to save at his near post from second-half substitute James Jones late on.
Visitors’ substitute Diego De Girolamo then dragged another opportunity wide of the far post and Ollie Turton missed with a firm drive at the other end.
Crewe Alexandra: Garratt, Baillie, Davis, Dugdale, Guthrie, Grant, Turton, Atkinson (Jones 46), Leigh (Inman 80), Cooper (Waters 85), Haber
subs (unused): Shearer, Saunders, Ng, Ness
Sheffield United: Howard, Alcock, Basham, McEveley, Harris, Flynn (De Girolamo 69), Doyle, Reed, Campbell-Ryce, Murphy, Baxter (Scougall 61)
subs: McGinn, McGahey, Porter, Turner, Kennedy
Ref: M. Russell
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