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Sheffield derby ends with honours even

Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United fought out a 1-1 draw at Hillsborough in a result that still leaves Wednesday in the bottom three of the Championship. Wednesday boss Alan Irvine admitted he has always feared his club's survival would hinge on the final day.

Darren Potter brilliantly volleyed the Owls into the lead at the end of the first half but Lee Williamson's free-kick from near the by-line curled in off the post in the 60th minute to restore parity.

Irvine, who replaced Brian Laws as manager in January, said: "It's still to a large extent in our own hands. If we can match or better Crystal Palace's result next week then it goes to the last game.

"Unfortunately that was one of the things I predicted when I first got the job.

"But if we go about things in the right way, if we can be that bit more clinical up front and if we can just stop getting some awful goals against us in terms of luck, then we've got a chance."

Blades chief Kevin Blackwell, who felt his side "shaded the whole game", believes the Steel City derby warrants the biggest stage.

Blackwell said: "It's something this city deserves. The Sky cameraman was at the Manchester derby and he said this was far more passionate.

"The noise was louder and I think that says it all about the Steel City derby.

"The question people were asking me was would my players have the desire knowing there were so many loans and lads leaving the club at the end of the season.

"Seven or eight of those lads are out of contract in two weeks' time and they showed the desire and the passion to want to play here.

"This is a terrific atmosphere. It's a great derby game and arguably should be played in the Premier League.

"It's important that both clubs get themselves sorted out and get back there as quickly as possible."

Blackwell insisted his side deserved some good fortune after Williamson's free-kick curled in off the far post for a lucky equaliser.

He added: "You want to be able to walk round the city and buy a bag of chips without being slated, or somebody putting something in it.

"People might consider it a little bit fortuitous to see the goal going in, but it's a set-play that we work on and if people don't get touches and it's on target it will go in, and it did.

"But we also had three or four other really good chances."

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