Sheffield United’s 24-year wait for a win on New Year’s Day continues after drawing 1-1 against Championship promotion rivals Derby County.
In a top of the table clash at Pride Park, which saw the league’s top two goal scorers, Leon Clarke and Matej Vydra go toe-to-toe with one another, both sides’ talisman found the net once again.
Vydra gave the hosts the lead in the first half from the penalty spot, but Clarke earned his side a point with a second half header.
The Rams took the lead midway through the first half with their Vydra converting from the penalty spot. He scored his 15th goal in all competitions this season after Johnny Russell was bought down in the penalty area by George Baldock.
Shortly before the goal, United midfielder Mark Duffy was fortunate to only a receive a yellow card after a late and high challenge on Russell.
Clayton Donaldson almost put the sides level shortly afterwards; he received the ball inside his own half and embarked on a fantastic solo run past Derby skipper Richard Keogh, he cut back onto his right foot and his shot forced a good save from Scott Carson.
Derby came close to doubling their lead on two occasions in the first half, with Russell and Andreas Weimann’s efforts both going narrowly wide of the goal.
The visitors nearly found themselves level shortly after the restart, however, midfielder John Fleck’s effort from outside of the penalty area curled away from the back post.
The Championship’s current top goalscorer Leon Clarke scored his 15th league goal of the season to level the match, after heading in Clayton Donaldson’s cross.
Derby thought they had won the match with 11 minutes remaining, but Keogh’s goal was disallowed after a foul in the area by Curtis Davies.
The Rams remain second in the league table, two points clear of Bristol City, who play Aston Villa in Saturday’s evening fixture.
Meanwhile, Sheffield United remain in sixth, knowing that a win for Villa will move them out of the play-off places for only the second time since August.