Blades have the edge

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Sheffield United will fancy their chances of reaching Wembley after Brian Howard's strike secured a 1-1 draw at Preston in the first leg of their Coca-Cola Championship play-off semi-final.

The Blades midfielder struck in clinical fashion just seconds into the second half to cancel out Sean St Ledger's 21st-minute opener.

A fast and furious encounter produced few genuine goalscoring opportunities but United would have won had substitute Craig Beattie not spurned two golden opportunities in the second half.

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Sean St Ledger
Craig Beattie
Brian Howard
Preston North End
Sheffield United

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