Shot-shy Sheffield United escaped with a goalless draw from the first leg of their npower League One play-off semi-final at Stevenage.
Boro, looking for a third successive promotion having been in the Conference just two years ago, came agonisingly close to grabbing a vital lead when Craig Reid's shot hit the crossbar.
But Danny Wilson's United should now be in the driving seat for Monday's second leg at Bramall Lane. However, the Blades' record in the play-offs will not inspire much confidence - five failures from five attempts - while they have not beaten Stevenage in three matches this season.
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