Tap ‘Cameron Dawson’ and ‘penalty save’ into the search engine of choice and it is clear the Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper has form.
Four years ago playing for Alfreton in a 1-0 win at Altrincham, for instance. Then there was one in last week’s 4-0 thrashing by Norwich.
Doing it in a derby, though, that deserves a special pat in the back, whatever the final outcome, in this case, a battling draw at the expense of the nasty neighbours and in their backyard.
Sheffield United’s Mark Duffy wins a penalty during the first half of the derby on Friday night
David McGoldrick takes the penalty for Sheffield United but he saw his effort saved in first half
Sheffield United’s McGoldrick reacts after missing a penalty and chance to put his side ahead
Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Cameron Dawson guessed correctly and saved the effort
Dawson is congratulated by his Sheffield Wednesday team-mates after saving the spot-kick
Dawson earned himself instant elevation to cult status in the blue half of the city with a brilliant penalty save to deny David McGoldrick.
Andrew Madley did not hesitate to point to the spot as Mark Duffy crumpled under a challenge from Morgan Fox but the golden opportunity was wasted.
Manager-speak before derby matches tends towards banal, a verbal attempt to damp down any burning embers, so Chris Wilder deserves some credit for saying it how it is.
Sheffield United’s Kieron Freeman during the first 45 minutes of the match at Bramall Lane
‘Maybe only three points are on offer but this is not just another game for us. This is about us attempting to reward our fans for their tremendous backing all season,’ Wilder wrote in his programme notes.
‘Fortunately we have had and delivered in, a number of big games over the past couple of seasons. We have our own style and continue to refuse to take a backward step – particularly on our home turf.’
Glove firmly slapped across the face in a pre-match invitation to a Sheffield duel, sharpen those Blades. Judging by the way United set off at 100mph, Wilder’s pre-match talk was equally as lively. The mood, sombre and respectful for Remembrance Day, switched instantly with the home side aiming for an early breakthrough.
Billy Sharp, 32 years old and on 10 League goals already this season, was the focal point but it was team-mate John Fleck who had the first meaningful shot, his long-range effort pushed clear by Dawson.
Sheffield Wednesday manager Jos Luhukay watches on as his side frustrated their rivals
Wilder’s gung-ho positivity came backed up by relevant data. A draw would take them into the top two, a win put them two points clear.
Then there is the derby record – United have lost one out of 15 home games against Wednesday and that was in 2009. Contrast that with the case for The Owls, four defeats on the bounce going into this match and with questions once again being asked of coach Jos Luhukay.
Luhukay’s first game in charge of Wednesday was this fixture in January, which ended as a goalless stalemate. Doing over the neighbours is usually a decent time-buying ploy but to succeed Wednesday needed some more possession. Steven Fletcher managed to out-muscle Chris Basham on a rare foray but the move finished with the striker’s half-volley off-target.
Leicester and former Sheffield United defender Harry Maguire was in the stands on Friday
Ollie Norwood needed to recalibrate his radar too, a curling shot clearing the bar as United tried to ramp up the pressure.
He duly tried again only to see his effort cut out by the head of Michael Hector. United were up on the stats charts for chances, shots, corners and so on but the scoreline remained stubbornly stuck at zero.
For that Wednesday deserve credit for some strong defending, sometimes six and seven men at the back.
The Bramall Lane crowd were getting slightly edgy, urging the players to find a way through the blue cul-de-sac but it was easier said than done. When the ever-willing McGoldrick fashioned an opening for himself, he was again foiled by Dawson.
Wednesday goalkeeper Dawson makes a save during the tight encounter in the Championship
Wednesday’s attacks were few and far between so Adam Reach might look back at his shot over the bar and wonder whether some composure would have helped.
What was needed was a creative spark, someone who could produce something different or show some imagination. The VIPs in the stadium would have liked that, too. Old boys Phil Jagielka, Kyle Walker and Harry Maguire all popped in to cheer on United, a reminder of the breeding ground this club has been.
With the clock ticking down, Wednesday seemed to find some belief and began to counter attack, which did nothing to soothe United nerves.
Sharp went agonisingly close with a header from Norwood’s corner and there was a free-kick deep in injury time which saw Dawson save from Norwood. In the end, though, the 130th Steel City derby finished honours even.
Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder looks on as his side faced their city rivals on Friday