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Bramall Lane (ATT 24,427) 27th September 2008 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: M Halsey

Sheff Utd Sheffield United vs Watford Watford

Beattie strikes for Blades

Hornets face long trip back south after defeat

Last Updated: 27/09/08 7:07pm

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Beattie: On target

Beattie: On target

James Beattie was back amongst the goals as Sheffield United beat Watford 2-1 at Bramall Lane.

The powerful striker, who missed the first six matches of the season after ankle surgery, nodded home the winner to ensure the Blades bounced straight back from their 6-0 midweek mauling at Arsenal.

United caught a depleted Watford cold when Gary Speed was left unmarked two yards from goal to tap home Billy Sharp's square pass inside the first minute.

John-Joe O'Toole headed the visitors level early in the second half but Beattie clinched United's third Coca-Cola Championship win of the season.

Speed strike

The match had barely kicked off when Speed gleefully tapped home. Greg Halford's throw-in was headed on by Chris Morgan, Sharp played it across goal and Speed sidefooted home inside 60 seconds.

Danny Webber forced Watford goalkeeper Scott Loach to save one-handed, low to his right, after a fine first touch by the Blades striker.

But Loach played no further part after appearing to hurt his side and was replaced by substitute goalkeeper Richard Lee.

Lionel Ainsworth fired in Watford's best chance of the half with a spectacular overhead kick in the 42nd minute.

Stephen Quinn's long drive was held by Lee shortly after the restart as the Blades chased the insurance of a second goal. But it was Watford who struck first in the second half.

Tommy Smith's far-post corner evaded everyone bar O'Toole and the Hornets midfielder stooped low to head the ball beyond Paddy Kenny's dive in the 56th minute.

Beattie handful

However, the home side regained the lead 10 minutes later. Quinn's persistence paid off down the left and his pass put Sharp in enough space to whip in a fine cross that Beattie powerfully headed home. Sharp almost found the far corner with a superb shot on the turn moments later but Lee denied him at full stretch.

Beattie then curled a 30-yard effort just wide as the home side gathered momentum and Webber flashed a shot inches past the post.

New loan signing Nathan Dyer set up Sharp, whose fierce shot hit the post, while Speed's follow up was bundled over the crossbar.

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Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Leicester City 43 93
2 Burnley 43 86
3 Derby County 43 78
4 Queens Park Rangers 43 73
5 Wigan Athletic 42 70
6 Brighton and Hove Albion 43 65
7 Reading 43 64
8 Ipswich Town 43 64
9 Nottingham Forest 43 62
10 Bournemouth 43 62
11 Blackburn Rovers 43 61
12 Watford 42 60
13 Middlesbrough 43 58
14 Bolton Wanderers 43 55
15 Sheffield Wednesday 43 53
16 Leeds United 43 53
17 Huddersfield Town 43 47
18 Birmingham City 42 43
19 Doncaster Rovers 43 43
20 Millwall 43 43
21 Charlton Athletic 42 42
22 Blackpool 43 42
23 Barnsley 43 39
24 Yeovil Town 43 37

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