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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 Bournemouth 46 90
2 Watford 46 89
3 Norwich City 46 86
4 Middlesbrough 46 85
5 Brentford 46 78
6 Ipswich Town 46 78
7 Wolverhampton Wanderers 46 78
8 Derby County 46 77
9 Blackburn Rovers 46 67
10 Birmingham City 46 63
11 Cardiff City 46 62
12 Charlton Athletic 46 60
13 Sheffield Wednesday 46 60
14 Nottingham Forest 46 59
15 Leeds United 46 56
16 Huddersfield Town 46 55
17 Fulham 46 52
18 Bolton Wanderers 46 51
19 Reading 46 50
20 Brighton and Hove Albion 46 47
21 Rotherham United 46 46
22 Millwall 46 41
23 Wigan Athletic 46 39
24 Blackpool 46 26

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