Beattie strikes for Blades
Hornets face long trip back south after defeat
Last Updated: 27/09/08 7:07pm
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.
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.
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.
Sky Bet Championship
Sat 27th Sep
Wolves2 - 0Bristol C
Sheff Utd2 - 1Watford
Blackpool1 - 1Coventry
Cardiff1 - 2Birm'ham
Burnley3 - 1Preston
Reading4 - 0Swansea
Charlton1 - 2Sheff Wed
Barnsley0 - 0Norwich
Doncaster0 - 2So'ton
Plymouth1 - 0N Forest
QPR0 - 2Derby
Ipswich1 - 1C Palace
Sky Bet Championship
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