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Alexandra Stadium (ATT 7,131) 29th October 2004 - Kick off 19:45 Ref: M Fletcher

Crewe Crewe Alexandra vs Sheffield United Sheff Utd

Crewe 2

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Blades blitz Crewe

By Simon Fudge.   Last Updated: 29/10/04 9:02pm

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Sheffield United scored three early goals on course to a 3-2 victory over struggling Crewe Alexandra at Gresty Road.

Strikes from Jon Harley, Andy Gray and Danny Cadamarteri inside the first 12 minutes sealed the points for The Blades on Friday evening, as Crewe later replied through Steve Foster and a Paul Thirlwell own-goal in a losing effort.

Both sides were keen to bounce back from their midweek Carling Cup defeats and it was the visitors that showed a real keenness to get forward, with Paul Shaw missing the Crewe goal with a curling strike just seconds in.

However, it took less than five minutes for The Blades to take the lead, as Harley's exquisite left footed free kick (pictured) from the edge of the area flew over the Crewe wall and past a diving Ben Williams for 1-0.

Blades boss Neil Warnock had more to smile about after 10 minutes, as his side doubled their lead when Andy Liddell's cross from the right found Gray and his powerful header beat Williams, despite the goalkeeper's best efforts to prevent it crossing over the line.

The away side then made it three in 12 minutes when Cadamarteri flicked home Leigh Bromby's header across the Crewe goal after Liddell's swung in a deep cross from the left.

Despite being three goals down, Dario Gradi's Railwaymen responded midway through the half, as skipper Kenny Lunt's free kick into the box found an unmarked Foster and he easily headed the ball past Paddy Kenny for 3-1.

With a goal back, the home side then looked for a penalty when on loan Jon Otsemobor went down in the box after challenging for the ball with Derek Geary.

However, referee Mick Fletcher waved their appeals away, as The Blades took a two-goal lead into the break.

The second half saw more chances fall to the visitors, with Shaw just missing the net with a shot after Harley knocked back Cadamarteri's cross from the left.

Chris Morgan then tested Williams with a strong header, as Sheffield United looked for a fourth goal.

However, as the half moved on, the visitors seemed content with their lead and sat back a bit, thus allowing Crewe to come forward.

Lunt missed a great chance to make it a contest with a right footed free kick from the edge of the area that went over the bar.

Moments later, the Alex captain then set up substitute Luke Varney with a close-in chance, but his header went wide.

But Crewe did score a second goal in injury time, as Thirlwell unfortunately put into his own net after Foster's header from a corner from the left went off him and past a diving Kenny.

The goal, however, came too late for the home side to salvage a point, as Sheffield United move up into the play-off places with the win while Crewe stay just two points above the relegation zone in the table.

Click below for a match summary:

Coca-Cola Championship

Crewe Alexandra 2-3 Sheffield United

 

Click here for an updated Championship table.

 

 

Matches

Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bournemouth 39 73
2 Watford 39 72
3 Middlesbrough 39 72
4 Norwich City 39 70
5 Derby County 39 67
6 Ipswich Town 39 67
7 Brentford 39 66
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 39 65
9 Nottingham Forest 39 57
10 Blackburn Rovers 39 54
11 Charlton Athletic 39 54
12 Sheffield Wednesday 39 53
13 Leeds United 39 52
14 Cardiff City 39 51
15 Birmingham City 38 47
16 Brighton and Hove Albion 39 45
17 Bolton Wanderers 39 45
18 Huddersfield Town 39 44
19 Reading 38 44
20 Fulham 39 43
21 Rotherham United 39 40
22 Wigan Athletic 39 35
23 Millwall 39 33
24 Blackpool 39 23

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