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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

ft

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 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 42 64
9 Bournemouth 43 62
10 Blackburn Rovers 43 61
11 Nottingham Forest 42 59
12 Middlesbrough 42 58
13 Watford 41 57
14 Bolton Wanderers 43 55
15 Sheffield Wednesday 43 53
16 Leeds United 42 50
17 Huddersfield Town 43 47
18 Birmingham City 41 43
19 Doncaster Rovers 43 43
20 Charlton Athletic 42 42
21 Blackpool 43 42
22 Millwall 42 40
23 Barnsley 42 39
24 Yeovil Town 43 37

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