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Boleyn Ground (ATT 27,424) 3rd January 2005 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: T Kettle

West Ham West Ham United vs Sheffield United Sheff Utd

Blades see off Hammers

By Simon Fudge.   Last Updated: 03/01/05 6:00pm

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Sheffield United bounced back from their New Year's Day defeat to Wigan Athletic with a fine 2-0 win at West Ham United.

A Tomas Repka own-goal and a second half strike from Leigh Bromby secured the visitors' first win at Upton Park for more than 30 years.

Hammers boss Alan Pardew named the same starting XI that earned a well-deserved 2-0 win at Championship leaders Ipswich Town on New Year's Day while Blades manager Neil Warnock brought in Derek Geary and goalkeeper Paddy Kenny for Danny Cadamarteri and Ian Bennett.

An uninspiring first half saw both sides struggle to get in behind each other's backlines, with West Ham looking particularly woeful with their forward passing in key attacking areas.

The Blades had the better chances of the half - with Michael Tonge shooting wide after Jon Harley dispossessed Hayden Mullins in the West Ham box before Andy Liddell volleyed over the bar after West Ham defender Malky Mackay failed to clear Danny Cullip's free kick.

The visitors, however, made their breakthrough four minutes before the break when Phil Jagielka sent Geary away down the right flank with a fine pass.

The former Stockport County man cut inside his marker Chris Powell before striking left footed towards goal and despite Repka's best attempts to block the shot, the ball deflected off the Czech defender and into an open net for the opening goal.

The second half saw Sergei Rebrov and Luke Chadwick come on for Bobby Zamora and Matthew Etherington for West Ham, but the change did little to turn around the home side's fortunes.

In fact, The Blades extended their lead on the hour mark, as Liddell's free kick from the right was not properly cleared by The Hammers and Bromby struck a sublime volley from the edge of the box past West Ham goalkeeper Stephen Bywater for 2-0.

With a two-goal lead, the visitors dropped off and invited West Ham to attack, but the home side were unable to find a way back into the match with their possession.

Rebrov was unable to test Blades goalkeeper Kenny with a right footed shot while Bromby denied Chadwick a late West Ham goal after blocking his effort on the goal line in injury time.

In the end, it was a deserved win for Neil Warnock's side while West Ham received jeers from their own supporters after a lacklustre home performance.

Matches

Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bournemouth 22 42
2 Ipswich Town 22 41
3 Brentford 22 40
4 Middlesbrough 22 39
5 Derby County 22 39
6 Watford 22 38
7 Norwich City 22 34
8 Blackburn Rovers 22 34
9 Nottingham Forest 22 31
10 Wolverhampton Wanderers 22 31
11 Cardiff City 22 30
12 Charlton Athletic 22 30
13 Fulham 22 28
14 Sheffield Wednesday 22 28
15 Birmingham City 22 28
16 Bolton Wanderers 22 26
17 Reading 22 25
18 Leeds United 22 24
19 Rotherham United 22 24
20 Huddersfield Town 22 24
21 Millwall 22 23
22 Brighton and Hove Albion 22 19
23 Wigan Athletic 22 17
24 Blackpool 22 13

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