Blades see off Hammers
By Simon Fudge. Last Updated: 03/01/05 6:00pm
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.
Sky Bet Championship
Mon 3rd Jan
Cardiff3 - 0N Forest
Coventry1 - 2Leeds
Plymouth1 - 2Ipswich
Leicester1 - 0QPR
Sunderland1 - 1Gillingham
Brighton2 - 1Watford
Stoke City0 - 1Burnley
West Ham0 - 2Sheff Utd
Millwall1 - 2Rotherham
Reading0 - 1Derby
Crewe1 - 2Preston
Sky Bet Championship
|4||Queens Park Rangers||42||73|
|7||Brighton and Hove Albion||42||64|