Blades cut down Baggies
By Mark Kendall
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Michael Tonge opened the scoring for the visitors after just nine minutes when he curled home a crisp low effort from 15 yards after a quick break.
The Blades then doubled their advantage eight minutes before the interval when much travelled frontman Ashley Ward headed home Nick Montgomery's near-post cross.
Unsurprisingly Gary Megson's men pressed hard in the second half but failed to force a breakthrough, Jason Koumas coming closest with a free kick which went narrowly over.
Wigan moved ahead of West Brom and into second spot following their 2-1 home triumph over Stoke - their first win in five games.
Gifton Noel Williams edged Stoke ahead five minutes before the break, but Geoff Horsfield poached an equaliser for the hosts on 56 minutes.
The former Fulham and Birmingham striker then struck again with 20 minutes remaining following a long ball to move The Latics level on points with Sheffield United.
Sunderland remain in fifth after being held to a goalless draw at the Stadium of Light by Cardiff City.
The hosts dominated for long periods but could not find sufficient quality in the final third to find a way past a resolute Cardiff backline.
Nottingham Forest missed the chance to close on the leading teams after throwing away a two-goal lead at home to struggling Rotherham.
The hosts appeared to be cruising when Marlon Harewood struck twice inside five first half minutes (31 & 36) to put Forest in complete control.
The pacy hit-man capitalised on a mistake by Rotherham keeper Mike Pollitt for his first, and then rolled into an empty net from close range for his second, but Ronnie Moore's men staged a spirited fightback to take only their second away point of the season.
Darren Byfield coolly stroked home amid Forest claims for a handball, and Martin Butler then volleyed a back post equaliser to earn his side a deserved share of the spoils.
Ipswich went on a first-half scoring spree to condemn Burnley to a thumping 6-1 defeat at Portman Road.
The hosts were five up at the break after a brace from Pablo Counago and further efforts from Jermaine Wright, Chris Bart-Williams and an own goal from Richard Chaplow.
Delroy Facey continued his recent good form by pulling one back on 49 minutes, but Shefki Kuqi completed the rout on the stroke of full time.
New Reading boss Steve Coppell made a winning start, but his troops left it late to see off Gillingham at the Madjeski Stadium.
Scott Murray claimed the first Reading goal of the Coppell reign on 54 minutes, but the visitors drew level through Marlon King after a howler from home goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann.
However, Steve Sidwell popped up with five minutes remaining to fire home after a neat one-two with Shaun Goater, and claim his sixth goal of the season in the process.
Millwall slipped to a disappointing home reverse against Preston, Paul McKenna grabbed the only goal of the game for Craig Brown's men after 51 minutes.
Derby fought back to claim a point at Crystal Palace after Luciano Zavagno equalised Danny Butterfield's first-half opener, the Eagles finished with ten men after Darren Powell saw red late on.
Watford and Walsall also drew 1-1, a Chris Baird own goal cancelling out Simon Osborn's first goal of the season for The Saddlers.
Bradford came from two behind to take a point from their trip to Crewe.
After a goalless first half, the game exploded into life early in the second when Steve Jones (46) and Dean Ashton (49) put the hosts two up.
Nicky Laws men refused to lie down however, and Paul Evans reduced the deficit, before Ben Muirhead rescued his team with an equaliser three minutes from time.
Crewe 2-2 Bradford
Crystal Palace 1-1 Derby
Ipswich 6-1 Burnley
Millwall 0-1 Preston
Nottingham Forest 2-2 Rotherham
Reading 2-1 Gillingham
Sunderland 0-0 Cardiff
Watford 1-1 Walsall
West Brom 0-2 Sheff Utd
Wigan 2-1 Stoke