Blades back to the top

Last updated at 09:53 30 August 2005

Sheffield United manager Neil Warnock believes his side's all-round solidity and experience will stand them in good stead for an assault on the Coca-Cola Championship this season.

The Blades, leapfrogged by Luton earlier in the afternoon, surged back to the summit with a comprehensive 3-1 defeat of Crewe at Gresty Road.

The result was never in doubt from the moment Steve Kabba scored United's third in the 56th minute and the Yorkshire club strolled to victory with Alex rarely threatening in the second half.

Warnock's men are rightly seen as one of the favourites for promotion this campaign and with a backline including veterans Craig Short and David Unsworth, the Blades boss is quietly confident.

"We've added quite a lot of new players and it's taken a while to get them bedded in but we are improving," said Warnock, who saw Neil Shipperley and Alan Quinn score his side's other goals.

"A couple of signings have fitted in, Craig Short and David Unsworth, and they've made us a bit more solid. There's a bit more experience about the team and the younger lads are thriving."

Reading were able to see off Burnley 2-1 at the Madejski Stadium to stay second.

They made a great start as Leroy Lita scored his fifth goal for the Royals in the seventh minute, the England Under-21 international latching onto a loose ball after good work from strike partner Dave Kitson.

Ade Akinbiyi equalised with a smart turn and shot three minutes before the break but Steve Coppell's men won it when Bobby Convey's cross was met by Kevin Doyle's close-range header with 20 minutes left.

Luton triumphed 2-1 against Millwall in a noon kick-off at Kenilworth Road to go top for a while, but ultimately remain third.

Warren Feeney's long-range strike gave the Hatters a 12th-minute advantage.

Ben May levelled within seconds of the second half starting for the Lions but highly-rated centre-back Curtis Davies grabbed the winner with 12 minutes to go from Kevin Nicholls' cross.

Coventry maintained their unbeaten run at their new Ricoh Arena with a 1-1 draw with Southampton, who move up to fifth as a result.

Striker James Scowcroft put the Sky Blues in front by finishing off a flowing sixth-minute move, but a blunder from defender Robert Page allowed Ricardo Fuller to poach his first goal for Saints five minutes later.

Two goals from Preston's star striker David Nugent helped the Lilywhites secure a comfortable 4-0 win at Ipswich.

The 20-year-old's reputation - and price tag - were no doubt boosted by his smartly-taken efforts and the Lancashire side wrapped up the win with goals from David Jones and Patrick Agyemang.

Watford moved above the Tractor Boys with an impressive 2-1 win at Derby.

The home side forged ahead when Adam Bolder turned in Jeff Kenna's header across goal in the fourth minute.

Marlon King hit the post with a penalty after Derby defender Richard Jackson was sent off for a professional foul on James Chambers, and the Hornets deservedly equalised midway through the second half through Matthew Spring.

Hameur Bouazza had a goal disallowed but Adie Boothroyd's side found the winner with a minute to go when Anthony McNamee's left-wing free-kick was headed in by Clarke Carlisle.

Hull were held 1-1 by Leicester at the KC Stadium despite going in front through Craig Fagan.

The former Birmingham striker turned the ball in from close range six minutes into the second half but the Foxes struck back through Paddy McCarthy's far-post header in the 65th minute.

Brighton jumped clear of the relegation zone with a 2-0 win at home to Plymouth.

Jake Robinson slotted one through the goalkeeper's legs after 10 minutes from Leon Knight's pass, and Richard Carpenter's 25-yard cracker at the start of the second half ensured the three points for the Seagulls.

Norwich's dismal start to the season continued as they lost 3-1 at Stoke - a result which sees them slip to second-bottom of the table.

Johan Boskamp's promising Stoke team led at half-time thanks to goals from Martin Kolar and Kevin Harper, either side of Dean Ashton's equaliser, and Mamady Sidibe made victory certain with 22 minutes left.

Darren Huckerby's sending-off for foul and abusive language at the start of the second half compounded a bad night for the Canaries.

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