Sheffield United 2 Crewe Alexandra 0

Last updated : 04 November 2003 By Footymad Previewer

Summer signings Chris Armstrong and Jack Lester scored to send Sheffield United back up to third in the league.

Armstrong headed United in front against workmanlike Crewe with his first goal for the club before Lester's penalty 17 minutes from time earned the Blades a first win in five games.

Armstrong, brought into the team in place of the injured Nick Montgomery, justified his selection in the 20th minute.

The 21-year-old signing from Oldham headed home Stuart McCall's cross, his downward header wrong-footing Clayton Ince and finding the net via a post.

Lester, who joined the club from Nottingham Forest, scored his seventh goal of the season with a second penalty in four days, after McCall's 73rd minute cross struck Neil Sorvel on the arm.

The opening goal took the sting out of the visitors who had spent much of the early exchanges exploiting space behind United's back four.

Winger David Vaughan enjoyed the most freedom and his interchanging with Kenny Lunt on the right-hand side produced the visitors best two chances, but both times he shot wide.

But the goal swung the match and within minutes it could have been two. Ashley Ward stole in front of the Crewe defence to meet Armstrong's teasing cross, only for his sliding effort to rebound off Ince's left-hand post.

Canny footwork from Lester forced Ince into a reaction save at his near post in the 35th minute.

Steve Jones had United goalkeeper Paul Gerrard scrambling to tip his 20-yard shot around the post on the stroke of half time.

Armstrong's crosses continued to cause Crewe problems after the break. Lester benefited in the 49th minute but fired wide.

Lester nearly doubled the advantage when he blocked an Ince clearance but the ricochet looped onto the roof of the net.

He did not have to wait long however, his 73rd minute penalty settling the match.