Blades Prove too Sharp
27/11/07 - 20:00
Alan Pardew named an unchanged side to that which beat Preston on Saturday, but after four straight wins the Addicks were finally beaten in spectacular fashion, as Sheffield United, one of the teams that joined them in being relegated from the Premier League last season beat them 3-0 at the Valley.
The Addicks made a flying start and were almost ahead after thirty seconds; Andy Reid's outswinging corner was headed over by Sam Sodje, then Lloyd Sam forced Paddy Kenny into his first save, and tried his luck again soon after.
Neither goalkeeper had much to do after that for a while, what Addicks goalkeeper Nicky Weaver and the Blades goalkeeper Paddy Kenny did have to deal with the dealt with well, then suddenly after Jerome Thomas was adjudged to have fouled David Carney the Blades were awarded a penalty. The Championship's top goalscorer James Beattie stepped up and duly dispatched to put the blades ahead just after the half hour mark.
In a bid to change the tide of the match Alan Pardew made a double change at the interval, bringing on Matt Holland and Luke Varney, and Luke Varney soon had a chance, but he could not direct his header on target, and Luke Varney again missed the target when he shot wide from the edge of the area just before the hour mark.
Andy Reid then sent a curling thirty-yard free kick over the bar, then an injury to Grant Basey forced the teenager off with twenty-five minutes to play. This sparked the Addicks right into life and Paddy Kenny was forced into a double save, firstly denying Danny Mills from twenty-five yards, then Chris Iwelumo form half that distance, Matt Holland then saw his header blocked by Gary Cahill.
With twenty minutes to play the thought that it wouldn't be the Addicks evening was confirmed when Zheng Zhi, with the goal at his mercy saw Paddy Kenny finally beaten, but his effort came back off the bar, then cruelly minutes later on-loan Aston Villa defender Gary Cahill scored the Blades second fifteen minutes from time, scoring from close range after a corner.
The Addicks pushed to try and get back into the match under Alan Pardew's orders, but this was always likely to come at a price and Chris Armstrong scored a third for the Blades with a good finish two minutes from time, as they enjoyed their first win at the Valley in more than thirty years.
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