FULL TIME: BRENTFORD 0 SHEFFIELD UNITED 2

Two-goal striker Ched Evans
Two-goal striker Ched Evans

sheffield UNITED came away from Brentford with a 2-0 win, after a Ched Evans double strike.

Bloodied but not unbowed, Sheffield United arrived in London looking to put their campaign for automatic promotion back on track.

But, in the bright west London sunshine, Brentford immediately tested their resolve when Bidwell forced Williams to concede a first minute corner which Hill duly cleared.

Griffin Park has been a happy hunting ground for visiting United teams in the past.

Indeed, their previous two appearances at this stadium have produced a brace of wins and seven goals.

But plenty of water has passed beneath both teams’ bridges since those victories in the early Eighties.

And, as Danny Wilson has been quick to remind throughout his tenure in charge of United, what has happened in the past counts for little in the hurly burly of League One football.

The hosts, encouraged by Bidwell’s early progress, continued to press with Hill twice defying logic by beating the towering Donaldson to headers.

They proved crucial interventions when, with only six minutes gone, EVANS seized upon some defensive indecision and Porter’s flick-on to drill home beyond Moore before wheeling away in casual celebration.

Hoskins found chances to test Brentford’s rearguard in short supply during the opening skirmishes but did show good endeavour tracking back.

Having travelled south last night second in the table but only a point ahead of the chasing pack, United were looking to arrest a run of two successive defeats and three in their previous four outings.

With both teams requiring a win, the match was proving predictably open.

Brentford were quick on the break but, in the 22nd minute, Doyle showed excellent awareness to thwart one such attack.

Then, United’s captain came within a whisker of racing through after Evans showed excellent awareness to hold off his marker and hook the ball into space.

However, in the 31st minute, the Wales international was napping when Lowton’s run and toe-poke nearly teed him -up on the edge of the six yard box.

Evans should have extended United’s lead six minutes before the interval after forcing himself between Brentford’s centre-halves but inexplicably dragged wide with the goal at his mercy.

Sixty seconds later, Moore denied Porter by expertly clawing away his header from Hoskins’ cross.

Both teams trooped off at half-time with a tinge of regret; Brentford that they had not made more of some promising positions. United that they had not effectively put the match to bed.

EVANS flashed wide in the 49th minute following a well-worked free-kick but he made no mistake seconds later when, from the re-start, Moore’s kick fell straight at his feet, allowing the United striker to run through and round the goalkeeper before stroking home.

The United supporters directly behind the net were in jubilant mood.

Brentford, with Bidwell and Berahino impressing, remained capable of forging openings but United had grown in stature as the afternoon progressed.

Doyle, again an abrasive presence in midfield, was again effective with Evans and Quinn also looking to harass their opponents.

Moore, who had redeemed himself by foiling the latter from close-range, denied Evans a hat-trick in the 88th minute with his legs. Montgomery entered the fray at Hoskins’ expense and his first job was to help defend two more Donaldson howitzers.

Simonsen dived to pluck Berahino’s 69th minute effort out of the air as United started to invite pressure.