PAUL Gallagher grabbed a late winner as Sheffield United secured a 2-1 victory at lowly Hartlepool United tonight.
The forward, on loan from Leicester City, struck in the 89th minute to ensure Danny Wilson’s men moved back into the play-off placings.
Dave Kitson put the Blades ahead after 27 minutes, his second strike in four days, to send the 615 United fans into raptures.
Hartlepool, languishing in the lower reaches of the League One table, looked for an immediate response, with Andy Monkhouse (2) and Antony Sweeney all going close. Then vastly experienced Pool striker Steve Howard hit the crossbar as the hosts continued to pour forward.
Nick Blackman, the Blades leading goal-scorer, blasted a left foot shot just wide before being taken off in the 61st minute.
Scott Flinders comfortably kept out a long range effort from Tony McMahon before Howard nodded in Jonathan Franks centre.
But United, who fielded an unchanged side, extended their unbeaten league run to 10 matches thanks to Gallagher.
HARTLEPOOL: Flinders, Austin, Baldwin, Hartley, Holden, Franks, Murray, Sweeney, Monkhouse, Poole, Howard. Substitutes: Humphreys, S Collins, Horwood, Richards, Lynch, McHugh, James.
SHEFFIELD UNITED: Howard, Maguire, Hill, Flynn, Doyle, Blackman, McDonald, Kitson, N Collins, Gallagher, McMahon. Substitutes: Westlake, Porter, McAllister, Cresswell, Cofie, Long, Williams.
Read James Shield’s match report in tomorrow’s Star.