Full Time report: Sheffield United 3 Crewe Alexandra 2

Sheffield United players celebrate Che Adams' opener
Sheffield United players celebrate Che Adams' opener

They made hard work of it, but Sheffield United came through to beat bottom-of-the-table Crewe Alexandra, 3-2 at Bramall Lane.

United had been comfortably in front through Che Adams at half time, having controlled the opening 45 minutes.

Sheffield United and Crewe players stand for a minute's silence in memory of the victims of the terror attacks in Brussels

Sheffield United and Crewe players stand for a minute's silence in memory of the victims of the terror attacks in Brussels

And after Ryan Flynn had made it 2-0 just after the hour, it appeared as though the result would be in no doubt.

However David Fox and Harry Davis struck for Crewe, to the dismay of the home support, only for talisman Billy Sharp to head in the winning goal with two minutes of normal time remaining. Relief around the Lane.

There were four changes to the Sheffield United side from last week's 1-0 defeat at Millwall, with Harrison McGahey, Jay McEveley, Paul Coutts and Che Adams coming in for David Edgar, Alex Baptiste, Florent Cuvelier and Conor Sammon.

And it was the Blades who started brightest as they took the game to Crewe from the kick off.

Within two minutes of the start, the home side could have been ahead but for a fine save from Alex keeper Ben Garratt who denied John Brayford with an instinctive one-handed stop.

Ten minutes later United went close again, this time Billy Sharp's effort blocked by the face of visiting skipper Harry Davis.

It seemed only a matter of time before Adkins side would break the deadlock, though there will have been some fans in Bramall Lane wondering if it would be their day, having seen Sharp hit the post with an excellent effort on 15 minutes.

Those fears were allayed three minutes later though when Ryan Flynn fed Adams and the returning forward curled past Garratt from 15 yards, to give United a deserved lead.

Fearing what, on the basis of the opening period, could have been a rout, Crewe tightened up after going a goal behind and the openings United had earlier enjoyed dried up for a period.

Sharp had the ball in the net, with ten minutes of the first half remaining, however the 'goal' was ruled out for offside and soon after, the striker turned provider for Adams, who pulled a shot wide of goal when he should have at least found the target.

And that was the last notable piece of action of a comfortable first half for the Blades, as they went in at the break a goal to the good.

Crewe made a half time change in bringing Billy Bingham on for Ben Nugent and they upped their tempo considerably following the restart, having been poor in the first half.

United's defence looked a little rattled as Crewe put them under more pressure than they had been used to up to that point but the closest the visitors came to equalising at that stage was when George Long was turn away a Charlie Kirk effort for a corner on 50 minutes.

On the hour mark, though, nerves that may have set in appeared to be banished as the Blades doubled their lead. A cross from the right found Sharp, whose header was saved by Garratt but the ball landed invitingly for Flynn and the Scot's overhead kick from eight yards flew into the top corner.

Just as United looked like stepping back into comfort, Crewe pulled one back on 68 minutes when Fox's drive from 20 yards through a crowd of players, flew into the bottom corner of the goal beyond the outstretched arm of Long.

And there were groans around the ground on 82 minutes when the equaliser arrived as United failed to clear the ball and Davis shot in from close range.

Some fans upped and left at that point, however United needed just five minutes to regain the lead when substitute Louis Reed sent in an inch-perfect cross for the onrushing Sharp who headed in for a deserved goal and what would be the winner.

Sheffield United: Long, Basham, McGahey, McEveley, Brayford, Done, Coutts, Hammond, Flynn, Adams, Sharp. Subs: Howard, Sammon, Reed, Calvert-Lewin, Whiteman, Kelly, Brooks.

Crewe Alexandra: Garrett, Turton, Guthrie, Davis, Nugent, Inman, Fox, Jones, Kirk, Hitchcock, Bakayogo. Subs: Ray, Atkinson, Cooper, Dalla Valle, Richards, Bingham, Ainley.

Referee: Andy Woolmer