sport

Super Baxter downs Crawley

Jose Baxter's superb second-half goal secured Sheffield Utd their first home victory of the new season in a 1-0 win over Crawley.

Baxter swept home an unstoppable 48th minute finish to hand Nigel Clough's side all three points.

The visitors forged several opportunities of their own, especially before the interval, but United's margin of victory should have been greater with Michael Higdon and Ben Davies among those to go close.

United, despite enjoying more territory and possession, could count themselves fortunate not to be losing and at a numerical disadvantage by half time.

Harrison McGahey, the hosts' young centre-back enjoyed a lucky escape when he clipped Izale McLeod on the edge of the area as Crawley launched the first of several counter-attacks while Jay McEveley and Craig Alcock produced excellent blocks to deny Bobson Bawling and Gwion Edwards moments before the break.

But United had also created several promising opportunities of their own with Baxter seeing a close-range shot deflected into the side-netting before Brian Jensen, the former Burnley goalkeeper, bravely smothered Davies' in-swinging free-kick at the feet of Higdon.

Jensen was powerless to prevent Baxter's superb 25 yard finish finding the back of his net three minutes after the re-start and the United attacker quickly went close again following Jamie Murphy's run.

Higdon thought he had doubled their advantage but Conor Henderson somehow managed to scramble his attempt clear as Jensen lay on the turf while the Dane palmed away to safety from Chris Basham after Davies' had barged through.

Crawley regained their composure and pressed United back during the closing stages as the match became increasingly ragged but failed to secure a point.