Good Evans as Blades beat Hornets
Published : 15 Aug 2009 17:37:33
Wales international Evans, a £3million summer signing from Manchester City, marked his first full appearance for the Blades with a classy second-half finish after strike partner Jamie Ward had given Kevin Blackwell's side an early lead. Blackwell, furious with his side after they followed up a creditable goalless draw at Middlesbrough on the opening day with an embarrassing midweek Carling Cup exit at the hands of Port Vale, made seven changes and after Ward's 12th-minute opener there was little danger of a second successive home defeat. On-loan Blackburn goalkeeper Mark Bunn, skipper Chris Morgan, Kyle Walker, Keith Treacy, Nick Montgomery, Evans and Ward all returned to the starting line-up. Watford, who required extra-time to squeeze past Barnet in their midweek cup clash, recalled Scott Loach, Jay DeMerit, Ross Jenkins and Nathan Ellington. Ward was wayward with a 30-yard shot in the opening exchanges, but was on target soon after to settle the home faithful. Brian Howard swung over a free-kick from the left following Mike Williamson's foul on Darius Henderson and when the ball broke for Ward in the penalty area, the former Chesterfield striker drove the ball home left-footed, low into the centre of goal. Blackwell's side went on to dominate the first period. Evans fired wide from the edge of the area and Treacy, on loan from Blackburn, flashed a shot over the crossbar, while Jenkins twice shot wide from outside the penalty area for the visitors. The Blades continued to dictate matters after the break without creating any clear-cut chances, while Watford defender Williamson headed over the crossbar from a corner and Jobi McAnuff shot high and wide from 25 yards. But moments after Watford summer signing Danny Graham had lifted his shot over the crossbar the home side doubled their lead. Treacy clipped the ball into the penalty area and Evans showed neat skill to evade several lunging defenders before planting the ball into the bottom corner in front of the Kop. Henderson fired over and saw another effort blocked by Williamson and Blades midfielder Montgomery misdirected his header, while Scott Severin volleyed just wide at the other end. Montgomery hit the post with a right-footed shot from 12 yards in the 83rd minute, while Graham's header from Tommy Smith's cross in time added on was easily held by Bunn.