CONOR COADY was Sheffield United’s match-winner as his brilliant brace sunk Crawley Town.
Liverpool loanee Coady scored in both halves as the on-song Blades kept their faint play-off hopes alive with a battling away win, closing the gap to seven points on sixth place in the League One table.
A 19th-minute strike from Coady, with another just after the hour mark, was enough for the Blades to bounce back from Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Wolves.
Blades’ goalkeeper Mark Howard saved Kyle McFadzean’s early header while, at the other end, Harry Maguire rifled wide with a right-foot shot shortly before Coady struck for the first time.
Crawley rallied with Billy Clarke and Andy Drury both firing wide. Mark Connolly had two good chances to level, but he was also wide of the mark.
Drury was thwarted by Howard 10 minutes after the restart after the midfielder hit the target with a right-foot strike.
But Coady doubled the Blades’ lead with a sweet strike into the bottom right corner after a clever assist from Jamie Murphy.
Substitute Jamie Procter forced Howard to save while McFadzean wasted another good chance as the hosts slipped to a second successive league defeat.
Crawley Town: P Jones, Sadler, Connolly, McFadzean, Clarke, Torres (Proctor 66), Drury, Walsh, Bulman, Tubbs (Fallon 80), M Jones. Unused substitutes: Kaikai, Boateng, Maddison, Dicker, Connolly.
Sheffield United: Howard, Brayford, Maguire, Collins, Freeman, McGinn, Doyle, Coady, Davies (Dimaio 90+4), Murphy (Khan 90+5), Porter (Paynter 81). Unused substitutes: Flynn, Baxter, Scougall, Long.
Referee: G Horwood (Luton).