Blades boost promotion hopes with slim victory

LONDON: Sheffield United boosted their promotion hopes with a 2-1 win over First Division playoff rivals Rotherham United at Millmoor on Friday. 

The victory, courtesy of goals from a Michael Brown penalty and a Steve Kabba strike, ended a run of four league defeats for the Blades and moved them up two places to fourth in the table. 

The Blades are 15 points behind runaway leaders Portsmouth but have improved their playoff chances and have a game in hand on most of their rivals who played later yesterday. 

United's impressive Cup form had seen them reach the League Cup semi-finals before losing to Liverpool over two legs and the FA Cup quarter-finals, where they face Yorkshire rivals Leeds United at Bramall Lane on March 9. 

But their league form has slumped and defeats at Millwall and Ipswich Town plus home losses to Reading and Norwich City had threatened to push them outside the playoff zone. 

Brown's penalty on 16 minutes, after he had been fouled by Chris Swailes, and Kabba's 62nd minute close-range strike put United on top. 

The home side replied with an Alan Lee penalty 10 minutes from time after he was tripped by Robert Page inside the area but it was too late for them to complete a comeback. – Reuters 

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