Lifelong Sheffield United supporter Neil Warnock won his fourth game out of four since taking over at Bramall Lane but he had Fulham forward Barry Hayles to thank for this victory.
This game, that had been desperately lacking in both quality and goalmouth action, looked destined to end in a fifth consecutive goalless draw involving the Cottagers until Hayles was sent off ten minutes from ten for lashing out at Wayne Quinn. Fulham boss Paul Bracewell said the experienced striker would be fined for his ill-discipline and the Londoners fall apart with ten minute. The Blades took full advantage scoring twice in two minutes, with Paul Devlin breaking the deadlock with a powerful shot from the edge of the area before Marcus Bent made sure of the points with four minutes left on the clock.
SHEFFIELD UNITED (4-3-3): Tracey; Kozluk, Murphy, Sandford, Quinn; Derry, Brown, Devlin (Hall 87); Hunt (Ford 45), M. Bent, Smith (Kachuro 73). Subs (not used): Gysbrechts, Hamilton.
GOALS: Devlin (84), M. Bent (86).
FULHAM (5-3-2): Taylor; Finnan, Brevett, Morgan, Melville, Symons; Hayward, W. Collins, Clark; Peschisolido, Hayles. Subs (not used): Hahnemann, Uhlenbeek, Ball, Trollope, Brooker.
SENT OFF: Hayles.
REFEREE: Mick Fletcher (Worcestershire).