A brace from Richard Cresswell inspired Sheffield United to a comfortable 3-0 victory over Blackpool and gave their Coca-Cola Championship play-off bid a much-needed shot in the arm.

Going into the game without a win in three, the Blades made the perfect start when they went ahead after just 42 seconds as Cresswell netted at the far post.

A first league goal since December 2005 for skipper Nick Montgomery doubled United's lead just before the break and the easiest of tap-ins for Cresswell in the second period gave him his 10th of the season and the hosts the three points.

The win puts United firmly back in the play-off frame as they move to within a point of sixth-placed Cardiff and extends their unbeaten record at Bramall Lane to 11 games.

Blackpool lacked a cutting edge throughout, with Keith Southern's first-half shot their only real chance, and their own promotion aspirations seem to be fading away after back-to-back defeats.

Sheffield United's play-off designs have been recently undermined by wretched away form - they have lost their last seven on the road - but Kevin Blackwell's men are a different proposition on their own soil and took the lead within a minute.

After Alex Baptiste conceded a needless corner, Blackpool failed to clear a wicked delivery from Mark Yeates and Cresswell was on hand to poke home at the far post.

The hosts, buoyed by their early strike, continued on the front foot and could have had a second after 20 minutes, but Matthew Gilks made a flying save with his body after a loose ball had fallen to Stephen Quinn, who should have scored.

Blackpool came close to levelling just after the half hour when Mark Bunn's weak punch fell to Southern, but the midfielder could only send his drive from 16 yards wide.

But United reasserted their authority and made a vital second breakthrough two minutes before half-time.

Some good build-up play down the left saw Cresswell feed Camara and the Senegalese striker coolly rolled the ball back for Montgomery, who drilled the ball into the bottom corner from 20 yards.

United were determined not to let the lead slip through their grasp, as they had done in Saturday's draw with QPR, and they were reliant on debutant Paul Connolly to clear off the line after Jason Euell had poked the ball past the onrushing Bunn.

And United put the game to bed in the 66th minute when they went further ahead.

Quinn fed Darius Henderson down the left and the striker got to the byline before firing across goal where Cresswell was left with the simplest of tap-ins.

The result could have been even more clear-cut as the rampant Blades threatened to run riot in the closing stages in an attacking display that was a far cry from their dismal showing at rock-bottom Peterborough a week ago.

Henri Camara was denied by Gilks after a bursting run and Yeates curled just wide from 10 yards as Blackwell's men had to settle for three.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Topics:
#Peterborough United
#Darius Henderson
#Matthew Gilks
#Henri Camara
#Football
#Championship
#Mark Yeates
#Cardiff City
#Alex
#Keith Southern
#Stephen Quinn
#Paul Connolly
#Jason Euell
#Richard Cresswell
#Queens Park Rangers
#Sheffield United
#Nick Montgomery
#Mark Bunn
#Blackpool