The Football League Paper - - PICTURE SPECIAL - By Tom Black­ett

IT WAS the first Steel City derby for five years last Sun­day – and it was worth the wait for Sh­effield United fans.

Chris Wilder’s Blades, buoy­ant after storm­ing to the League One ti­tle last term, ripped Sh­effield Wed­nes­day to shreds, tri­umph­ing 4-2 at a shell­shocked Hills­bor­ough.

Mid­fielder John Fleck (Pic 1) cracked home a free-kick in the third minute to set the tone and ex-Owl Leon Clarke dou­bled the lead with just 15 min­utes played to put United in dream­land.

To their credit, Wed­nes­day put their night­mare start be­hind them. The in-form Gary Hooper clin­i­cally pulled one back on the stroke of half-time be­fore sub Lu­cas Joao ri­fled the ball high into the net on 65 min­utes (Pic 2) to get Hills­bor­ough bounc­ing.

Yet just when it looked as if all the mo­men­tum was with Car­los Car­val­hal’s men, back came United. Their own su­per-sub Mark Duffy scored a su­perb solo goal just two min­utes later to put the Blades ahead again.

Then it was the turn of Clarke (Pic 3) to force his way through and clev­erly dink the ball past Keiren West­wood for the fourth with 13 min­utes left.

There was no way back for Wed­nes­day this time. The Blades lustily cel­e­brated a mag­nif­i­cent win in their arch-ri­vals’ back yard.

Bring on the re­turn at Bra­mall Lane in Jan­uary…

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

SU­PER-SUB: Mark Duffy cel­e­brates his stun­ning strike which put the Blades 3-2 up

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