Derby delight for Danny and Gray at the double - Remembering Sheffield United's 4-0 win at Leeds United, on this day in 2005
It wasn’t quite on the same level as Bobby Davison scoring twice on his debut at Hillsborough, but Danny Webber enjoyed a memorable maiden game in Sheffield United colours on this day in 2005 as the Blades thrashed Leeds 4-0 at Elland Road.
The striker had only recently signed for the Blades, on loan from Watford, and wasted no time endearing himself to the club’s fans, scoring the opener against United’s Yorkshire rivals after just 93 seconds.
Neil Warnock, then the Blades boss, described the moment as a goal fit for the Premiership and Webber starred throughout, after picking up the ball on the left flank and drifting past Simon Walton before finishing past Neil Sullivan in the Leeds goal.
He could have made it 2-0, shooting at Sullivan after Quinn’s cross caused havoc, and when the second goal did eventually arrive it came from the most unlikely of sources – Nick Montgomery, the boyhood Leeds fan who scored just 11 times in almost 400 appearances for United.
But his was a clinical finish at Elland Road, giving Sullivan no chance with a first-time effort from another Quinn cross.
As Leeds’ hopes of denying their opponents a fourth successive derby win over them evaporated, so did their patience. Marlon King, a future Blade, was lucky not to see red for shoving Jon Harley in the face after seeing his appeal for a penalty waved away by Peter Walton and 39th-minute sub Gregan’s first involvement was a lunge on Michael Tonge.
Leeds were managed by former Blades No.2 Kevin Blackwell and another future Blade in Rob Hulse came closest to getting his side back in the game, when he hit the underside of the crossbar.
But Andy Gray ensured it was a false dawn when scoring United’s third just after the restart, with a textbook volley after good work by Phil Jagielka.
In a rare home attack Paddy Kenny denied Seth Johnson with a point-blank save but Gray’s second, and United’s fourth, was as inevitable as it was deserved. Sullivan and Paul Butler collided - the latter having to be stretchered off after lengthy treatment after swallowing his tongue - and although his initial shot was saved, Gray showed admirable composure when stroking home at the second attempt.
“Danny’s strike was Premiership class and he kept it up from that moment on,” Warnock, who later signed Webber when he was in charge at Leeds, said afterwards.
“I told him when he came that the best players not only had talent, they worked hard as well - he certainly did that.
“I knew from the moment I met him that he had it in him. He really excites me.
“He’s got a gorgeous touch, pace and ability. You could see he brought the best out of the rest of the lads as well.”
The win left United eighth, just two points behind sixth-placed Derby, and that is where they finished the 2004/05 season, six points behind West Ham in sixth who went on to be promoted via the play-offs.
Leeds: Sullivan, Walton (Gregan 39), Butler (Carlisle 81), Kilgallon, Pugh, Lennon, Derry, Johnson, King (Thomas-Moore 53), Healy, Hulse. Not used: Spring, Einarsson.
United: Kenny, Kozluk, Morgan, Bromby, Harley, Quinn, Jagielka, Montgomery, Tonge (Geary 45), Webber, Gray. Not used: Barnes, Thirlwell, Liddell.