Richard Cresswell celebrates after scoring for Sheffield United
Swansea City's play-off hopes were left hanging in the balance after Richard Cresswell's double strike condemned them to defeat at Bramall Lane.
The former Preston striker broke the deadlock on the hour hooking left-footed into the top right-hand corner from Mark Yeates' lay-off.
He added his 14th goal of the season late on after good work inside the box before firing under Dorus de Vries.
It sees Swansea slip out of the top six for the first time since December.
In-form Blackpool now climb into the final play-off place going into the crucial final game of the season next Sunday, leaving the Swans' destiny out of their own hands.
Paulo Sousa's side needed to beat United to stay sixth, but now have to beat Doncaster at home and hope Blackpool slip up against Bristol City.
Bramall Lane is not a happy hunting ground for the Welsh side - their last league win came in 1939, and last season they saw their play-off hopes ended there in the penultimate fixture.
United had nothing to play for though after seeing their own play-off dreams officially ended last weekend before kicking a ball in the Steel City derby.
Kevin Blackwell handed first starts of the season to goalkeeper Paddy Kenny, who completed his nine-month ban after failing a drugs test, while defender Gary Naysmith returned from a year out with a cruciate knee ligament injury.
Swansea made two changes from the win over Barnsley with former United loanee Nathan Dyer coming in for fellow ex-Blades winger David Cotterill, while defender Angel Rangel returned from a groin injury.
The Welsh side proved in their last two wins that they posed more of a threat by playing in a more direct style and they went for the same again.
Shefki Kuqi took down a 14th-minute long ball into the box and neatly back-heeled into the path of Pratley, whose first-time shot was saved by Kenny, who was to prove to be a thorn in the Swans' side.
And soon after, Dyer picked out Cedric van der Gun who sent an angled shot wide.
Dyer was proving a handful down the right and he was involved again sending a pass straight across the edge of the penalty area for Mark Gower shot first time straight at Kenny.
United rarely posed a real goal threat with Henri Camara seeing an effort blocked on the edge of the Swansea penalty area by Ashley Williams' desperate lunge.
The home side then lost Stephen Quinn who has been suffering with a toe injury and the influential Yeates was brought on in his place.
Then, three minutes before the break, the main talking point came when the Swans felt they should have had a penalty after Pratley was brought down right on the edge of the box by Nick Montgomery.
Referee Scott Mathieson took his time to decide it was millimetres outside and video replays showed the foul did appear to start fractionally outside.
Fede Bessone curled in the resulting free kick from the right goal-bound but the excellent Kenny got a finger-tip to it to turn it around the post.
The Blades could have snatched the lead on the stroke of half time though when Montgomery and Dyer clashed for a loose ball on the edge of the visitors' box which looped towards goal before dipping just wide.
Dorus de Vries and Fede Bessone look down after conceding the first goal
And United came out attacking after the restart but it was Kenny who had to pull of the first save from another right-sided free kick by Bessone.
Dominant Swansea needed a goal and they could sense one coming while the home crowd appeared more interested in the fortunes of struggling rivals Sheffield Wednesday.
Pratley had two chances in quick succession, first taking the ball down on his chest and volleying straight at Kenny from 25 yards, and then seeing a shot deflected away.
But the Swans were dealt a hammer blow on the hour after when Cresswell put the Blades ahead with his 13th goal of the season following a mistake by Williams.
Yeates fed Cressswell from the left and he was able to take it on his chest and hook the ball left-footed into the top right-hand corner.
Sousa immediately threw on Cotterill, who as a Blades player ended the Swans' play-off hopes last season from the penalty spot.
But the visitors' best chance of an equaliser fell to Gower who was set free into the box by Pratley, but the former Southend midfielder could only to drag his shot across the face of goal and agonisingly wide.
Sousa made his final throw of the dice by bringing on Andrea Orlandi and Lee Trundle for Van der Gun and Pratley respectively with 15 minutes to go as the Swans pushed two up front.
But they were caught short at the back and first Blades substitute Ched Evans volleyed Yeates' cheeky flick which de Vries did well to push it away.
Then Cresswell wrapped up the win in the final minute to bury any hopes of a fight back.
Blades boss Kevin Blackwell:
"Paddy Kenny looked very assured and his handling was crisp and clean.
"You could say "what could have been" when you have seen what he's done today.
There was a solidity about the back five.
"I felt that if he made an error the fans would accept it, but he looked as if he hadn't been away.
"It was a worldwide ban, he couldn't train anywhere. We helped him hire a personal trainer and a goalkeeping coach and he has been training in a field somewhere.
"He has put a sorry saga behind him and will never have to go through that again."
Swansea boss Paulo Sousa:
Sousa tells Swansea to battle on
"Things can change and turn and we have to believe and we have to do our job properly.
"We are depending on others, but we need to have pride in ourselves and keep our heads high because the way we have played this season is good.
"What we expect is my players to keep training with the same enthusiasm and to perform like we did today because it is easy to win games like that."
Live text and stats
Saturday, 24 April 2010
De Vries (og) 90
03 Naysmith (Seip 69)
04 Montgomery yellow card
28 Quinn (Yeates 33)
17 Cresswell yellow card
37 Camara (Evans 64)
01 De Vries
16 Monk yellow card
08 Pratley (Orlandi 75)
11 Van der Gun (Trundle 75)
12 Dyer (Cotterill 64)
Ref: MathiesonAtt: 25,966
Attempts on target
Attempts off target
90:00+5:09 The final whistle goes and the game is over.
90:00+4:55 Outswinging corner taken by David Cotterill from the right by-line.
90:00+2:26 A cross is delivered by Ched Evans.
90:00+1:14 Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by David Cotterill.
90:00+0:15 Free kick awarded for a foul by Chris Morgan on Lee Trundle. David Cotterill fires a strike on goal direct from the free kick,
save made by Patrick Kenny.
Correction - 89:02 Richard Cresswell provided the assist for the goal.
Correction - 89:02 GOAL - Dorus De Vries:Sheff Utd 2 - 0 Swansea Dorus De Vries puts the ball into his own net from 6 yards. Sheff Utd 2-0 Swansea.
89:02 Assist on the goal came from Glen Little.
89:02 GOAL - Richard Cresswell:Sheff Utd 2 - 0 Swansea Richard Cresswell gets on the score sheet with a goal from inside the area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Sheff Utd
88:54 The ball is crossed by Glen Little.
88:40 The ball is crossed by Mark Gower, Chris Morgan gets a block in.
88:25 Angel Rangel crosses the ball, Marcel Seip manages to make a clearance.
87:41 A cross is delivered by Glen Little, save by Dorus De Vries.
87:15 Shot from just outside the box by Mark Yeates goes over the bar.
86:57 Corner taken by Glen Little, clearance by Garry Monk.
86:41 Ched Evans takes a shot. Save made by Dorus De Vries.
85:28 Direct free kick taken by Glen Little.
85:28 Booking Booking for Garry Monk for unsporting behaviour.
85:15 Garry Monk challenges Mark Yeates unfairly and gives away a free kick.
84:18 Angel Rangel gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Mark Yeates. Direct free kick taken by Nyron Nosworthy.
82:15 Dorus De Vries takes the free kick.
82:15 Booking Nick Montgomery goes into the referee's book.
82:06 Nick Montgomery gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Angel Rangel.
81:20 Centre by James Harper, save made by Dorus De Vries.
80:57 Corner taken short by Glen Little.
80:50 The ball is sent over by Mark Yeates.
78:49 David Cotterill takes the inswinging corner, clearance by Kyle Bartley.
77:53 The ball is swung over by Federico Bessone, Shefki Kuqi takes a shot. Chris Morgan gets a block in.
75:50 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Andrea Orlandi by Nick Montgomery. Federico Bessone takes the direct free kick.
74:23 Substitution Cedric Van der Gun leaves the field to be replaced by Lee Trundle.
74:23 Substitution Darren Pratley leaves the field to be replaced by Andrea Orlandi.
71:56 Inswinging corner taken by Mark Gower, clearance made by Nyron Nosworthy.
71:24 Corner taken by Federico Bessone, clearance by Richard Cresswell.
68:44 Substitution Marcel Seip is brought on as a substitute for Gary Naysmith.
67:46 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by David Cotterill, Effort on goal by Shefki Kuqi from deep inside the penalty area misses
to the right of the target.
67:12 Unfair challenge on Darren Pratley by Gary Naysmith results in a free kick. Federico Bessone crosses the ball from the free
kick left-footed from right wing, Chris Morgan gets a block in.
66:15 Shot by Mark Gower from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the goal.
65:51 The ball is sent over by Ched Evans, Angel Rangel manages to make a clearance.
65:06 Centre by Mark Gower, Chris Morgan manages to make a clearance.
63:34 Substitution (Swansea) makes a substitution, with David Cotterill coming on for Nathan Dyer.
63:34 Substitution Ched Evans comes on in place of Henri Camara.
61:01 Assist by Mark Yeates.
61:01 GOAL - Richard Cresswell:Sheff Utd 1 - 0 Swansea A goal is scored by Richard Cresswell from inside the penalty box to the top right corner of the goal. Sheff Utd 1-0 Swansea.
58:08 Effort on goal by Mark Gower from long range goes harmlessly over the target.
58:02 Nathan Dyer delivers the ball, Gary Naysmith manages to make a clearance.
57:08 Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Mark Gower, clearance made by Kyle Bartley.
Correction - 56:58 Darren Pratley takes a shot. Blocked by Chris Morgan.
56:58 Darren Pratley takes a shot. Kyle Bartley gets a block in.
55:41 Foul by Nick Montgomery on Mark Gower, free kick awarded. Ashley Williams restarts play with the free kick.
54:50 Effort on goal by Darren Pratley from 30 yards. Save by Patrick Kenny.
53:39 Angel Rangel produces a cross, Darren Pratley takes a shot. Save by Patrick Kenny.
Correction - 52:21 Free kick awarded for a foul by Glen Little on Federico Bessone. Dorus De Vries takes the free kick.
52:21 Unfair challenge on Federico Bessone by Glen Little results in a free kick. Dorus De Vries takes the direct free kick.
51:30 Foul by Mark Yeates on Mark Gower, free kick awarded. Free kick crossed left-footed by Federico Bessone from right channel,
save by Patrick Kenny.
50:53 Inswinging corner taken by Federico Bessone, Glen Little manages to make a clearance.
49:45 Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Mark Gower, save by Patrick Kenny.
49:01 Unfair challenge on Nathan Dyer by Mark Yeates results in a free kick. The free kick is swung in left-footed by Federico Bessone,
save made by Patrick Kenny.
48:40 Angel Rangel takes a shot. Chris Morgan gets a block in.
46:43 Mark Yeates delivers the ball.
Correction - 46:31 Mark Yeates takes a shot. Angel Rangel gets a block in.
46:31 Mark Yeates takes a shot. Blocked by Angel Rangel.
45:52 Foul by Nick Montgomery on Mark Gower, free kick awarded. Ashley Williams takes the direct free kick.
45:27 Mark Yeates sends in a cross, save made by Dorus De Vries.
45:01 The referee starts the second half.
45:00+2:18 It is the end of the first-half.
45:00+1:41 The ball is swung over by Glen Little.
45:00+0:20 Garry Monk restarts play with the free kick.
45:00+0:20 Booking Richard Cresswell receives a yellow card.
45:00+0:09 Richard Cresswell challenges Leon Britton unfairly and gives away a free kick.
44:25 Nyron Nosworthy crosses the ball, Nick Montgomery has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the left of
42:30 Glen Little gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Cedric Van der Gun. Direct free kick taken by Cedric Van der
41:37 Corner taken by Mark Gower, save made by Patrick Kenny.
39:44 Free kick awarded for a foul by Chris Morgan on Darren Pratley. Shot on goal comes in from Federico Bessone from the free
kick, save by Patrick Kenny.
38:20 Foul by Nyron Nosworthy on Mark Gower, free kick awarded. Mark Gower crosses the ball in from the free kick, Richard Cresswell
manages to make a clearance.
35:29 James Harper produces a cross, save made by Dorus De Vries.
35:05 Federico Bessone delivers the ball, save by Patrick Kenny.
34:30 Foul by Gary Naysmith on Nathan Dyer, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Angel Rangel.
32:28 Foul by Leon Britton on Nick Montgomery, free kick awarded. Glen Little restarts play with the free kick.
32:28 Substitution (Sheff Utd) makes a substitution, with Mark Yeates coming on for Stephen Quinn.
30:43 The ball is crossed by Cedric Van der Gun, clearance by Chris Morgan.
28:21 Centre by Nathan Dyer, Mark Gower takes a shot. Patrick Kenny makes a save.
27:16 Free kick awarded for a foul by Nick Montgomery on Leon Britton. Garry Monk restarts play with the free kick.
25:23 The ball is delivered by Mark Gower.
23:47 Richard Cresswell delivers the ball.
23:31 Darren Pratley challenges Henri Camara unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Stephen Quinn.
22:08 The ball is sent over by Mark Gower, Nick Montgomery manages to make a clearance.
21:48 Cedric Van der Gun takes a shot. Blocked by Kyle Bartley.
20:42 Cedric Van der Gun sends in a cross, save made by Patrick Kenny.
17:58 Mark Gower sends in a cross, Gary Naysmith makes a clearance.
15:29 Shot by Cedric Van der Gun from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the goal.
14:41 Unfair challenge on Angel Rangel by Stephen Quinn results in a free kick. Angel Rangel takes the free kick.
Correction - 13:27 Darren Pratley takes a shot. Patrick Kenny makes a save.
13:27 Darren Pratley takes a shot. Save by Patrick Kenny.
12:54 Shot on goal by Henri Camara from just inside the area clears the crossbar.
12:07 Mark Gower challenges Stephen Quinn unfairly and gives away a free kick. Gary Naysmith crosses the ball from the free kick
left-footed from left channel, Ashley Williams manages to make a clearance.
Correction - 10:30 Nathan Dyer takes a shot. Patrick Kenny makes a save.
10:30 Nathan Dyer takes a shot. Save by Patrick Kenny.
10:24 Darren Pratley delivers the ball.
8:18 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Glen Little from the right by-line, clearance made by Shefki Kuqi.
8:10 The ball is swung over by Nyron Nosworthy, Garry Monk makes a clearance.
7:34 Garry Monk crosses the ball, Nyron Nosworthy makes a clearance.
6:20 Unfair challenge on Nick Montgomery by Darren Pratley results in a free kick. Patrick Kenny restarts play with the free kick.
5:23 The ball is delivered by Mark Gower.
4:16 Glen Little takes the outswinging corner, clearance by Angel Rangel.
2:39 Unfair challenge on Richard Cresswell by Garry Monk results in a free kick. Stephen Quinn restarts play with the free kick.
1:00 Free kick awarded for a foul by Kyle Bartley on Garry Monk. Dorus De Vries restarts play with the free kick.
0:00 The referee gets the game underway.
Live text and data provided by The Press Association.
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