• Sat
  • Aug 30, 2014
  • Updated: 8:12am
SportSoccer

Sheffield United are first third-tier team to reach FA Cup semis in 13 years

Blades continue giant-killing run to eliminate Championship side Charlton, while Hull end Sunderland's road to Wembley

PUBLISHED : Monday, 10 March, 2014, 12:01am
UPDATED : Monday, 10 March, 2014, 12:01am
 

Sheffield United became the first third-tier team to reach the FA Cup semi-finals since 2001 by beating Charlton 2-0 in the first of three quarter-final matches on Sunday.

They were joined in the last four by Hull City, who overcame a missed penalty by Sone Aluko to trounce Sunderland 3-0 in their all-Premier League quarter-final at the KC Stadium.

Hull’s Curtis Davies, David Meyler and Matty Fryatt scored in a nine-minute spell - capitalising on two wretched mistakes by Sunderland midfielder Lee Cattermole - as Steve Bruce’s club advanced to the semi-finals for the first time since 1930.

At Bramall Lane, United continued their stunning exploits in the competition under the guidance of Nigel Clough, the son of late English coaching great Brian Clough.

Two goals in the space of two second-half minutes by Ryan Flynn and John Brayford earned a trip to Wembley Stadium.

Winning nine games on the spin, and to keep so many clean sheets, we deserve it
Nigel Clough

United has eliminated Aston Villa and Fulham in the run to the last four. They last played in the Premier League in 2007.

In other last-eight games, Arsenal progressed on Saturday with a 4-1 win over Everton at the Emirates.

“I’m just delighted for everyone we’re going to Wembley,” United manager Clough, who was part of the Nottingham Forest side that lost the 1991 FA Cup final to Tottenham Hotspur, told BT Sport.

“Winning nine games on the spin, and to keep so many clean sheets, we deserve it.”

The result was a personal triumph for the former England player, who was sacked by Derby County last September.

Flynn put four-times Cup winners United ahead in the 65th minute, when he sneaked in at the far post to nudge home from an awkward height a left-wing cross from United’s man-of-the-match Jose Baxter.

One minute, 42 seconds later the home side doubled their lead. Jamie Murphy’s surging run down the left set up Brayford, whose low 20-metre effort took a cruel deflection off defender Richard Wood and rolled into the net.

Charlton – who were aiming to reach the semi-finals for the first time since 1947, when they won the Cup – were left to rue a glaring miss by Callum Harriott when the score was still level.

Marcus Tudgay burst on to a quick free kick and hooked the ball back into the danger area, but with the United keeper out of position and half of the goal at his mercy, Harriott could only sidefoot wide on the stretch.

The semi-finals take place at Wembley on April 12 and 13.

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