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21:40 18th November 2014

Blades 2-0 Crewe - report

Two goals from Ryan Flynn secured United's passage into the second round of this year's FA Cup.

On the night when Scotland faced England, the Scot netted in each half to eliminate Crewe Alexandra in this first round replay at Bramall Lane.

Teenage Academy graduate Ben Whiteman was handed a late debut as the Blades comfortable booked a second round date with Plymouth Arygle.

Boss Clough made three changes for the replay, United's team also saw one teenager start and four more on the bench. Doyle, Reed and Flynn all started, whilst on the bench was De Girolamo, McGahey and two more Academy products, 19-year-old Khan and 18-year-old Whiteman - both midfielders.

The line-up saw Basham joining McEveley in the heart of the defence, whilst Murphy was the focal point of the strikeforce, supported by Flynn and Campbell-Ryce. United applied the early pressure with some neat passing keeping Crewe on the back foot. The first chance came from McEveley carrying the ball out of defence and Murphy's sidefoot from Flynn's cross was on target but easy for Garratt.

Both goalkeepers then excelled themselves in the space of two minutes. Howard made a double save from Cooper and Saunders (son of Dean), the latter whilst the Blades number one was still on the deck, whilst moments later Garratt clawed away a Murphy shot which was heading for the top corner.

Crewe's net was spared, but only for another minute as the Blades opened the scoring with the resulting corner. After a short set-piece, Campbell-Ryce drilled the ball across the box and FLYNN forced home from close range, making sure at the second attempt.

The busy Murphy was also keeping Crewe on their toes, he had an effort saved by Garratt and blasted another, which looked goalbound, into the face of Atkinson. Doyle also tried his luck a couple of times from long-distance, as did Reed and Scougall.

Crewe, however, came mightily close to levelling on 38 minutes. Grant threaded a pass through for Inman, dissecting United's defence, but the subsequent shot hit the inside of Howard's right post and rolled across goal to safety.

The Blades also began the second half well and were again the more dominant force early on. With 52 minutes gone, the ball was in Crewe's net again but Basham was adjudged offside when he bundled home Flynn's low cross.

Basham's powerful 35-yarder was on target but parried away by Garratt and a neat move between the Scots saw Flynn and Murphy link up before Scougall's header was turned around a post by the visiting goalkeeper.

A rare Crewe attack saw Saunders shoot at Howard before United added a second on 77 minutes. Substitute Baxter, on for Campbell-Ryce, laid off for Murphy to thread a ball inside Guthrie for FLYNN to run onto and slide into the bottom corner.

Moments later Flynn played in Scougall, whose shot was saved by Garratt, whilst De Girolamo was given the last ten minutes to impress, taking over from Murphy. Late on Academy product Whiteman was given a debut, taking over from Scougall,

Turton fired wide for Crewe as injury-time approached, whilst three added minutes brought little danger as United secured a second round date with League Two's Plymouth Argyle.

Blades: Howard, Alcock, Harris, Basham, Flynn, Doyle, Murphy (De Girolamo 80), Scougall (Whiteman 88), McEveley, Campbell-Ryce (Baxter 69), Reed.
Unused: McGahey, Turner, Kennedy, Khan.

Crewe: Garratt, Guthrie, Davis, Dugdale (Leigh 83), Turton, Atkinson (Jones 71), Inman, Cooper (Waters 65), Saunders, Ness, Grant.
Unused: Shearer, Ray, Baillie, Tate.