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Match Reports

Blades v Charlton

9 March 2014

Blades 2-0 Charlton - report

Wembley anyone?

The Blades are through to the semi-finals of the FA Cup after yet another giant-killing effort.

Two goals in less than two minutes - from Ryan Flynn and John Brayford - secured the victory over Charlton Athletic.

More than 30,000 were inside the Lane 11 years to the day that the Blades last reached the last four of the world's most famous club cup competition.

Boss Clough made no fewer than seven changes, despite the league victory in midweek. Brayford, Harris, Maguire, Flynn, Baxter, Scougall and Murphy all returned to the starting line-up. New loan signing Freeman was amongst the substitutes.

Forced to kick towards the Kop in the first half, the sun was out and Unitedites were in good voice. On the pitch it was tentative from both sides early on with so much at stake. After Flynn helped to force a corner, Collins headed over Baxter's delivery, whilst Flynn, who picked up the game's first booking, and Murphy looked threats.

From 15 minutes, Charlton, mainly with Jackson's set-pieces, began get themselves in the fixture. Church scuffed a shot and Harriott's effort was deflected but straight at Howard.

Howard had to be alert to push away a shot from Tudgay and the goalkeeper recovered to collect the subsequent cross from Church. As half-time approached United got back on top. Jackson was booked for a crude foul on Flynn and on 40 minutes, after Brayford's shot ricocheted around the box, Coady dispatched the ball into the top of the net but he was adjudged offside.

The best opportunity of the half fell to the home side in injury-time. Maguire steamed out of defence before laying off to Murphy and he set Harris to curl an effort just over the crossbar from the edge of the penalty area.

There were no changes to the personnel at the start of the second period and the first effort was a long-ranger from Scougall, which flew over crossbar. On 52 minutes, Maguire turned and shot into the sidenetting following a corner and Coady just failed to get on the end of a threaded Baxter pass.

On 60 minutes, Charlton went too close for comfort. Jackson lifted a free-kick over the defence and Tudgay's pull-back gave Harriott a golden opportunity, almost an open goal, but he slid the ball wide, much to the amusement of the Kop.

Charlton made a change but they were still adapting when the Blades grabbed the lead. A diagonal ball from Baxter sailed over Wood's head and FLYNN sneaked in ahead of his marker to delicately poke home.

And, just a minute and 44 seconds later, it was 2-0. This time a run from Murphy caused problems and he laid off for BRAYFORD, whose shot took a telling deflection to beat Charlton goalkeeper Hamer.

Three sides of Bramall Lane were in wonderland and singing about Wembley.

A third almost followed when Brayford pulled back for Flynn, but his shot was blocked and then Murphy turned Morrison inside out before also seeing his shot blocked. As the Blades continued the offensive, Flynn fired over.

On 78 minutes, a calamity moment in the Charlton defence saw Scougall's effort strike a post and Coady convert the rebound - unfortunately, he was adjudged offside for a second time.

Baxter was booked for a foul before Davies replaced him and Porter was introduced, replacing Scougall, who received a standing ovation. Nigel Clough's final change saw McGinn come on for Flynn who also was given a tremendous send off from the Bramall Lane faithful. Deep in stoppage time Howard produced a wonderful reflex save to deny Reza. Wembley now awaits the Blades arrival next month.

Blades: Howard, Harris, Brayford, Maguire, Flynn (McGinn 90) Doyle, Baxter (Davies 80), Collins, Coady, Scougall (Porter 86), Murphy.
Unused: Hill, Miller, Long, Freeman.

Charlton: Hamer, Jackson, Morrison, Church (Ajdarevic 65), Harriott, Wood, Wiggins, Tudgay, Wilson (Reza 70), Cousins, Poyet (Green 70).
Unused: Hughes, Dervite, Thuram-Ulien, Nego.

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