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Sheffield United Become First League One Side in 13 Years to Reach FA Cup Semis

SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND - MARCH 09:  John Brayford of Sheffield United celebrates scoring their second goal during the FA Cup Quarter-Final match at Bramall Lane on March 9, 2014 in Sheffield, England.  (Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)
Tony Marshall/Getty Images
Alex DimondUK Lead WriterMarch 9, 2014

League One side Sheffield United are into the semi-finals of the FA Cup after they beat Charlton Athletic 2-0 at Bramall Lane on Sunday.

Two goals in as many second-half minutes proved enough for the lowest-ranked side left in the competition to reach the last four, joining Premier League side Arsenal and Hull City in the draw with one tie still to be played.

Ryan Flynn scored after 65 minutes to break the deadlock for the home side, ghosting in behind the defence to turn Jose Baxter’s pinpoint cross in at the far post.

Two minutes later, victory was effectively ensured when John Brayford—on loan from Cardiff—cracked home a low drive from the edge of the box, via the aid of a deflection.

That flurry of action was enough for the Blades, and they had chances to extend their advantage over the remaining 20 minutes, although Charlton will wonder what might have been after winger Callum Harriott managed to drag a gilt-edged chance inches wide of goal minutes before Sheffield United broke the deadlock.

It was the sort of moment on which cup ties often turn, however, and soon after Flynn’s strike set the packed Bramall Lane into raptures.

"I can’t believe the run we've been on," Flynn told BT Sport after the game finished. "Jose put a great ball in and all I needed to do was put a foot on it.

"This cup run has been unbelievable."

SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND - MARCH 09:  Ryan Flynn of Sheffield United scoring their first goal during the FA Cup Quarter-Final match at Bramall Lane on March 9, 2014 in Sheffield, England.  (Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)
Tony Marshall/Getty Images

United are the first team from the third tier of English football to reach the competition's semi-final since Wycombe Wanderers managed the feat 13 years ago, and more than 30,000 fans turned up to ensure the historic triumph was greeted by an equally impressive atmosphere.

"It’s great for the players, for the fans and for the club," defender Harry Maguire added. "Let’s see who we get now at Wembley."

The Blades could now face Arsenal, who beat Everton 4-1 on Saturday, or Hull City for a place in the final—after the Tigers breezed past Sunderland 3-0 on Sunday at the KC Stadium.

Sone Aluko missed a first-half penalty for the Tigers to give Sunderland a glimmer of hope, but second half strikes from Curtis Davies, David Meyler and Matty Fryatt proved enough for Steve Bruce's side.

The defeat ends Sunderland's hopes of reaching a second domestic cup final of the season, after losing in the Capital Cup One final at Wembley at the start of the month.

One further FA Cup quarter-final was scheduled to take place on Sunday, with Manchester City facing reigning competition holders (and the only Championship side remaining in the competition) Wigan Athletic.


All quotes taken from BT Sport's live post-match broadcast

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