SHEFFIELD United graduated in style from Oxford today with goals from McMahon, again, Kitson and Blackwell to take their place in Sunday’s FA Cup draw.
See The Star on Monday for full report, reaction - including response to FA Cup draw - and more.
United had to make an early change when Hill, in the 11th minute, was left in a heap after surging forward and contesting a cross with Clarke and Wright.
That brave attempt signalled the end of his involvement with Williams entering the fray in the 15th minute.
Hill trudged down the tunnel with both physios in attendance dabbing at his cheek and nose.
The 27th meeting between United and Oxford had started in frenetic fashion with Clarke dashing off his line to hack clear from Murphy soon after McMahon and Richards had tangled.
Then, midway through the half, Murphy announced his arrival with a driving run forward and then across the edge of the box which saw him brought down by Wright.
McMAHON, United’s free-kick specialist, did the rest by scooping the ball over the wall and into the back of the net with Clarke rooted to the spot.
Higginbotham used his experience to engineer a collision with Richards which forced Boyeson to stop play following another dangerous Oxford move down the wing.
Oxford’s media team reported that Hill left the ground at half-time in an ambulance after being diagnosed with concussion and - apparently - a problem with his jaw.
Doyle was cautioned in the 61st minute after tangling with Leven in the centre circle. Five minutes later, Rigg replaced O’Brien for Oxford.
And then, moments after that, KITSON doubled United’s advantage from close range.
Flynn swept in a free-kick following a foul, Blackman helped the ball on and the vastly experienced marksman prodded home. Oxford, though, were not about to give up without a fight and saw both Rigg and Craddock go close.
Cresswell replaced the excellent Murphy. But not before BLACKMAN had made it three in the 87th minute with a grandstand shot.