sheffield United went into tomorrow’s FA Cup third round draw after a dramatic finale with two late goals from Shaun Miller to put paid to former manager Micky Adams’ hopes.
The Port Vale manager and dyed-in-the-wool Blade endured a miserable five month stint in charge of his boyhood club before relinquishing the reins in May last year.
Adams, who has since repaired any perceived damage to his reputation by steering the visitors to second in League Two, made a low key entrance during the moments before kick-off.
His team, though, made their presence felt during the first-half of what Danny Wilson had predicted would be a “very tough” FA Cup second round tie.
United carried the greater threat - until Pope’s 21st of the campaign put them behind - but Vale were indefatigable and physical.
POPE made no mistake in the 36th minute when Maguire’s mistake gifted Vale the opener.
Williamson was involved, exchanging passes with the Vale centre-forward, who duly slid the ball into the bottom corner of Long’s net.
United, who brought on Williams for Collins at the start of the second, had been too ponderous when building attacks and, one promising five minute spell apart, prone to hitting the ‘first man’ when crossing from wide positions.
McAllister had impressed with his tenacity but, in the 66th minute, he was withdrawn in favour of Cofie as Wilson looked to load his attacking options. United could - make that should - have equalised with eight minutes left but Miller, after Blackman had ghosted beyond two markers, inexplicably headed into the turf. That was the cue for many of the 6,290 United supporters to head for the exits.Cresswell replaced Porter in the 87th minute and Burge was booked for dissent.But it was not until the 90th that United’s leveller came when MILLER redeemed himself by glancing home Flynn’s floated - and superb - cross.
Three and a half minutes later MILLER pounced again after Flynn’s shot had been parried and Cresswell had also dived in.