Charlton manager Chris Powell said his side had sneaked “under the radar” after scuppering the chance of a Steel City FA Cup quarter-final by winning 2-1 at Sheffield Wednesday.
Simon Church headed Charlton’s second-half winner in a rearranged fifth-round tie at Hillsborough after Wednesday striker Leon Best had cancelled out Callum Harriott’s first-half opener for the Londoners.
Charlton, in the bottom three of the Sky Bet Championship, set up a last-eight clash with Sheffield United over the weekend of March 8/9 two days after giving their survival hopes a boost by beating QPR.
“Everyone was talking about the potential Sheffield derby and we sort of went under the radar,” said a delighted Powell, who celebrated in front of Charlton’s fans after the final whistle by swinging on the crossbar.
“I know I shouldn’t have done that,” smiled the former Addicks defender.
“It’s been a tremendous 72 hours for us.
“It was a big, big result against QPR and then to travel up here with some tired bodies.”
Charlton deserved their win, but rode their luck. Wednesday substitute Atdhe Nuhiu’s second-half header came back off the inside of the post and momentarily appeared to cross the goal-line before being caught by Charlton goalkeeper Ben Hamer, who also pulled off a fine save to deny Chris Maguire’s late goal-bound shot.
“We got the second goal and it was heroic defending time by all the players, especially the keeper who made two or three outstanding saves,” Powell added. “And now we find ourselves in the quarter-finals.
“We’ve got a real chance now of getting to the semi-finals, but it will be very tough against Sheffield United, who’ve had some really good results in the cup.
“It’s going to be another tough game, if not harder because people will be looking at us the favourites, that’s going to be tough game.
“Nigel (Clough) and his team will be thinking the same thing. They want to get to Wembley. A Football League side will be in the last four and we’ll be trying our hardest to make it us.”