SHEFFIELD United’s youngsters want their football, not fashion sense, to do the talking.
They found their voices during last night’s FA Youth Cup tie with Blackpool but still required extra-time to reach the sixth round stage.
John Pemberton, who has declared coloured boots and flash haircuts off limits at the South Yorkshire club’s academy, watched as his team controlled this entertaining contest from start to finish.
However, despite impressing with their creativity, United showed they possess character too as substitute Connor Martin’s equaliser and a Jordan Slew brace overturned Liam Tomsett’s surprise opener for Gary Parkinson’s side.
None of the 11 players who took to the field against the visitors from Bloomfield Road had started Saturday’s league defeat by Nottingham Forest.
The ploy worked as United immediately wrestled the advantage with Elliott Whitehouse twice going close.
Technically proficient and comfortable on the ball, Pemberton’s youngsters continued to impress with Corey Gregory firing wide after another well-worked move.
Slew, though, created the best opportunity of the half when he sprang a well-drilled offside trap only to collide with opposition goalkeeper Chris Kettings.
Blackpool, who had earlier forced his counterpart George Long to parry away Adam Dodd’s free-kick, saw Ryan Gratton produce another decent attempt just before the interval.
United almost opened the scoring soon after the re-start when Gregory prodded home from close range but the assistant referee ruled it out.
It threatened to be one of the game’s defining moments when, in the 58th minute, Blackpool took a shock lead courtesy of Tomsett but Martin deservedly levelled a quarter-of-an-hour from time following a powerful run.
Slew pounced in both periods of extra time.