Sheffield United: Loan star Ben seeks a change of Wembley luck

Ben Davies celebrates his penalty against Rotherham
Ben Davies celebrates his penalty against Rotherham
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Ben Davies will be hoping to make it third time lucky this weekend, when Sheffield United face Hull in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.

Davies, the on-loan Derby County man, has experienced heartbreak at the home of English football twice before, at former club Shrewsbury.

The 32-year-old helped Shrewsbury to the 2007 play-off final at Wembley, but ruptured his achilles in the final seconds of the semi-final against Preston North End and missed their final defeat.

After six months out, he returned and helped the Shrews reach the 2009 play-off final - where they lost 1-0 to Gillingham, in the dying moments of normal time.

“It’s not a nice place to lose,” Davies, who scored a late penalty on Tuesday as Nigel Clough’s side beat promotion-chasing rivals Rotherham United, said.

“Everyone grows up dreaming of playing there, but luckily a few lads here have experienced playing at Wembley before so they can go and concentrate on beating Hull City.

“When you first drive up Wembley Way, and see the stadium for the first time, then you can be a little bit gobsmacked.

“But if you think too much about it, you’ll find yourself emotionally shattered, before the game’s even kicked off.

“We’ve got to stay relaxed, because we’re more than capable of beating Hull.”

At 32, Davies was the elder statesman of a much-changed United side against Rotherham, which boasted an average age of just over 22. Amongst those to impress was 18-year-old academy graduate Connor Dimaio, who shone in the absence of captain Michael Doyle.

“One thing the young lads here can be sure of, is that they will get a chance under the gaffer,” Davies, who worked with Clough at Derby, added.

“Connor was late to the ground and had to run the last bit of the journey; he had a bit of a sweat on, and the gaffer had to calm him down!

“He just told him to get his tackles in, but he was better than that and started spraying balls around.

“If they can travel with us on Sunday, that’ll give them even more experience but for us, it’s just about ensuring we don’t pick up any late injuries.

“Come 4.07pm on Sunday, we want to be bang at it and ready to go.”