Sheffield United won’t be going to Wembley - not in the JP Trophy, at least.
Tonight, in front of largely empty stands at Bramall Lane, they drew 1-1 with League Two Bradford City in normal time of the JPT Northern quarter final.
They then lost 5-6 on penalties, a hugely entertaining but ultimately frustrating sequence which saw no fewer than 16 players take a spot kick.
Earlier, there had been some decent chances at both ends with Steve Simonsen saving a point blank Craig Fagan header at the Kop end, following a cross from former Matlock player (and Sheffield Wednesday fan) Ross Hannah.
But Matt Phillips scored a cracking opener on 26 minutes for United.
He moved in from the right and blasted in a shot from distance that just bet the goalie’s right hand and ricocheted in off the bottom of the post.
But an equally good goal squared the match.
Michael Flynn easily outmuscled Chad Evans in United’s half and unleashed a low shot across Simonsen and into the net, on 39 minutes.
It had been an excellent end to end first half cup tie in a competition which doesn’t always bring out the best in teams.
Phillips was unfortunate with another effort on 67 minutes but that have been harsh at that time for the visitors who were seeing more than their share of the ball.
And City’s Irish midfielder Jamie Devitt was holding his head in his hands after firing over with a left footer on 85 minutes.
Billy Clarke was saved brilliantly on the line with the last kick of the game by City goalie Jon McLaughlin.
Then it was down to penalties - at the City supporters end of the ground.
It went like this: Porter (Utd) saved. Flynn (City) saved. Collins (Utd) scored, 1-0. Fagan (City) scored, 1-1. Phillips (Utd) scored 2-1. Jones (City) scored 2-2.
Lowton (Utd) scored, 3-2. Devitt (City) scored 3-3. Doyle (Utd) 4-3. Seip ( scored) 4-4. Maguire (Utd) saved. O’Brien, (city) missed. McDonald, (Utd) scored 5-4.
ramsden (City) scored, 5-5. Tonne, (Utd) saved. Mitchell, scored 5-6.
Sheffield Utd: Simonsen, Collins, Maguire, Williams, Parrino, Doyle, Clarke, McDonald, M Phillips, Evans, Porter.
Substitutes: Long, Lowton, Flynn, Harriott, Tonne.
Bradford: McLaughlin, Ramsden, O’Brien, Oliver, Seip, Flynn, Jones, Compton, Mitchell, Hannah, Fagan.
Substitutes: Duke, Williams, Devitt, Hanson, Wells.
Don’t miss a fuller analysis for our expert James Shield in Wednesday’s Star.