Blades march to Wembley

United are on their way as they celebrate the second goal against Charlton by John Brayford, centre
United are on their way as they celebrate the second goal against Charlton by John Brayford, centre
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Sheffield United are on their way to Wembley.

Second-half goals from Ryan Flynn and John Brayford put Charlton Athletic to the sword in yesterday’s pulsating FA Cup quarter-final at Bramall Lane and ensured Nigel Clough’s side became the first team from the third tier of English football to reach the last four of the world’s most prestigious domestic knockout competition since Wycombe Wanderers 13 years ago. Clough, whose appointment in October has transformed United, lavished praise on his players after the final whistle.

And, speaking before they were paired with Hull City in the semi-final draw, the former England international vowed: “We will be going down there to try and win. We won’t be going there for a day out.But, whatever happens, nobody can take anything away from those lads out there.

“They have given absolutely everything and deserve everything they get. Charlton were tough opposition - we couldn’t take them lightly. But again, that was no fluke. I thought our lads were worthy of that result.”

The result, which is set to pump around £2m into the club coffers, means Clough’s side will enter Wednesday’s League fixture against Carlisle searching for their seventh consecutive clean sheet and 10th straight win in all competitions. United knocked out Aston Villa, Fulham and Nottingham Forest en route to match which drew a 30,048 crowd.

United blazed into a 65th minute lead when Flynn prodded home Jose Baxter’s cross from close range before Brayford doubled their advantage 120 seconds later.

“What makes me so proud of those boys is that nothing, throughout that time, has happened by accident,” he said. “Nothing has been a fluke and they’ve been worth every single win which has come their way.

“The supporters deserve it too because they’ve been nothing short of magnificent. People should not under-estimate what an advantage they give us and how much backing like that is worth.”