SHEFFIELD United, inspired by striker Ched Evans, swept through to the next round of the FA Cup after victory over Oxford.
Oxdies manager and former Sheffield United player Chris Wilder received a warm reception from a sparse home crowd after emerging from the tunnel before kick-off.
In the 12th minute, EVANS gave the United followers something to shout about when he drilled home a powerful low strike after Cresswell’s attempted over-head kick had seen the ball bounce off Kinniburgh.
With United entering this first round tie in decidedly indifferent form, their manager Danny Wilson opted to name a full-strength side.
With Matt Phillips and Billy Clarke now back at Blackpool following successful loan spells in South Yorkshire, Williamson returned in midfield following injury while Quinn and Montgomery also started after missing Tuesday’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy defeat by Bradford City.
Williamson forced his way beyond his marker moments later but Clarke saved well with his legs.
He was powerless to prevent EVANS from scoring his second of the afternoon with a low 19th minute free-kick after Whing had been penalised for pushing Cresswell.
Clarke - clawing a goal bound shot out of the air - denied him a 23rd minute hat-trick while the Oxford goalkeeper summoned another fine block to smother Quinn’s close-range attempt as Wilder’s men wobbled on the ropes.
Duberry’s absence at the heart of Oxford’s back four looked like proving costly as United continued to probe.
Cresswell was winded after running fully 25 yards to charge down Clarke’s 35th minute clearance but the former Northwich man’s blushes were spared when the ball bobbled out for the throw.
United 2 Oxford 0
Flynn prodded just wide at the near post following some good work by United.But Oxford, so tentative before the break, were a much more tenacious proposition. As the contest became stretched, Williamson was guilty of over-elaborating inside the penalty area when he attempted to weave a course through to Clarke’s goal and Cresswell saw a shot ricochet behind for a 70th minute corner off Worley.
Williamson’s delivery was decent but the previously assured Clarke was guilty of gifting United their third and decisive goal in the 71st.
He failed to collect under pressure from Cresswell as they jostled for an aerial cross and FLYNN duly smashed the ball into the roof of Oxford’s net.
Game, set and match.
Cresswell, producing another tireless shift, ploughed forward in search of the goal his efforts deserved but was shepherded wide by an Oxford defence which, Clarke’s aberration apart, had grown more assured.
For a full report, plus match pix, see the Green’Un.