The FA Cup
CambridgeCambridge United0Sheff UtdSheffield United2

Cambridge United 0-2 Sheffield United

By Chris OsborneBBC Sport at the Abbey Stadium
Jamie Murphy celebrates his goal for Sheffield United against Cambridge

League One side Sheffield United in the FA Cup after overcoming Conference Premier leaders Cambridge in round two.

Jose Baxter's sweetly-hit half-volley put the Blades in front in the early stages at the Abbey Stadium.

But the U's missed a series of chances to equalise, most notably when Adam Cunnington was clean through.

Cambridge's dominance faded and Jamie Murphy scored after the interval to ease any Sheffield United nerves.

The U's noticeably tired in the latter stages but showed enough quality to suggest they can end their nine-year exile from the Football League when they resume their Conference campaign.

Cambridge boss Richard Money, who coached his Blades counterpart Nigel Clough during his playing days at Nottingham Forest and Manchester City, has constructed a side that has set the pace in the Conference Premier.

Clough, on the other hand, adopted a team in October that was struggling in League One and has slowly started to bring solidity to a club that was in the Premier League seven years ago.

The visitors, in need of confidence after one win in their last four games, lacked the conviction needed to build on the lead they took early on when Baxter, who moments earlier saw his header saved, applied a clean connection to Flynn's right-wing cross.

Instead it was the U's, who had won all 11 of their home games this term, who took the initiative. Their patient, attractive play forced saves from goalkeeper George Long through Cunnington, Luke Berry and Harrison Dunk.

Winger Dunk caused Sheffield United all sorts of problems by running at the defence, and he went close again after the break by following up a jinking run into the box with a low shot that Long held.

The Blades rode their luck with four Cambridge penalty appeals for handball waved away, and then punished the home side for failing to capitalise on their dominance by snatching a second.

Murphy, a first-half substitute for the injured Stephen McGinn, evaded a challenge on the edge of the area and eased the ball past the outstretched hand of Chris Maxwell.

There were few scares for Clough's men from that point onwards as the former Derby boss recorded his fourth win since taking charge at Bramall Lane and steered the Blades into the third round.

VIEWS FROM THE DRESSING ROOM

Cambridge United manager Richard Money told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire:

"I thought we restricted them to very few chances and in the first half we were more than worthy of coming in level.

"We passed it really well and almost broke them down. Half-time gave them a chance to regroup and they sat a lot deeper in the second half.

"The second goal came at a good time for them and in the end it was relatively comfortable for them.

"I've been told at least one of the penalty shouts should have been given. It's unusual you get four or five on the same day and not one is given."

Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough told BBC Radio Sheffield:

"We had to work hard for it. The first goal was a bit of quality from Jose.

"The most disappointing part of the whole game was the 20 minutes or so after that. We let them back into the game, but apart from that I thought we played well."

Line-ups

Cambridge

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Maxwell
  • 14Tait
  • 3Taylor
  • 8Champion
  • 4Coulson
  • 6Miller
  • 17Hughes
  • 18Berry
  • 21AppiahBooked at 74mins
  • 9CunningtonSubstituted forRobertsat 60'minutes
  • 11DunkSubstituted forArnoldat 82'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Roberts
  • 5Bonner
  • 16Austin
  • 19Sam-Yorke
  • 22Spillane
  • 24Arnold
  • 32Brown

Sheff Utd

Formation 3-5-1-1

  • 25Long
  • 7Flynn
  • 22Lappin
  • 6HillBooked at 76mins
  • 15Collins
  • 5Maguire
  • 8Doyle
  • 14McGinnSubstituted forMurphyat 22'minutes
  • 9PorterSubstituted forTaylorat 86'minutes
  • 11Baxter
  • 17Coady

Substitutes

  • 1Howard
  • 10Taylor
  • 12Miller
  • 16Cuvelier
  • 19Brandy
  • 23Murphy
  • 32Kennedy
Referee:
Oliver Langford
Attendance:
4,593

Match Stats

Home TeamCambridgeAway TeamSheff Utd
Possession
Home50%
Away50%
Shots
Home13
Away12
Shots on Target
Home3
Away5
Corners
Home5
Away3
Fouls
Home9
Away8

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Cambridge United 0, Sheffield United 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Cambridge United 0, Sheffield United 2.

  3. Post update

    Offside, Cambridge United. Richard Tait tries a through ball, but Kwesi Appiah is caught offside.

  4. Post update

    Attempt missed. Luke Berry (Cambridge United) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Nathan Arnold with a cross.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Richard Tait (Cambridge United).

  6. Post update

    Jamie Murphy (Sheffield United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  7. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jose Baxter (Sheffield United) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Jamie Murphy.

  8. Substitution

    Substitution, Sheffield United. Lyle Taylor replaces Chris Porter.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Kwesi Appiah (Cambridge United).

  10. Post update

    George Long (Sheffield United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Post update

    Offside, Sheffield United. Harry Maguire tries a through ball, but Chris Porter is caught offside.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Cambridge United. Nathan Arnold replaces Harrison Dunk.

  13. Post update

    Attempt saved. Michael Doyle (Sheffield United) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Jose Baxter.

  14. Post update

    Corner, Cambridge United. Conceded by Neill Collins.

  15. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jose Baxter (Sheffield United) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

  16. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Ryan Flynn (Sheffield United) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Chris Porter.

  17. Booking

    Matthew Hill (Sheffield United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Matthew Hill (Sheffield United).

  19. Post update

    Harrison Dunk (Cambridge United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  20. Booking

    Kwesi Appiah (Cambridge United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.