The FA Cup - Fourth Round
Sheff UtdSheffield United1PrestonPreston North End0

Sheffield United 1-0 Preston North End

Billy Sharp's penalty helped Sheffield United beat Preston to reach the fifth round of the FA Cup.

Both teams took a defensive approach in the first half with neither side able to test the opposing goalkeeper.

Blades winger Mark Duffy had the first shot on target after the break, but his volley was pushed over by Declan Rudd.

Daniel Johnson fired just wide for the visitors before Sharp sent Rudd the wrong way from the spot after being fouled by Preston defender Tom Clarke.

Preston finally tested Simon Moore in added time, but Jordan Hugill could only direct his header straight at the United keeper.

Victory for Chris Wilder's side took them through to the fifth round for the first time since the 2013-14 season, when they reached the semi-final stage.

Meanwhile, Preston missed out on the chance to reach the last 16 for the first time since 2015 as they suffered just their second defeat in 14 games in all competitions.

Sheffield United will find out their opponents for the next stage when the draw is made on Monday at around 19:20 GMT.

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder:

"It wasn't a classic game. We just needed to lift our standards and be a bit more aggressive in the second half and drive the game forward a little more.

"I thought the introduction of Ched (Evans) gave us a little spark, and (Chris) Basham as well.

"We changed the shape at half-time as well just to get a bit more control of the football, which I think it did and we just edged a tight game.

"It was two teams that are very evenly matched, in league position. They made a few changes and we made a few changes, so I think both managers will be delighted that it has been decided on the day."

Preston manager Alex Neil:

"Obviously I'm disappointed, as you don't want to lose any game, but having said that, I don't think there was much in the game at all.

"I think the stats suggest that chances for and chances against are relatively similar.

"I think the disappointing thing is to go out to a contentious penalty. Having watched it back about six times, it's still a wee bit inconclusive for me. I'm not 100 per cent sure it was a penalty."


Sheff Utd

Formation 3-5-2

  • 1Moore
  • 7LundstramBooked at 57mins
  • 13Wright
  • 19Stearman
  • 2Baldock
  • 4Fleck
  • 21Duffy
  • 23HeneghanSubstituted forBashamat 59'minutes
  • 24LaffertyBooked at 30mins
  • 10SharpSubstituted forStevensat 90+4'minutes
  • 11DonaldsonSubstituted forEvansat 59'minutes


  • 3Stevens
  • 5O'Connell
  • 6Basham
  • 12Wilson
  • 31Eastwood
  • 32Evans
  • 44Carruthers


Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Rudd
  • 5Clarke
  • 14FisherSubstituted forWoodsat 68'minutes
  • 23Huntington
  • 32Earl
  • 7HorganSubstituted forBarkhuizenat 59'minutes
  • 8Browne
  • 19WelshBooked at 4minsSubstituted forHugillat 68'minutes
  • 11JohnsonBooked at 72mins
  • 39Bodin
  • 21Moult


  • 9Hugill
  • 12Gallagher
  • 15Woods
  • 17Spurr
  • 22Maxwell
  • 29Barkhuizen
  • 37Robinson
Graham Scott

Match Stats

Home TeamSheff UtdAway TeamPreston
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Sheffield United 1, Preston North End 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Sheffield United 1, Preston North End 0.

  3. Post update

    Simon Moore (Sheffield United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Jordan Hugill (Preston North End).

  5. Substitution

    Substitution, Sheffield United. Enda Stevens replaces Billy Sharp.

  6. Post update

    Foul by George Baldock (Sheffield United).

  7. Post update

    Louis Moult (Preston North End) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  8. Post update

    Attempt saved. Jordan Hugill (Preston North End) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

  9. Post update

    Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Richard Stearman.

  10. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Alan Browne (Preston North End) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  11. Post update

    Ched Evans (Sheffield United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Paul Huntington (Preston North End).

  13. Post update

    Corner, Sheffield United. Conceded by Calum Woods.

  14. Goal!

    Goal! Sheffield United 1, Preston North End 0. Billy Sharp (Sheffield United) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.

  15. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  16. Post update

    Penalty Sheffield United. Billy Sharp draws a foul in the penalty area.

  17. Post update

    Penalty conceded by Tom Clarke (Preston North End) after a foul in the penalty area.

  18. Post update

    Richard Stearman (Sheffield United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Jordan Hugill (Preston North End).

  20. Post update

    Attempt missed. Daniel Johnson (Preston North End) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.


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