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Sheffield United and Brighton into FA Cup semi-finals

Sheffield United have beaten Blackburn in a dramatic FA Cup quarter-final and Brighton cruised past Grimsby to join them and Manchester City in the last four.

March 20, 2023
By Glenn Moore
20 March 2023

A late rally has taken Sheffield United into the FA Cup semi-finals with a dramatic 3-2 defeat of fellow second-tier club Blackburn Rovers at Bramall Lane.

They were joined later on Sunday by Premier League Brighton & Hove Albion who brushed aside fourth-tier Grimsby Town 5-0 at the Amex. 

Tommy Doyle, whose grandfathers Mike Doyle and Glyn Pardoe both played at Wembley for Manchester City, booked the Blades’ place at the stadium, which hosts both semi-finals, with a stunning injury-time winner. 

Blades were then drawn against City, who beat Championship leaders Burnley 6-0 on Saturday, in the semi.

However, Doyle will only be allowed to play if City permit him as he is on loan from the Premier League champions.

Doyle’s 25-yard drive completed a double comeback for United who trailed 1-0 and 2-1 to Rovers. 

Ben Brereton Diaz, from the spot, and Sam Szmodics had each put Rovers ahead, but an own goal by Sam Gallagher and an 81st-minute scuffed finish by Oli McBurnie earned the Blades parity before Doyle’s clincher.

“For us to be in with a chance of automatic promotion and be in the semi-final of the FA Cup is an unbelievable achievement, and it is a big pat on the back for everyone at the club,” said United manager Paul Heckingbottom.

“It’s been a fantastic season so far and I am focused on capping it off, it could end up being an unbelievable one.”

Playing against a team that had already beaten five sides from higher divisions, including top-flight Southampton, Brighton made the perfect start.

Moises Caicedo’s sixth-minute shot was parried by Max Crocombe but Deniz Undav drove in the rebound.

Grimsby subsequently held out until the break but soon after Irish teenager Evan Ferguson superbly controlled a pass from World Cup winner Alexis Mac Allister before scoring Albion’s second. 

The promising youngster struck again after 70 minutes before a Solly March header and a deflected shot from Kaoru Mitoma completed the scoring. 

In the semi-final Brighton will face either Manchester United or Fulham who meet later on Sunday.

Grimsby, who are 76 places lower than their hosts in England’s football pyramid, rarely threatened a goal but were nevertheless cheered on by thousands of travelling fans, many with inflatable Harry the Haddock mascots. 

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