Hull City 5-3 Sheffield United, FA Cup semi-final
GiveMeSport at Wembley Stadium
Hull City have reached the FA Cup final. Those are words that have never been uttered. They will return to Wembley in May to face Arsenal - the same team to have prevented them from reaching the final at their only previous attempt, some 84 years ago.
They entered into their encounter with Sheffield United as favourites given their place two divisions higher, but required an inspired comeback in the second-half to overcome the opposition from the third-tier.
Jose Baxter had provided United with a first-half lead when he turned in John Brayford's cross having reacted quicker than James Chester. Blades fans were delirious, and it was not long before the shouts of 'ole!' began as their team retained the ball both competently and confidently.
These shouts were momentarily extinguished when Yannick Sagbo poked in a precise pass from Jake Livermore, but the Blades were ahead again two minutes later courtesy of another simple goal, this time from Stefan Scougall. 2-1 to Sheffield United at half-time, it was then.
Steve Bruce, frustrated by a lack of first-half incision, replaced Maynor Figueroa and George Boyd at the interval, with Sone Aluko and Matt Fryatt their respective replacements. Four minutes into the second period and with his first decisive touch, Fryatt restored parity for Hull.
With Sagbo pushed out to the left, Fryatt offered more craft and purpose through the middle, and had the ball in the net again soon after. The flag had gone up for offside, unbeknownst to Fryatt, who rounded Mark Howard and slid the ball in.
Fryatt's chalked off effort came two minutes after his legitimate leveler, and just three minutes before Hull legally took the lead. Tom Huddlestone was the man to get it, with sharp interchange allowing him to enter the Sheffield United area and provide the cool finish.
Bruce elected to make his final substitution with little over an hour gone, with Stephen Quinn - a veteran of over 200 appearances for Sheffield United - replacing Sagbo. Quinn received a warm reception from the opposition supporters, but it was he who twisted the blade in even deeper.
Quinn had been on the field only three minutes before Livermore stood up the ball into the centre of the penalty area, allowing him the former to cushion his header into an unguarded goal.
Sheffield United were punch drunk, but not knocked out just yet, and Murphy ensured Hull would have to endure a nerve jangling period of stoppage time as he scored a third for Nigel Clough's side.
But, as the Blades pushed for another, it allowed Hull to attack into acres of space, and David Meyler scored a fifth goal for the Tigers to ensure their passage into a maiden FA Cup final. What a season it has been for them.
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