Blades survive QPR rally
Sheffield United hung onto a 3-2 victory against QPR to progress into the FA Cup fourth round.
Last Updated: 12/01/10 10:52pm
Sheffield United escaped a late scare to progress to the FA Cup fourth round after a 3-2 win over QPR at Loftus Road.
The Blades took the lead just less than 20 minutes into the match when Lee Williamson controlled Nick Montgomery's cross before firing into the net.
Substitute Jamie Ward then struck on 68 minutes before setting up Richard Cresswell two minutes later for United's third.
But an Akos Buzsaky penalty gave the hosts a glimmer of hope and a late strike from Damion Stewart ensured it was a nervy finish for Kevin Blackwell's side.
Rangers have not won a single tie in the competition since 2001, a miserable run that now stretches 13 games.
QPR's current form is not much better, as they have now managed just one win in their last 10 games and were often booed by the sparse crowd on Tuesday night.
However, Paul Hart's side started brightly and went close through Mikele Leigertwood and Alejandro Faurlin in the first five minutes before the Blades went ahead against the run of play.
Williamson gathered Montgomery's curling cross on the angle of Rangers' penalty area and drilled a low shot across Radek Cerny.
Ched Evans should have doubled the lead when he raced through with only Cerny to beat, but the former Manchester City youngster's lob came back off the crossbar.
Moments later the visitors were had Derek Geary to thank for preserving their advantage as the defender clearing Kaspars Gorkss' header off the goal-line.
But the arrival of Ward, who started on the bench amid reports of a contract dispute at Bramall Lane, sparked the game into life.
The striker netted with his first touch when he met Stephen Quinn's cross in the 68th minute.
And seconds later Ward charged down the right wing and centred for Cresswell to tuck the third past a shell-shocked Cerney.
Rangers were gifted a lifeline when Geary was adjudged to have handled and Buzsaky duly converted the penalty.
Hopes of an improbable fightback were raised when Stewart headed in Buzsaky's free-kick with two minutes remaining.
But a point-blank save by Blades keeper Mark Bunn from Antonio German in stoppage time secured victory for the visitors.
The Blades will travel to the Reebok Stadium to take on Premier League outfit Bolton Wanderers in the fourth round.