Cresswell keeps Blades in hat
Richard Cresswell equalised on the stroke of half-time to ensure Sheffield United are in the hat for the FA Cup fourth round.
By Ben Collins
Last Updated: 03/01/10 5:30pm
Richard Cresswell equalised on the stroke of half-time to ensure Sheffield United are in the hat for the FA Cup fourth round draw.
Championship rivals QPR took the lead despite a bright opening by the home side, with on-loan Arsenal striker Jay Simpson converting a 39th-minute strike.
Cresswell, himself on loan from Stoke, soon drew the Blades level with a header in first-half stoppage time.
The hosts went closest to winning it in the second half when Ched Evans smashed a stunning free-kick against the crossbar, but the two sides were unable to avoid a replay at Loftus Road.
On a bitterly cold afternoon at Bramall Lane, the home side twice went close to opening the scoring early on.
Jamie Ward produced a superb right-wing free-kick in the sixth minute that fell straight onto the head of defender Chris Morgan, but the Blades skipper headed wide from six yards.
And three minutes later, Henri Camara showed superb skill to slip into the box before pulling the ball back for the unmarked Stephen Quinn, who rattled the bar when it looked easier to score.
United continued to dictate the tempo and were looking likely to make their pressure count through Senegal striker Camara, who was running QPR ragged.
But as the half reached the midway point Rangers began to get a foothold in the game.
Strike pair Patrick Agyemang and Simpson were looking dangerous, with the latter forcing Mark Bunn into a sprawling save down to his right from 30 yards in the 27th minute.
Routledge's goalbound shot was then blocked and the deflection fell kindly to Alejandro Faurlin, who forced Bunn to palm wide with a 25-yard swerving drive.
And the visitors drew first blood as Wayne Routledge's right-wing cross skidded across the six-yard line to Simpson, who guided the ball past keeper Bunn into the bottom right corner.
United immediately pushed for an equaliser and got the response they desired on the stroke of half-time.
Cresswell shook off his marker in the box to direct a looping header over the outstretched arms of keeper Radek Cerny.
United had lost just one in nine in the league to move back into play-off contention and after the break they took the game to the Hoops, who are also pushing for the top six.
Camara saw his veering shot palmed away by Cerny before Ward's fizzing effort curled just wide.
The match descended into a scrappy, end-to-end affair with both sides having chances in equal measure.
Damion Stewart went close when he bulldozed his way through the box to head just wide for Rangers, before Camara forced Cerny to save well from close range.
Then Evans almost grabbed a sensational winner in the 80th minute as he thumped a 35-yard free-kick against the underside of the bar.
|Sheffield United||Team Statistics||Queens Park Rangers|
|1||1st Half Goals||1|
|4||Shots on Target||3|
|9||Shots off Target||4|