Johnstone's Paint Trophy: Walsall ease past Sheffield United to reach Northern Area semis
Last Updated: 13/11/14 8:24am
Romaine Sawyers fired Walsall in to the Johnstone's Paint Trophy Northern Area semi-final after a comfortable 1-0 win over Sheffield United.
The Saddlers have never played at Wembley in their 126-year history but are just three games away following victory over the Blades on Wednesday.
Sawyers headed a second-half winner to clinch a deserved win and to settle a forgettable game at the Banks's Stadium.
United saw claims for a penalty waved away after Richard O'Donnell brought down Chris Porter but they were well beaten.
Walsall replaced James Baxendale with Jordan Cook in their only change while United brought in Iain Turner, Stephen McGinn, Chris Porter, Harrison McGahey and Diego De Girolamo.
The changes upset the Blades and the Saddlers dominated early on with Chris Basham halting Cook when he threatened to burst though.
Walsall nine-goal top scorer Tom Bradshaw was also beaten to a long ball by Turner after springing United's offside trap.
It was an instantly forgettable first-half, though, with the hosts the better side but unable to break their visitors down.
Bradshaw was withdrawn at the break with a tight hamstring with Mathieu Manset coming on to spearhead the attack.
Bob Harris flashed a free-kick wide for Sheffield United but the Saddlers broke the deadlock 10 minutes into the second period.
Cook's shot deflected wide and from the resulting corner Sawyers glanced in a near-post header.
Manset was denied by Turner after a brilliant run five minutes later before United appealed for a penalty.
Porter broke through the Walsall defence and was felled by O'Donnell, only for referee David Coote to ignore his claims.
Louis Reed tested O'Donnell from distance and Manset chipped over with 17 minutes left as the game opened up.
Turner tipped Ashley Grimes' shot wide but United failed to mount a late rally as the Saddlers advanced.