FA Cup: Wrexham 3-3 Sheffield United – Egan’s late strike denies Wrexham victory

John Egan scored the stoppage time goal for Sheffield United against non-league Wrexham in a frantic FA Cup fourth round tie.

Oli McBurnie headed home Tommy Doyle’s corner to give United an early lead.

Goals from James Jones and Tom O’Connor put the Welsh side ahead before Oliver Norwood equalized for the Blades, who had dismissed Daniel Jebbison.

Paul Mullin looked to have scored a goal four minutes from time, but captain Egan equalized late on.

Egan’s injury-time hit proved to be the final twist in a game that pitted the National League leaders against the second-place team in the championship.

Wrexham co-star Hollywood star Ryan Reynolds was at the Racecourse to see his side put on a huge display in their first appearance since the 1997 quarter-final.

Naming an unchanged squad, Dragons boss Phil Parkinson said the goal was to make it to the southpaw, saying it could “become difficult” for the visiting side to push for a place in the Premier League.

Parkinson took Wrexham, unbeaten in 16 league games, into the dog game – just as they had done before in their previous win at Championship outfit Coventry.

Sheffield United made five changes to the side that beat Hull City 1-0 to extend their unbeaten run to nine games.

And from the kick-off the Blades showed their intent, taking a corner inside the opening two minutes from which McBurnie headed home.

Wrexham’s hopes of a double hit defenders Jordan Tunnicliffe and Aaron Hayden were forced to leave the field with injuries with barely seven minutes left in the game.

But the hosts responded positively to those setbacks, with Mullin leading the charge as they looked to add to the seven goals they have already netted in this season’s competition.

The visitors were looking dangerous at the break and Jebbison’s strong run and subsequent shot was saved by Mark Howard, with former Blades keeper Tommy Doyle also denied soon after.

Each part in a pleasant, cup-end to the top of the bond, which in no way stopped.

Elliot Lee had a shot from the edge of the area blocked before Mullin was brought down on the edge of the penalty box by Egan, but United’s free kick went against the wall.

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Wrexham made a strong start to the second half after finishing the first half strongly.

Captain Luke Young’s shot was saved by Adam Davies when Mullin failed to finish with the rebound before the US defense cleared it.

But the home side leveled in the 50th minute when Ben Tozer’s trademark long shot was hooked by O’Connor and substitute Jones headed towards him.

Wrexham were on top later and when the United States defense failed to clear a corner in the 60th minute, O’Connor smashed the ball home to send the home supporters into raptures.

The celebrations had barely died down when Paul Heckingbottom’s men equalized four minutes later against the run of play.

Wrexham were unable to clear substitute Billy Sharp’s cross and coolly slotted home past Howard Norwood after the first attempt was blocked.

A terrible combination and season took another turn when Jebbison was shown a red card in the 71st minute after an offside ball collision with Tozer, in which he was throwing a defender.

Wrexham pressed for a winner and with four 90 minutes remaining, Mullin collected a pass from substitute Sam Dalby before placing the ball under Davies for his 27th goal of the season.

But their hopes of adding another scratch to their FA Cup history were dashed by a remarkable stoppage time, with Egan finding the net from a Doyle corner as the sides meet again at Bramall Lane to decide who goes through to the fifth round.

Wrexham manager Phil Parkinson said;

“We had a start, conceding a goal and losing two players, for the team to rebuild ourselves as we did I thought we stood out.

“A group of four or five smaller players couldn’t have been beaten there. We had to push the team around and we just recovered and got absolutely outstanding.

“We went to half-time and believed we would be back in the game at half-time. We took the game to Sheffield United, they were locked in long periods.

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“Obviously it’s a real hit that we haven’t had across the line, so it’s a mixed reaction as you can imagine.

“But the young men just performed brilliantly on the big stage.”

Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom said:

“We know how difficult it was going to be – we’ve won every game at home – so we knew how difficult it was going to be, so we didn’t take any chances.

“We all know why everyone turned up here today, I’m glad that not everyone was given what they wanted.

“That was our reason to please draw in the fifth quarter.”



Formation 5-3-2

  • 21Howard
  • 14Forde
  • 5HaydenSubstitutesJonesbut 11′minutes
  • 4TozerCorruptela at 71mins
  • 6TunnicliffeSubstitutesCleworthbut 5′minutes
  • 3McFadzeanCorruptela at 64minsSubstitutesDalbybut 75′minutes
  • 8The youthCorruptela at 56mins
  • 22O’Connor
  • 38Lee
  • 10Mullin
  • 9Palmer


  • 1Lainton
  • 2Hall-Johnson
  • 11McAlinden
  • 18Dalby
  • 20Cannon
  • 26Lennon
  • 27Bickerstaff
  • 30Jones
  • 32Cleworth

Sheff Utd

Formation 3-5-2

  • 1Davies
  • 15AhmedhodzicSubstitutesCoulibalybut 87′minutes
  • 12EganCorruptela in 45mins
  • 6Basham
  • 20BogleCorruptella in 90mins
  • 28McAteeSubstitutesLowebut 45′minutes
  • 16Norwood
  • 22Doyle
  • 23OsbornSubstitutesNdiayebut 58′minutes
  • 36JebbisonCorruptela at 71mins
  • 9McBurnieSubstitutessharpbut 58′minutes


  • 10sharp
  • 13Lowe
  • 17Coulibaly
  • 18Foderingham
  • 19Robinson
  • 29Ndiaye
  • 39Sachdev
  • 41Marsh

Dean Whitestone

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