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Kick off 19:45 (UK)

07 February 2023 Venue Bramall Lane Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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Match Previews

PREVIEW | Sheffield United vs Wrexham

We meet again.

6 February 2023

How do you follow last Sunday's epic? It was the FA Cup tie that had everything, and when the dust settled the two sides couldn't be settled, so we go again! The Blades will, obviously, be strong favourites, but Wrexham's form is magnificent and there's no doubt the players are full of self-belief.

Wrexham maintained their winning streak in the league on Saturday with a 2-1 victory at Altrincham. The injuries picked up against United meant Phil Parkinson had to reshuffle his side, and there was a suspicion of unfamiliarity behind a disjointed first half performance. However, after the break The Red Dragons looked more like their usual selves, and earned a 2-1 win thanks to goals by Ollie Palmer and debutant Eoghan O'Connell.

O'Connell isn't available for the replay though, having not been signed before the initial tie was played. With Jordan Tunnicliffe and Aaron Hayden still recovering from the injuries they suffered in that match, it's likely Parkinson will have to revert back to a similar line-up to the one he was forced into when the defensive duo suffered those disruptive early blows.

As for United, they made five changes from the side which played at The Racecourse, but had to endure a frustrating ninety minutes in Rotherham. Despite throwing everything they could at their South Yorkshire neighbors, The Blades couldn't force a breakthrough, but they still remain in an enviable position, ten points clear of third placed Middlesbrough with a game in hand.

Tommy Doyle missed the game, having not trained since the Wrexham game due to a tight calf, whie Daniel Jebbison will definitely be absent from the replay as he will be serving the second of his three match ban for his dismissal at The Racecourse.

The transfer deadline has passed since we last met, and the good news is that The Blades didn't lose any of the star players who had been attracting jealous glances from Premier League clubs. Iliman Ndiaye and Sander Berge remain at Bramall Lane, although Berge has reportedly suggested that his intention is to run his contract down and leave on a free transfer in 2024.

Off the pitch, the transfer embargo appears to remain in place with speculation mounting that an 18-month sanction might be in the pipeline. Blades fans' sense of unease has multiplied after the Daily Mail claimed that prospective new owner Dozy Mmobuosi, who is believed to have made a £90 million bid, might not have the wherewithal to complete the deal. They suggest his tech company, Tingo, has lost 94% of its value over the last twelve months. 

Manager Paul Heckingbottom has sensibly declared that he isn't going to field any further questions on the takeover, as he wants to focus on football.

He told YorkshireLive, "It's irrelevant to us. The lads have been brilliant. You don't go unbeaten on the run we're on if you haven't got that focus. The lads are good. They haven't looked for excuses from day one. We speak about it a lot, no excuses. Simple, no excuses and we don't expect anything less.

"Stuff that could potentially be a distraction we just don't entertain it. We have had the talk of the embargo, takeover but not on the training ground."

The club will tell you something when they have something to say. Football and the players are my focus. We know we have a busy couple of weeks coming up with Wrexham now at the forefront of our mind.

- Paul Heckingbottom


blobid0.jpgWREXHAM 3 (Jones, 50, O'Connor 61, Mullin 86) SHEFFIELD UNITED 3 (McBurnie 2, Norwood 65, Egan 90+5)

WREXHAM: M Howard, J Tunnicliffe (M Cleworth, 5), B Tozer, C McFadzean (S Dalby, 75), A Forde, A Hayden (J Jones, 11), T O'Connor, E Lee, L Young, P Mullin, O Palmer

Unused subs: J Bickerstaff, R Lainton, A Cannon, H Lennon, R Hall-Johnson, L McAlinden

SHEFFIELD UNITED: A Davies, A Ahmedhodzic (I Coulibaly, 87), J Egan, C Basham, B Osborn (I Ndiaye, 58), T Doyle, J Bogle, J Mcatee (M Lowe, 45), O Norwood, O McBurnie (B Sharp, 58), D Jebbison (sent off 71)

Unused subs: J Robinson, W Foderingham, L Marsh, S Sachdev

Referee: Dean Whitestone

Attendance: 9949




We've played at Bramall Lane three times, and are still looking for our first win. Our first game there was a Second Division match in April 1979: our first campaign in the second tier was drawing to a close, and we'd secured a comfortabe mid-table finish, while the Blades were mired in the relegation zone.


We were the better side in the opening stages and took the lead when Steve Buxton's header was turned into his own net by Blades defender Les Tibbott. Wrexham defended the lead well until the 34th minute, when a Bruce Rioch free kick was diverted in by Tony Kenworthy. United improved from that point, but Wrexham's defence held firm to claim a point.


The next time we met both sides had slipped into the Third Division. The Blades had suffered a poor start to the season, having earned one point in their previous 4 games, failing to score in the process. However, they tok control from the start, taking the lead when Phil Bater handled the ball, allowing Colin Morris to score from the spot. The pressure continued by Eddie Niedzwiecki kept United at bay with a superb string of saves. United also hit the woodwork three times - one of those efforts coming from future Wrexham skipper Steve Charles - while Steve Dowman headed a Bob Atkins shot off the line.

The second goal was bound to come, andit was Keith Edwards who came off the bench to provide it in the 78th minute, although his chipped finish from a tight angle appeared to be intended as a cross. Wrexham suddenly found some energy after going two down, and Steve Conroy has to make two fine saves to deny Ian Arkwright and Medwyn Evans. The latter was making his debut at the age of 17, having replaced the injured Gareth Davies in the 47th minute. Sadly, Davies would only play one more game, a fortnight later, before injury forced him into retirement.

Our third game away to Sheffield United was a League Cup tie in 1997 which we described in last week's preview.


04106689-83bd-409a-9830-6918502d0700.jpgLiam McAlinden's 300th career appearance.

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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT | Sheffield United 3-1 Wrexham AFC

The Red Dragons rollercoaster E cup run comes to an end

7 February 2023

Two stoppage time goals from Billy Sharp and Sander Berge edged out the Red Dragons in what was yet another barnstorming Emirates FA Cup clash.

It took 50 minutes for the Blades to break through the resilient Wrexham defence, as Anel Ahmedhodzic fired the ball past Lainton from close range.

Paul Mullin found the leveller from the spot just before the hour mark, with an excellent strike leaving Adam Davies no chance of saving.

However, in the 71st minute Mullin had another chance from a penalty kick, but this time Davies guessed correctly denying Wrexham of the lead.

At the death the high-flying Championship side capitalised on their pressure, and two stoppage time goals from Billy Sharp and Sander Berge secured victory.

Phil Parkinson named seven changes to the team that ran out victorious at Altrincham last weekend.

Rob Lainton returned in goal; Anthony Forde, Harry Lennon and Jacob Mendy came into the defence, James Jones and Andy Cannon back in the midfield, and Sam Dalby partnering Paul Mullin.

Paul Heckingbottom rang the changes too, making five changes from their goalless draw on Saturday against fellow Yorkshire side Rotherham.

It was the hosts who looked to make use of home advantage, and John Egan found himself rising at the back post just like the first fixture, but Lainton made a comfortable save.

The hosts put the Red Dragons under pressure with a barrage of corners from both sides, but the defence stood firm.

On the half hour mark the hosts missed a golden opportunity to take the lead, James McAtee capitalised on Mendy’s missed interception, racing through on goal but fired wide of Lainton.

Chances were hard to come by for the Red Dragons in the opening period, but any relief came through the left-hand side and the burst of pace from Jacob Mendy.

The Blades pressure continued to mount, but once again Wrexham stood firm, and it was  Lainton who came to the rescue, making a superb save from Ahmedhodzic’s strike.

After Wrexham withstood their pressure in the first period, the hosts looked to make it count again in the second half, and Ahmedhodzic got his goal, sliding past Lainton after a smart move.

However, it wasn’t all one-way traffic, as the Red Dragons were roared on by the travelling faithful and got back into the game.

Mullin broke into space inside the area, and was hauled down earning a penalty, and he lashed it home sending the away end into raptures.

Parkinson’s side got into their groove and began to probe the Blades' backline and Ben Tozer’s throws continued to cause problems.

Ten minutes after levelling Mullin had another opportunity to score from the spot and take the lead, but this time Davies guessed right, making a strong save.

After Wrexham’s strong pressure, the pendulum began to swing back in the Blades' favour, forcing Lainton to make another series of saves.

Just as the contest looked as though it was heading to extra time, the hosts had the ball in the net in the 88th minute, as Sharp converted, but he was judged offside.

However, in added time the resilient Wrexham defence was breached, as Max Cleworth couldn’t claim the ball, and Sharp this time ran through and took the lead.

Wrexham pressed for an equaliser and battled away, but Berge lead a counter attack, and made it three, two minutes from time sealing the victory.


Sheffield United: Davies, Ahmedhodzic (Lowe 77’), Egan, Robinson, Basham, Coulibaly (Norwood 67’), Berge, McAtee (Brooks 98’), Osborn, Ndiaye, Sharp

Subs not used: Foderingham, Arblaster, Clark, Marsh and Starbuck

Wrexham: Lainton, Forde, Cleworth, Tozer, Lennon (O’Connor 74’), Mendy (McAlinden 60’), Young ©, Jones, Cannon (Lee 81’), Mullin (Bickerstaff 81’), Dalby (Palmer 60’)

Subs not used: Watson, James, Butler and Hosannah,

Attendance: 20,310

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