National League leaders Wrexham have been denied one other FA Cup giant-killing as 10-man Championship high-flyers Sheffield United snatched a stoppage-time equaliser in an absorbing 3-3 draw.
The well-known outdated Racecourse floor has witnessed its fair proportion of shocks – with an image of Mickey Thomas’ well-known free-kick purpose in opposition to Arsenal within the FA Cup in 1992 hanging on the wall of the Turf Hotel adjoining the stadium – and this was virtually one for a brand new period on the membership.
Watched by one half of their Hollywood possession duo in Ryan Reynolds, Paul Mullin’s twenty seventh purpose of the season 4 minutes from time regarded like giving them a victory which was not more than they deserved after going behind after simply 64 seconds.
Blades striker Daniel Jebbison’s mindless sending-off with 20 minutes to go undoubtedly helped their trigger, though they have been already within the ascendency earlier than then, they usually duly capitalised.
But simply as they have been considering a spot within the fifth spherical, John Egan popped up with an equaliser to take the tie again to Bramall Lane.
It was a merciless blow for the aspect 70 locations under their guests, second within the Championship, however the efficiency was a ringing endorsement of the massive steps being made beneath the management of Reynolds and fellow actor Rob McElhenney.
The membership, backed by their movie star house owners, have Premier League ambitions however their opponents have already trodden that path – as just lately as 2021 – and are seemingly effectively on their solution to returning.
On a cold evening in north Wales it was troublesome to inform which aspect was which and it was solely the guests’ dogged dedication and expertise which earned them a second chunk of cherry.
United made 5 modifications, leaving midfielder Sander Berge out of the squad solely amid curiosity from Fulham, and, after taking an early grip on the sport, would in all probability have anticipated to have a neater time of it than they did as they got here beneath a bombardment each within the air – from Ben Tozer’s lengthy throws – and on the bottom from Mullin’s vitality.
In solely the second minute Oli McBurnie slipped his marker Jordan Tunnicliffe to go Tommy Doyle’s nook previous Luke Young guarding the close to put up.
In an additional blow for the hosts, Tunnicliffe was compelled off after getting injured making an attempt to cease the striker and, by the tenth minute, Wrexham had been compelled into one other change with the second member of their again 5, Aaron Hayden, additionally departing with a calf drawback.
Mark Howard saved effectively within the opening quarter from Jebbison and Doyle however, having weathered the early storm, the house aspect completed the half strongly and, with a contact extra composure, might have gotten extra from their efforts.
The National League aspect have been dragged again into the sport by Mullin, who did every part however rating within the first half.
Early on he went down claiming a penalty for a foul after racing into Anthony Forde’s ball excessive and, whereas the ahead had bought the primary contact, there was no contact by goalkeeper Adam Davies.
In seven minutes of added time Mullin skipped previous Jaden Bogel after Howard’s fast launch from a Sheffield United nook and his rasping drive was batted away by Davies.
With the final likelihood of the half he latched onto Chris Basham’s tried clearance beneath stress from Ollie Palmer solely to be introduced down on the sting of the world by Egan, with the Wrexham striker blasting his free-kick into the wall.
Just 5 minutes into the second half, Davies might solely parry Young’s long-range shot, making a scramble from which the guests hacked out of play.
Another Tozer lengthy throw brought about chaos within the field with the ball dropping to James Jones, on as an early substitute for Hayden, off the shoulder of McBurnie and he hooked house a intelligent close-range end.
In the 61st minute Tozer adopted in his personal throw to earn a nook with a deflected shot and Young’s inswinging nook hit substitute Billy Sharp within the chest, with Tom O’Connor reacting quickest to lash house.
Celebrations have been minimize brief as 4 minutes minutes later Oliver Norwood fired house a low effort after the ball had bounced across the Wrexham space.
The guests shot themselves within the foot when Jebbison was despatched off for an off-the-ball conflict with Tozer on the midway line after referee Dean Whitestone took recommendation from fourth official Scott Oldham.
Palmer crashed a shot in opposition to the underside of the crossbar which bounced down inches from the road earlier than Mullin sparked wild scenes when, present in area 10 yards out, he slotted by way of the legs of the goalkeeper to keep up his file of scoring in each spherical of the competitors, together with qualifiers.
But Egan’s far-post equaliser from a set-piece spared the Blades’ blushes.