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Peter Slater reports from Bramall Lane
"Sheffield United should have won"
 real 28k

Rushden boss Brian Talbot
"We'll give it our best shot in the replay"
 real 28k

Sunday, 12 December, 1999, 17:28 GMT
Billy the non-league hero

Bent gave the Blades the lead but they failed to consolidate


Sheffield United 1-1 Rushden & Diamonds

Goalkeeper Billy Turley saved a second-half penalty to keep alive the FA Cup hopes of non-league Rushden and Diamonds.

Sheffield United's players believed Turley should not have been on the field for the 66th minute spot-kick because of an earlier deliberate handball.


Simon Tracey Tracey took the blame for the equaliser
But the keeper survived to block Jonathan Hunt's second-half place-kick and keep the scores level.

Marcus Bent had put the Blades ahead in the 14th minute when he headed home Paul Devlin's cross.

But a bizarre slip by United keeper Simon Tracey moments before the interval brought Rushden an equaliser.

Jon Brady hit a hopeful high cross into the box and it was missed by everyone, including Tracey, before bouncing into the net.

The slip was just the stroke of luck needed by the Conference side, who had struggled to cope with the Blades - and especially the pace of winger Devlin.

Out-flanked

It was Devlin's cross which set up Bent for the opener.

Twenty minutes later the Blades believed their opponents should have been reduced to ten-men when Turley appeared to handle outside the box.

The keeper dived at the feet of Martin Smith after fumbling a 25-yard shot from Bobby Ford but referee Barry Knight ruled the challenge was inside the box.

After another piece of good fortune gave the non-league side the equaliser.

Underwood handled Quinn's 66th minute cross on the edge of the six-yard box but Hunt's spot-kick was saved well by Turley diving to his right.

The game fizzled out into a draw with Rushden facing a replay.


Chester City 1-4 Manchester City

Manchester City scored three goals in 12 minutes to crush brave Third Division strugglers Chester.

The home fans were given a glimpse of an upset when captain Nick Richardson smashed in an equaliser to put the sides level at half-time.


Richardson is congratulated by his team-mates
They battled bravely until an Bishop's bullet header 12 minutes from time opened the flood gates for injury-time goals from Shaun Goater and Richard Jobson which gave the Maine Road outfit a decidedly flattering winning margin.

There were 70 places between the Manchester side and their near-neighbours.

But until the final 12-minute landslide, the gulf was not visible.

After Richardson had cancelled out Goater's opener, the Third Division club looked the more likely winners.

Luke Beckett had a golden chance to fire the home sideahead just moments before Bishop's goal.


Chester's Beckett (r) is a Manchester City fan
But through on goal and in a one-on-one with Nick Weaver, Beckett's volley was denied by a brilliant reflex save from the goalkeeper.

Moments later Chester's fate was sealed when Bishop rose unchallenged to head Jeff Whitley's cross into the top corner past helpless home goalkeeper Wayne Brown.

Chester were three goals behind before they had caught their breath, first Goater and then Jobson, off the unlucky Matty Doughty, heading home before the final whistle.

Teams:

Sheff Utd: Tracey, Devlin, Woodhouse, Murphy, Quinn, Hunt, Derry, Ribeiro, Ford, Bent, Smith.
Subs: Smeets, Hamilton, Duke, Katchouro, Cullen.

Rushden & D'monds: Turley, Wooding, Burgess, McElhatton, Rodwell, Warburton, Butterworth, Brady, Town, Collins, Underwood.
Subs: De Souza, Smith, Hamsher, Mison, Heggs.
Referee: B Knight (Orpington)

Chester: Brown, Moss, Doughty, Reid, Spooner, Woods, Nash, Richardson, Wright, Beckett, Fisher.
Subs: Cross, Conkie, Lancaster, Milovaijevic, Berry.

Man City: Weaver, Edghill, Wiekens, Horlock, Bishop, Goater, Pollock, Peacock, Jobson, Kennedy, Granville.
Subs: Cooke, Allsopp, Whitley, Tiatto, Wright.
Referee: T Heilbron (Newton Aycliffe)

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See also:
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Derby dumped by battling Burnley
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Foxes held at Hereford
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Hammers humiliated by hard work
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Wrexham wreck Boro cup bid
Links to other FA Cup stories are at the foot of the page.