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Thursday, 13 February, 2003, 00:46 GMT
Blades edge Ipswich in thriller
Sheffield United 4-3 Ipswich Town

Sheffield United's Michael Brown celebrates his first goal
Brown celebrated his 26th birthday by scoring twice for United
Paul Peschisolido netted a last-minute winner as Sheffield United booked their place in the FA Cup fifth round after a pulsating clash with Ipswich at Bramall Lane.

A replay looked likely after Joe Royle's side scored three goals in four incredible second-half minutes to equalise after United had stormed ahead.

Two fantastic goals from Michael Brown - on his 26th birthday - and one from Phil Jagielka left the Bramall Lane faithful looking at an easy passage to the fifth round.

Yet Ipswich, who had been toothless all afternoon discovered their scoring touch in spectacular style as Thomas Gaardsoe, Tommy Miller and Darren Bent drew them level.

Key moments
19 mins: Brown fires United in front from long range
31 mins: Jagielka doubles United's lead
64 mins: Brown scores a superb second
66 mins: Gaardsoe hands Ipswich a lifeline
68 mins: Miller's penalty makes it 3-2
70 mins: Darren Bent complete's Ipswich's comeback
89 mins: Peschisolido sends United through

Darren Ambrose nearly won it late on for Joe Royle's men - but Peschisolido's late strike ensured Neil Warnock's Worthington Cup semi-finalists a place in the next round.

United could have been in front inside of five minutes, but Jagielka's header slammed into the side netting.

The home team were on top in the early stages, while Marcus Bent saw a long-range effort blocked for Ipswich, but chances were few for the visitors and it was no surprise when United took the lead on 19 minutes.

Birthday boy Brown gave himself the ideal present, curling a 25-yarder past Andy Marshall after being picked out by Stuart McCall.

Pablo Counago's scuffed shot after Jermaine Wright's cross was the best Ipswich could muster in the aftermath of the goal.

They just don't know when they're beaten

Sheffield United boss Neil Warnock

And it was not long before United extended their lead through Jagielka.

Tommy Mooney had much to do with the goal, his header from Quinn's inswinging corner coming back off the frame of the goal and falling nicely for Jagielka who pounced from six yards.

Gaardsoe's header flew wide for Ipswich but the Suffolk side's weak attack gave little indication of the drama to follow.

The second half began with United happy to soak up the weak Ipswich attacks.

Then Royle brought on Darren Bent, a move which was eventually to pay off as his goal completed Ipswich's comeback.

The change made little initial difference as Marcus Bent fired wide and Ambrose whacked one over.

I don't know how we've lost it

Ipswich boss Joe Royle

And when Brown rifled home an absolute corker on the volley from 25 yards on 64 minutes to make it 3-0 the game looked over.

But the game took an unbelievable twist as Ipswich scored three in four minutes to equalise.

Gaardsoe netted what appeared to be a consolation on 66 minutes with a nicely taken shot from 18 yards - then Miller's 68th-minute penalty left the home fans suddenly very nervous.

Darren Bent completed Ipswich's remarkable comeback on 70 minutes, driving home from 18 yards after Ambrose's pass.

Ipswich nearly conjured up a dramatic winner as Miller's looping shot was tipped round by the desperate diving figure of Wilko de Vogt.

But it was Peschisolido's late intervention which left Warnock relieved, and United in the fifth round.


Sheffield United: De Vogt, Kozluk, Jagielka, Page, Quinn, Thompson, Brown, McCall, Ndlovu, Mooney (Peschisolido 79), Kabba (Allison 72).
Subs not used: Yates, Edghill, Wood.

Booked: Jagielka.

Ipswich: Marshall, Makin, Wilnis (Ambrose 45), Gaardsoe, Hreidarsson, Wright, Holland, Magilton (Darren Bent 57), Tommy Miller, Counago, Marcus Bent.
Subs not used: Abidallah, Richards, Pullen.

Booked: Gaardsoe, Tommy Miller, Marcus Bent.

Attendance: 12,757

Referee: D Gallagher (Oxfordshire).

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's Peter Slater
"Blades seemed to be easing through"
Sheffield Utd boss Neil Warnock
"It's just a fantastic time to be a blade"

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