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Last Updated:  Sunday, 9 March, 2003, 13:27 GMT
Kabba ends Leeds dream
Sheffield United celebrate the winner
Sheff United 1-0 Leeds Utd

Sheffield United sealed a place in the FA Cup semi-finals after Steve Kabba's late winner sank Yorkshire rivals Leeds United at Bramall Lane.

Neil Warnock's knock-out specialists - who also dumped Leeds out of The Worthington Cup earlier in the season - won a dour encounter to pile on the misery for Leeds boss Terry Venables.

The Blades also reached The Worthington Cup semi-final and will be hoping to go better in the FA Cup after Kabba's decider 13 minutes from time.

Sheffield United's groundstaff applied 35 tons of sand to a sodden pitch to ensure the game went ahead - and some may have regretted their hard work in a dismal first half.

An FA Cup win would have been nice - but fairytales don't always come true
Leeds manager Terry Venables

Both sides struggled to exert any measure of control, although Leeds carried the greater hint of threat in the opening exchanges.

Harry Kewell had the best chance of the half after 28 minutes when Alan Smith's through ball unlocked the Sheffield United offside trap.

Paddy Kenny saved well from his first attempt, but the Australian blazed the rebound over the top with the goal at his mercy.


It was Kewell's last meaningful contribution. He was replaced at half-time by Eirik Bakke after suffering a back strain.

The Blades' best hope came in the shape of winger Kabba, who gave Ian Harte a torrid time.

And he forced the first serious save out of Leeds goalkeeper Paul Robinson seconds after the break when he escaped Harte's attentions but was denied by a fine fingertip stop.

The two sides continued to cancel each other out, but Seth Johnson broke the shackles to test Kenny with the long-range drive after 70 minutes.

Kabba looked the most likely to break the deadlock for Sheffield United - and he was on the mark as they went ahead with 13 minutes left.

Michael Brown's cross caused confusion in the Leeds penalty area, and when Michael Tonge's shot was blocked, Kabba was on hand to score from 10 yards.

We've got a happy habit of winning cup matches and we deserved that
Sheffield Utd manager Neil Warnock

And Brown almost wrapped the game up seconds later, only for Robinson to save brilliantly from Brown's free-kick.

Referee Steve Bennett gave Leeds defender Danny Mills a scare when he brandished the red card after a collision with Robbie Kozluk for two bookable offences.

Mills pleaded his innocence - and the official admitted it was a case of mistaken identity after earlier booking Seth Johnson.

But there was no mistaking the joy around Bramall Lane as they celebrated a place in the FA Cup semi-finals.

Sheff Utd: Kenny, Jagielka, Murphy, Page, Kozluk, Montgomery, Brown, McCall, Tonge, Allison, Kabba. Subs Not Used: Peschisolido, Ten Heuvel, Javary, Cryan, Smith.

Booked: Kabba.

Leeds: Robinson, Mills, Radebe, Lucic, Harte (Milner 81), Smith, Seth Johnson, Okon (Barmby 81), Bravo, Viduka, Kewell (Bakke 45). Subs Not Used: Martyn, Kilgallon.

Booked: Harte, Seth Johnson, Mills, Radebe.

Attendance: 24,633.

Referee: S Bennett (Kent).

Leeds boss Terry Venables
"We're all deeply disappointed"

Blades boss Neil Warnock
"Normally I take Kabba off after 70 minutes"



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