Lee Williamson (left) celebrates his impressive opening goal for the Blades
Sheffield United booked an FA Cup fourth-round tie at Bolton after beating QPR in an entertaining replay.
The Blades took the lead early on when Lee Williamson cushioned a Nick Montgomery pass and drilled home.
Substitute Jamie Ward then scored with his first touch before Richard Cresswell powerfully struck a third.
Akos Buzsaky pulled one back from the spot after Derek Geary handled before Damion Stewart headed another late on, but United held on to move through.
The result was a hardly a surprise given the two sides' contrasting recent fortunes but United will head back north mightily relieved after almost letting slip a three-goal lead in west London.
The hosts came into the game having not reached the fourth round of the FA Cup since 2001 and while manager Paul Hart can take a lot of positives from the performance, another early exit will do little to ease the pressure he is already under.
QPR's poor recent form did not stop them having the best of the opening stages, with Patrick Agyemang causing the Blades' defence problems.
Jay Simpson glanced a header wide of Mark Bunn's post while Agyemang also saw an effort well blocked by Chris Morgan.
But it was United who took the lead, despite a lack of creativity early on.
A hopeful ball into the area from Montgomery was chested down superbly by Williamson and drilled past Radek Cerny.
Simpson continued to look lively and could have levelled after a mistake from Stephen Quinn but put his shot wide, while Buzsaky really should have scored after bursting into the area - only to miss in the same manner.
With half-time fast approaching Ched Evans wasted a glorious chance to extend the visitors' advantage.
The young striker was sent clear by James Harper but with only Cerny to beat his crashing drive came back off the crossbar.
Rangers responded immediately and had Geary to thank after his excellent goalline clearance denied Kaspars Gorkss.
Hart's side were certainly worthy of an equaliser and continued to dominate after the break, with United not helping themselves by giving the ball away regularly.
Blades boss Kevin Blackwell then opted to replace Williamson with Ward in a substitution that changed the game.
The midfielder immediately raced onto a fine cross from Stephen Quinn and scored with his first touch - having only been on the field for 10 seconds.
Ward then turned provider for Cresswell to make it 3-0 from close range and all but secure passage to the next round.
But Rangers fought back valiantly. First, Buzsaky pulled one back from the penalty spot after Geary was harshly adjudged to have handled.
Then Stewart got on the end of a Buzsaky free-kick to set up an exciting finish, albeit in front of just 5780 fans in west London.
And the hosts came agonisingly close to forcing extra-time but Bunn pulled off a brilliant save to deny sub Antonio German in the dying seconds.
QPR boss Paul Hart:
"The way we started the second-half was a disaster.
"We've gone 15 games without a clean sheet and you can see why. That is a side of our game that has to improve.
"It was a very spirited comeback but it was too little, too late."
Sheffield United manager Kevin Blackwell:
"Good first touch, wasn't it? (on Jamie Ward's second-half goal).
"We should have been two or three up by half-time so I'm glad we didn't have to rue those missed chances."
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