VAUGHAN BRILLIANCE RUNS OUT
BLADES boss Nigel Adkins was Lane. impressed with Non-League Worcester after they put in a battling display in defeat at Bramall
An early Jose Baxter penalty was all that separated the sides until the nine minutes from time, as the visitors held their own with goalkeeper Nathan Vaughan at the top of his game.
But further strikes from Conor Sammon and Kieron Freeman sealed their fate and Adkins was relieved.
“Thankfully we’ve got ourselves through the round,” he said.
“We did our homework on the opposition and gave them the respect they deserved and we gave their lads an ovation when they came off, as I think that’s important as well. I was at Bangor City so I know what it’s like and how difficult it is.
“I’m really pleased we’ve scored three good goals – it was a good game. Their goalkeeper made some great saves – he has probably pulled off four worldies.”
City had 2,000 supporters at Bramall Lane and they were given something to cheer after just six minutes when Ashley Vincent let fly from 20 yards, forcing George Long into a fine fingertip save.
But it was the League One side who took the lead on 19 minutes. Che Adams skipped into the box, where he was upended by Sam Minihan. Referee Simon Bennett pointed to the spot and Baxter made no mistake.
Buoyed by the goal, the home side began to take control and the excellent Jamal Campbell-Ryce was denied by an excellent save from Worcester keeper Vaughan, who pushed his curling shot onto the crossbar and away to safety.
Campbell-Ryce was causing the City defence all sorts of problems and the visitors made a change early in the second half, replacing Minihan with Tyler Weir.
And this seemed to bolster things up with the Non-League outfit slowly edging back into the game.
With Vaughan keeping the Blades at bay at one end – he pulled off another fine save to deny Freeman – the visitors almost grabbed an equaliser at the other. Dan Nti’s cross found substitute Tristian Dunkley but he just failed to steer the ball beyond Long in the United goal.
Bob Harris hit the Worcester bar with a free-kick before Sammon stabbed in a second on 81 minutes, Campbell-Ryce with the cross.
The visitors pushed to get back into contention but they were undone for a third time on 90 minutes when good work from Freeman saw him create an opening and wrap things up from close range.
City joint-manager Carl Heeley said: “It has been fabulous and I couldn’t have asked anything more of the boys – they were magnificent.
“We were right in the game for 80 minutes but obviously the second goal killed us off.
“But we were two inches away from an equaliser and if that goes in then who knows what might have happened.”
PENALTY PAID: Jose Baxter scores the first goal for Sheffield United from the spot
ALL OVER: Kieron Freeman celebrates his goal
STAR MAN JAMAL C’BELL-RYCE