Relive Sports Mole's coverage of the FA Cup semi-final tie between Hull City and Sheffield United.
By Joe McPhee Filed: Sunday, April 13, 2014 at 15:05 UK
Last Updated: Tuesday, April 15, 2014 at 10:12 UK
Good afternoon and welcome to Sports Mole's live coverage of the FA Cup semi-final between Premier League side Hull City and League One opponents Sheffield United.
The Tigers come into this game having all but secured top flight safety in their first year back in the division, while United's extremely mixed campaign could well have a glorious end should they lift the cup.
Today's victors will have the chance to take on favourites Arsenal in next month's final, after they overcame Wigan Athletic on penalties yesterday to book their spot.
Please note that kickoff is at 4.07pm.
3.07pmGood afternoon and thank you for joining Sports Mole for this season's second FA Cup semi-final between Hull City and Sheffield United at Wembley. Following yesterday's penalty shootout drama which saw Arsenal progress against Wigan Athletic, what will we have in store today as a Premier League side faces lower league opposition once more?
3.09pmHull have had a great season, with top flight safety all but secure already and off the pitch, the Football Association have rejected chairman Assem Allam's efforts to rebrand the club into Hull Tigers. Winning the FA Cup will be the cherry on top of a solid campaign.
3.10pmIn the cup, Steve Bruce's men have overcome Middlesbrough, Southend, Brighton & Hove Albion and Sunderland to reach this point, a relatively straight forward path with just a replay required to beat the Seagulls after a 1-1 draw at the Amex Stadium.
3.11pmCity have lost three of their last five games, but will come into this one in buoyant mood after a 1-0 win over Swansea City last Saturday.
3.12pmSheffield United meanwhile have a mixed year, after a start to the season which saw them beaten ten times in their first 14 fixtures. However, their fortunes have improved since Nigel Clough took charge, with the Blades going on a nine-game winning run, which included eight clean sheets.
3.14pmClough's team have disposed of two Premier League sides already during their cup run, with Aston Villa and Fulham their victims. They have also seen off Colchester United, Cambridge, Nottingham Forest and Charlton Athletic, and the manager made eight changes to his side for the 1-0 win over Rotherham in midweek with his eye on today's clash.
3.17pmIronically, the last time today's two sides reached this stage of the competition, they both crashed out to Arsenal - their final opponents should they win this afternoon.
3.17pmHull's defeat to the Gunners was way back in 1930. Following a 2-2 draw in the first game at Elland Road, the teams replayed at Villa Park, where Arsenal ran out 1-0 victors.
3.19pmSheffield United's previous last four appearance was a little more recent, with a Freddie Ljungberg strike proving to be the winner when the they met Arsenal at Old Trafford in 2003. The loss is probably best remembered for David Seaman's wonder save from Paul Peschisolido's headed effort.
3.22pmOf the two teams, only Sheffield United have won the FA Cup before - lifting the cup on four occasions between 1899 and 1925. They last reached the final in 1936. Hull's 1930 semi-final appearance is the best they have ever done in the competition.
3.24pmBoth sides have played at the new Wembley Stadium before, with Hull's sole appearance there providing better memories for their fans than either of United's two trips. A Dean Windass bullet gave the Tigers Championship playoff victory in 2008, but the Blades lost the same game the season after. Following relegation to League One, they reached the playoff final in 2012, but came away broken hearted after a penalty shootout loss to Huddersfield Town.
3.27pmUnfortunately for Bruce, he is without his pair of January striker signings, with Shane Long and Nikica Jelavic both cup-tied for this one. Allan McGregor, Robbie Brady and Paul McShane are all out with injuries, but Tom Huddlestone will be fit to start having recovered from a bad back.
3.36pmTEAM NEWS Yannick Sagbo is handed a start for Hull due to the absence of Long and Jelavic, and the Tigers will line up 4-5-1. United welcome back all eight of the players that were rested on Tuesday night.
Subs: Long, Hill, Porter, McGinn, Davies, Freeman, Kennedy.
3.48pmBruce of course used to manage the Blades, and has praised them for reaching this stage of the competition. He said: "You look at what Sheffield United have done and nothing's a given at Wembley. A semi-final is a semi-final. There's nerves, edginess, you need a bit of luck and the bounce of the ball.
"We may never get a better chance of getting to an FA Cup final, but Sheffield United will be thinking exactly the same thing. We've got to perform on the day and that's the key. No matter what division you're in, you have to perform on the day."
3.55pmFans of both sides are lapping up the gorgeous sunshine. This is proper Wembley weather today!
3.56pmI think we'll be seeing another close game this afternoon, but I'd be surprised to see Hull slip up. Despite lacking their two most lethal striking options, I think their midfield will be too strong for Sheffield United. Unlike yesterday, I don't think this one will go all the way to penalties, so I'm predicting a 2-0 victory for the Tigers.
4.01pmThe teams are heading out on to the field, with the captain's of both sides carrying bouquets of flowers to remember those who lost their lives at Hillsborough 25 years ago.
4.05pmA minute of applause sounds around the stadium as the fans remember those who tragically died that day. The sun shines down on 96 seats draped in Liverpool scarves as a tribute.
1 minKICKOFF And we're underway. Both sides are wearing their home kits, so there are a lot of stripes on the field today! A huge shadow is covering half of the pitch, down the left as Sheffield United attack.
2 minBoth sides are just settling into the game, with neither team enjoying any lengthy spells of possession so far. Clough already looks quite animated on the touchline though.
4 minHull are starting to pass the ball around nicely, with Huddlestone, Meyler and Boyd all involved without it really coming to much. United break away, but they quickly lose the ball again.
5 minWhen Sheffield United look to attack, they're clearly keen to do it with pace. Mark Howard's first touch has him releasing the ball quickly to the wings.
7 minUnited are trying to get it up to Jose Baxter early, but Curtis Davies has the measure of him in the air so far. It's a battle I'd fancy the centre half to come out on top of all afternoon in truth.
8 minElmohamady breaks down the right for Hull, but he's ushered out well and despite his protests for a free kick or a corner, he gets neither. Goal kick.
9 minSagbo has been picked ahead of Matty Fryatt today - who has performed well in the cup for Hull this term. The striker will have to impose himself against the no-nonsense pairing of Harris and Maguire if he is going to make an impact today.
11 minHuddlestone tries the first shot of the afternoon - a cheeky effort from near the halfway line. With Howard off his line, the midfielder fancies his chances. However, his attempt is a bit of an insult to the keeper, who collects with ease.
13 minBOOKING Bad tackle by Meyler on Scougall, and United will have a free kick 40 yards out to swing in. The Hull man is rightly cautioned for his error.
14 minHull clear the effort with ease, Davies winning the header and getting it away.
16 minNeither side is blessed with clinical goalscorers, and this is a bit of a cagey affair so far. Nobody has been able to carve out a real opportunity as yet - defences are well on top.
19 minOf course, just as I say defences are on top, we have our first goal of the afternoon! Scougall caused problems when he got the ball, winning a throw. From it, Hull are slow to react and Brayford whips in a lovely, inviting ball. Baxter gets there just before Chester and pokes the ball past Harper, sending the Blades fans into ecstasy. Merseyside man Baxter takes off his black armband and kisses it - his own personal tribute to the 96.
21 minUnited are really up for this now. Their quick to challenge and first to everything. Hull need to wake up a little.
22 minMeyler and Scougall clash again, with the Blades man looking hurt. He gets up however; he won't want to go off early today.
24 minBaxter gets down the right and although Davies reads it, he gives the ball away poorly. A neat pass from Doyle sets up Scougall, but his shot is high and wide.
25 minThere's no doubt who is on top here now, and it isn't the Premier League side.
26 minElmohamady whips the ball in for Hull in a rare foray into opposition territory. The ball is cleared and Huddlestone fires a deflected shot. From their first corner, the Tigers foul Howard and the danger passes.
28 minFlynn wins a free kick near the touchline for United and they'll be able to deliver into the box once again.
29 minIt's another poor one, which Sagbo gets away.
30 minBruce is standing, arms folded on the touchline. He doesn't look too happy with what he's seen so far.
30 minAfter winning a corner, Boyd's delivery is met by Sagbo at the back post. He's all alone, but he's leaning back and can't make anything of the situation.
31 minHuddlestone is on the ball, but he really hasn't been able to influence this one as yet. Bruce has decided to move him deeper, pushing Boyd up to link with Sagbo.
34 minHull just aren't firing in the final third today. A lot of their play is in the air, which doesn't seem to suit Boyd anyway, but they're clearly struggling without Long and Jelavic. Sagbo just isn't in sync with his teammates yet.
35 minHuddlestone kicks out at Doyle and a free kick is given. The Hull man is lucky to get away without a booking there.
37 minThis is a game of very few chances unfortunately, but Sheffield United are doing a very good job here. Screams of "Ole" are coming from the Blades fans with every pass, although that might prove to be a little premature!
39 minWhen Hull finally win the ball back, Boyd crosses from the right for Sagbo, but it's gone straight into Howard's arms. He's yet to be tested at all by the Tigers today.
41 minSagbo finally does get on to the end of a cross, firing Hull level as his shot slams past Howard and into the roof of the net. It came from a lovely one-two between Livermore and Elmohamady, with Livermore's drive ending with a lovely ball across the face. Nice goal.
43 minWow! This game has just turned around. It was quite a controlled and dull affair, and now we've had two goals in 90 seconds. United get down the Hull left and Murphy robs Rosenior. His excellent, direct pull back finds the impressive Scougall and he sends his side back into the lead. Crazy stuff.
45 minWell, I didn't see that coming. A very entertaining end to a half in which there had barely been a shot on goal.
45+1 minIn fact, I can confirm that there have been three shots on target so far!
4.56pmSheffield United certainly deserve to be ahead in this one, but I thought it was simply going to be 1-0 rather than 2-1. The two quick fire strikes will hopefully see this game spring into life after the break, and actually it's a shame that the interval came when it did.
4.58pmSteve Bruce will be furious that his side have slipped behind straight after levelling, but he'll be just as annoyed at their inability to create against this tough United side. Their goal was their first proper effort on goal, but they'll now require more if they're to turn this around again.
4.59pmClough of course will be delighted to see his team go back in front, and if they can get goalscorer Scougall on the ball even more, he certainly seems to have the ability to be dangerous.
5.01pmThe Blades are 45 minutes away from becoming the first side from the third tier to ever reach the cup final. Can they see this out?
5.05pmJust watching back Scougall's goal, it really is a quality move from Sheffield United. They get at Hull with pace, and Murphy's run and cut back is superb. He makes it so easy for Scougall to finish the chance; his first goal for the club.
5.09pmMy prediction of 2-0 went out the window then! It's hard to call which way this one will go second half, but you have to expect Hull to show more adventure than they did in the first 45. Bruce might need to introduce Fryatt or Aluko or Koren from the bench if things are going to change.
5.11pmSUBS FOR HULL CITY Well, call me Steve Bruce! Aluko and Fryatt are coming on for the second half, replacing Boyd and Figueroa - a defender. The manager has clearly seen things aren't working, so he's taken the bull by the horns and changed it up. Will it work?
45 minThe subs are on, and the game restarts. Meyler gets forward for Hull but sends a speculative effort into row Z.
47 minHull look to start quicker, and Fryatt is immediately involved, linking with Sagbo. Aluko too has a run with the ball. Bruce will be encouraged already.
48 minNow he really will be encouraged! Brayford concedes a cheap corner, which United never clear properly. A combination of Davies, Sagbo and Chester all scramble the ball and it eventually reaches super sub Fryatt - who rolls the ball home with ease. 2-2, game on.
50 minVery close call, as Fryatt rounds the keeper and slots home his second, but he's adjudged to be slightly offside after receiving Aluko's pass. Despite the whistle, Bruce will be delighted with what he's witnessed in this opening five minutes. They're showing their Premier League class now.
52 minRosenior has switched to left back with the departure of Figueroa, while Elmohamady has gone to right back. It's hard to disagree with the changes so far, as there is only one team on top now.
53 minEight minutes after the break, and Hull lead the tie for the first time. Huddlestone collects the ball deep in the United half with space to drive forward. After exchanging a one-two with Meyler, Huddlestone rounds a defender and slots home a brilliantly composed finish with his left foot. United have it all to do now.
55 minThere's barely been a second to catch breath since this half kicked off. This was billed as a supposedly boring cup tie between two "defensively solid" teams. Thankfully, since about the 40th minute, it has been anything but.
57 minHull are pressing high, and Meyler puts pressure on Howard. United are living a little dangerously at the back.
58 minCHANCE Sheffield United get in behind for the first time in the second half, but Flynn is tackled excellently by Rosenior. Coady's pass was inch perfect, but Flynn just couldn't get a shot off. Unlucky.
60 minThe game has unsurprisingly settled down now, with the Blades able to take the sting out and stop Hull from getting at them with the regularity which they were. They attack and swing a ball towards the head of Baxter, but Harper claims it confidently.
62 minCHANCE Livermore finds himself with far too much time, and lays the ball off to Huddlestone. The midfielder fancies another goal, smacking a shot at the centre of the goal. Howard is equal to it, gathering it at the second time of asking.
63 minSUB FOR HULL CITY Bruce will hope that this doesn't go to extra time, as he makes his final change. Sagbo departs, with midfielder Quinn entering the field.
65 minHull win a corner which Meyler meets, but his downward header bounces up and over without ever troubling Howard.
66 minYou have to think this tie might be done now, as Hull score their fourth. Bruce is certainly coming up trumps with his substitutions today, with it being former Sheffield United man Quinn who finishes it. A brilliant move down the right has Meyler slide in Livermore. The midfielder looks up, clips a ball into the six yard box, and Quinn can't miss as he heads his team towards the final.
67 minQuinn was a little reluctant to celebrate that one, although he was clearly pleased to have netted. Clough meanwhile looks dejected - this second half has not gone to plan one bit.
69 minCHANCE The Blades win a corner which is hit towards the back stick. Maguire heads it back and Murphy goes for the spectacular, but his bicycle kick goes way over the bar and into the United end.
71 minUnited go forward and Murphy thinks about shooting. Instead, he plays in Flynn, who does shoot. However, his shot is well blocked and Hull clear the danger.
73 minThe Blades have subs warming up - including Chris Porter, who has four FA Cup goals to his name this season. Surely we'll be seeing him soon?
75 minThe Hull fans begin to "Ole" their own passes, with those down the other end probably feeling like it was an age ago since they were the team on top.
76 minHarris wants a free kick after being downed by Elmohamady, but referee Andre Marriner says no. The ball goes down the other end and Hull are nearly in. Howard rushes out to intercept and heads the danger clear.
78 minCHANCE Aluko runs at United again and fires a shot towards goal. However Collins has forced him too wide and he never troubles Howard.
80 minHull are passing the ball around with ease now, killing the clock. The gulf between the sides is now pretty clear.
82 minSUBS FOR SHEFFIELD UNITED Both goalscorers vacate for the Blades, as Porter comes on for Scougall and Davies replaces Baxter.
84 minThis has been a very professional second half from Hull. They flew out of the blocks, got the goals that they needed to win the game and they're now killing it by simply keeping the ball. United certainly gave them a game today and Clough's men will leave with their heads held high.
87 minDavies crosses for Porter but Hull head it away. They break with pace but Fryatt is too slow to release Quinn or Aluko, and both men end up in offside positions.
88 minCHANCE Aluko finds more space in the box but his shot lacks power and although Howard sees it late, he gathers comfortably.
89 minWell then, what a finish we could have on our hands. United go forward and lift a ball into the area. Flynn produces a diving header which gets deflected and bluffs Harper. The ball is slammed in by Murphy and the Blades have a lifeline.
90 minSheffield United will have three minutes of injury time to level up.
90+1 minSheffield United are pressing and all of a sudden Hull look nervous. Maguire creates the chance to shoot, but it's blocked and Hull should be ok now.
90+2 minThis is harsh on Sheffield United, but as they press for the equaliser, Hull hit them on the break. Five players break forward and the Blades can't contain them, with Elmohamady playing in Meyler and he finishes with aplomb. This really is game over this time.
6pmWhat a game that turned out to be! After 40 minutes, this was a pretty boring affair, with the lower league side bossing proceedings and deservedly leading. Then all of a sudden, things burst into life and the game was never the same. Steve Bruce must take the plaudits for his changes at half time, and there is no doubt that the introduction of Aluko and particularly Fryatt changed this game.
6.01pmThe Hull fans are going crazy in their end, as Bruce shakes the hand of every Sheffield United player as they leave the pitch. Without sounding patronising, they did themselves proud today, and to have scored three times in 90 minutes and not go through is quite unlucky.
6.03pmEventually, Hull showed their Premier League class today, although captain Curtis Davies has just stated how annoyed he is at their defensive performance. However, semi finals are all about winning, and they'll have another day at Wembley to look forward to next month. Can they be victorious in their first ever cup final?
6.06pmFor the neutral, this was a far better game than anybody expected. Sheffield United gave it their everything, and the quality of some of the goals today were very impressive.
6.08pmThank you for joining us today on Sports Mole and we hope you'll join us again. Roll on May 17th, when Hull City will take on Arsenal in the 2014 FA Cup Final.