Sheffield United’s FA Cup hero Tommy Doyle faces Wembley heartache after the Blades were drawn against the on-loan midfielder’s parent club Manchester City in the semi-finals.
The 21-year-old would have been hoping to follow in the footsteps of his grandfathers Mike Doyle and Glyn Pardoe by playing at the national stadium after firing the Blades into the last four with a stunning injury-time strike in the thrilling 3-2 win against Blackburn.
But the semi-final draw was not kind, pairing Sheffield United with City, a tie for which under the competition’s rules for loan players Doyle and fellow loanee James McAtee will be ineligible.
Sheffield United’s trip to Wembley is supplementing a Premier League promotion charge – they lie second in the Championship table – while Manchester City were ruthless in dispatching leaders Burnley 6-0 on Saturday.
And there was another one-sided scoreline as Brighton ended Grimsby’s fairy-tale with a decisive 5-0 victory over League Two’s 15th-placed side to set up a last-four tie with Manchester United.
Deniz Undav scored inside six minutes while 18-year-old Evan Ferguson had a standout afternoon, hitting two before Solly March nodded in the fourth and Kaoru Mitoma sealed the Mariners’ fate at the Amex Stadium.
Town were just the fifth tier-four team in competition history to reach this stage and were hoping to accomplish what none had done before by beating their commanding Premier League opponents. The Seagulls’ upcoming trip to the semi-finals will be just their third and leaves them in contention to reach their first trophy contest since 1983.
In the Women’s FA Cup, Manchester United reached the semi-finals after seeing off the plucky challenge of Championship side Lewes 3-1 at the Dripping Pan.
Lewes were the lowest ranked side left in the competition at the quarter-final stage and they went behind when Rhian Cleverly’s own goal put the Women’s Super League title challengers in front just eight minutes in before Vilde Boe Risa doubled the lead after the break.
The hosts got back into the game soon after when an error from Mary Earps saw the ball fall to Emily Kraft on the edge of the box, with the forward lobbing the ball over the United goalkeeper’s head.
But substitute Nikita Parris ensured the visitors reached the next round with a tidy finish from a tight angle in the 89th minute.
Holders Chelsea sealed their spot in the last four by beating fellow WSL side Reading 3-1.
Goals from Jess Carter and a penalty from Maren Mjelde put Chelsea in the driving seat going into the break before a great pass threaded through from Johanna Rytting Kaneryd found Alsu Abdullina, who squared the ball to Guro Reiten to add a third for Chelsea five minutes after the restart.
The Royals earned a consolation through Sanne Troelsgaard in the 70th minute, but Chelsea were able to see the game out as they look to defend their title.
Birmingham were the other remaining Championship team in the competition, but they were knocked out by Brighton following a 2-0 win at St Andrew’s.
Two goals within four minutes were enough for the visitors as Poppy Pattinson put the Seagulls ahead from a corner and Danielle Carter converted from the penalty spot.