Ten-man Sheffield United was held to a 3-3 draw at National League leaders Wrexham in the Fourth Round of the FA Cup and will require a replay at Bramall Lane in a few weeks to decide the tie.
United looked to walk away with the tie after Oli McBurnie’s header put the Blades ahead within a minute played. But a spirited Wrexham performance saw them level shortly after the break before they went ahead. The visitors drew the game level through Oli Norwood’s sweet strike before the Blades were reduced to ten men following Daniel Jebbison’s dismissal. Wrexham again took the lead through Paul Mullen who looked to be the winner before the captain, John Egan’s strike moments from time levelled the score; 3-3.
Heckingbottom made five changes ahead of the game at the Racecourse Ground. Keeper Adam Davies, wing-backs Jayden Bogle, and Ben Osborn as well as midfielder James McAtee and striker Oli McBurnie were in the starting line-up. Wes Foderingham, Jack Robinson, Illiman Ndiaye, and Billy Sharp were all on the bench.
Meanwhile, Red Dragons boss Phil Parkinson began with former Blades Mark Howard and Callum McFadzean.
The Blades were ahead after one minute. United had the kick-off and within seconds United was awarded a corner. Doyle’s delivery to the near post saw McBurnie clear his marker before heading home past Howard.
In the build-up to the goal, Wrexham defender Tunnicliffe was injured and was forced to be replaced by Max Cleworth.
They were hampered further by injury when Hayden went down injured and, after treatment and returned to the pitch was replaced by Jones – all before the game was ten minutes old.
The hosts almost found a way to goal after 13 minutes when a long throw into the box was flicked onto the far post and after Davies spilt, O’Connor failed to hit the target.
A quality solo run from Jebbison saw the striker squeeze between two defenders before his effort was expertly pushed away for a corner.
United was temporarily reduced to ten men on the half-hour mark after a challenge to Bogle left the former Derby County defender with a bloodied nose and had to leave the pitch to receive treatment.
The latter stages of the first half were scrappy as neither side could get a foothold in the game, before the referee added seven minutes of stoppage time, largely due to injuries.
Wrexham was presented with a chance four minutes into stoppage time as Howard’s long kick from a United corner saw Mullen pull away on the counter. He pulled away from his marker before testing Davies on the angle. A minute later the striker was tripped on the edge of the area with Egan cautioned for his troubles. Mullen smashed the resulting free-kick against the wall before the referee blew for half-time.
Heckingbottom made a change at the break with Max Lowe replacing McAtee, allowing Osborn to return to midfield and Lowe to move into a natural left wing-back position.
The hosts had better chances in the second half. A Young shot from distance was parried by Davies and in the goal mouth scramble failed to score. However, they were level a minute later from a long throw which was headed onto the back post and Jones hooked the ball home past a scrambling Davies.
United made a double change shortly before the hour as Billy Sharp replace scorer McBurnie and Ndiaye replaced Osborn.
Wrexham went ahead on 61 minutes after a corner wasn’t cleared and O’Connor hammered home from close range.
However, United was level on 65 minutes. Sharp’s deflected cross wasn’t cleared with Jebbison seeing his effort blocked. Howard then saved Norwood’s follow-up before the midfielder hit home the rebound.
Moments later, Ndiaye twice blasted over the top after dancing around several players. In an off-the-ball incident, on 70 minutes, Jebbison kicked out at Ben Tozer and was dismissed with the Wrexham defender booked.
The hosts were unfortunate not to re-take the lead with ten minutes remaining when a ball into the box saw Palmer get the better of Ahmedhodzic and his powerful effort hit the underside of the bar before bouncing away to safety.
Seven minutes later they did take the lead! After Ndiaye lost possession in the final third a breakaway saw Mullen charge through the middle, he found Dolby on the right and his low cross found Mullen to finish.
The visitors drew level with two minutes remaining of the seven minutes of added time. Ndiaye had narrowly headed wide Doyle’s cross and moments later, after Sharp forced a corner, Doyle’s delivery was volleyed home by Egan on the far post.