Ex-Bradford City hero Phil Parkinson makes Sheffield United promotion claim after thrilling Wrexham FA Cup tie

Wrexham manager Phil Parkinson admitted he was choked by emotion after his side were denied an historic FA Cup victory by Sheffield United on Sunday evening.

Paul Mullin struck four minutes from time with his 27th goal of the season and looked to have put the National League leaders in the fifth round only for John Egan to level proceedings for the 10-man Blades in stoppage time.

With Holywood star and Wrexham co-owner Ryan Reynolds in the crowd, Blades striker Oli McBurnie scored after just 64 seconds as the visitors looked to rip up the script for a potential upset but goals from James Jones and Tom O’Connor early in the second half put the Welsh club in front.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The National League club had beat Coventry City 4-3 in a thrilling fourth-round tie but Sheffield United hit back through Oliver Norwood before being reduced to 10 men after Daniel Jebbison was sent off for an off-the-ball incident.

Wrexham manager Phil Parkinson. Picture: Barrington Coombs/PAWrexham manager Phil Parkinson. Picture: Barrington Coombs/PA
Wrexham manager Phil Parkinson. Picture: Barrington Coombs/PA

Ollie Palmer struck the underside of the crossbar in the final 10 minutes before Mullin finished from the centre of the penalty area to put the Blades on the cusp of a shock defeat. However, Egan struck in added time to send the game to a Bramall Lane replay.

Parkinson, who oversaw Bradford City’s memorable 4-2 FA Cup upset at Stamford Bridge in 2015, was delighted with the performance as he said his team more than matched a side with “Premier League written all over them.”

“The start we had, conceding a goal and losing two players (Jordan Tunnicliffe and Aaron Hayden to injury), for the team to reset ourselves as well as we did I thought was outstanding,” said Parkinson.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“When that happens heads can drop quickly and people start looking around for excuses and there wasn’t any of that. I thought the lads were immense.

“These are a good side, as their league position suggests, and they have Premier League written all over them but we pinned them back for long periods and it’s a real blow we didn’t get over the line.

“It’s a mix of emotions. I am choked for the fans we haven’t got over the line and created history here.”

He added: “Ryan came into the dressing room after I’d finished my bit and said some great words to the lads and it meant a lot to the team because the lads gave everything.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“The lads were flat in the dressing room, I think that shows the group they are. But when we wake up tomorrow we have to take enormous credit for the way we have gone about the business but also the atmosphere created in the ground.”