Sheffield United 2 – 0 Aston Villa (3-0 on aggregate)
Sheffield United have booked their place in the 2011 FA Youth Cup Final after seeing off last year’s finalists Aston Villa 1-0 on the night and 3-0 on aggregate on Wednesday.
It is the first time in the club’s history that they have reached the final of the 58 year-old competition. They will now face the winners of the other semi-final between Chelsea and Manchester United and will bid to become just the fifth club outside the top flight to win the trophy in the last 30 years.
The Yorkshire men had gone in to the second leg at Bramall Lane knowing a draw would see them through after last month’s 1-0 win at Villa Park. But instead of sitting back on their laurels, the young Blades added two further goals to seal a comfortable passage in to the final in front of over 4,000 fans.
Villa looked lively early on but while enjoying a lot of possession they never seriously threatened to overturn the deficit. Then when United skipper Elliot Whitehouse fired home just before half-time their hopes of making a second successive final looked even more forlorn.
Whitehouse finishing from inside the area after a fine move involving Harry Maguire, Connor Martin and Terry Kennedy.
Whitehouse then added a second after 73 minutes from the penalty spot, after Joe Ironside broke through the Villa rearguard and was hauled down by the Villa keeper, Calum Barrett, who received a dismissal for his last-ditch foul.
With United now in cruise control they threatened to undo some of their good work when Whitehouse got his second yellow of the second half to make it 10 vs 10.
In an end to end finale, Villa’s Samir Carruther then had a chance to reduce their arrears from the spot but blazed over while Martin hit a post for United.
Speaking after the game Sheffield United’s Academy Manager, John Pemberton said:
“I am pleased with the performance because it was always going to be difficult against a good Villa side but we are a good team, with a great spirit and they have worked ever so hard. I am really proud of every one of the lads.”
“Having played them twice in a short space of time we had to go through the processes again of making sure we were hard to beat and in the end we certainly deserved to win over the two legs.”
Should Sheffield United overcome Chelsea or Man United in the final they will sit alongside, Ipswich Town, Millwall, Watford, West Ham United, Crystal Palace, West Bromwich Albion and Aston Villa in a list of clubs who have won the competition while not in the top flight of English football.