Tommy Doyle took matters into his own hands to ensure he emulated his grandparents by playing at Wembley after leading Sheffield United to the FA Cup semi-finals with a shock stoppage-time winner against Blackburn.
The Manchester City borrower has seen video footage of his paternal grandfather Mike Doyle and maternal grandfather Glyn Pardoe playing at City’s National Stadium in the late 1960s and ’70s and will now join them after his 25-year streak yards won a dramatic 3-2. quarter-final win at Bramall Lane.
His goal completed a late turnaround as United went out, followed by goals from Ben Brereton Diaz and Sam Szmodics, which came on either side of Sam Gallagher’s own goal, until the last 10 minutes.
Oli McBurnie got the Blades level on 81 minutes before Doyle’s heroics booked a first FA Cup semi-final place for the Blades from 2014.
It was tough for Blackburn, who have yet to play at the new Wembley but will now turn all their attention to their championship drive.
Second-placed Paul Heckingbottom is in an even stronger position in the league and the manager said in the build-up to the game that this has the potential to be one of the best weeks in the club’s history.
They had early ascendancy and created a good chance to open the scoring in the eighth minute.
James McAtee ran into the pass that split John Egan’s defence, but never seemed confident to score, with his shot well saved by Rovers goalkeeper Aynsley Pears.
But it was Blackburn who took the lead in the 21st minute after they were awarded a penalty following a VAR check.
It didn’t seem obvious at the time, but Gallagher’s shot struck Jack Robinson’s outstretched arm and referee Tim Robinson awarded the kick from the penalty mark after reviewing the pitch monitor. Brereton Díaz fired from 12 yards for his 14th goal of the season.
The Blades’ response was quick and they leveled six minutes later.
A clear corner fell on Max Lowe from 25 yards out and his ferocious effort went wide until he hit Gallagher’s knee and drifted into the far corner, leaving Pears a helpless bystander.
The second half began from end to end, with chances to go ahead by both teams.
The hosts’ best opener came on 57 minutes when a stray pass from Lewis Travis sent McAtee on target again, but another weak finish saw Pears save with his legs. And it looked like that miss could prove pivotal as three minutes later Blackburn took the lead.
Lowe’s poor touch in a dangerous position saw Gallagher claim possession. He slipped Szmodics on target and there was no mistake when the midfielder fired into the bottom corner.
The visitors smelled glory and Ryan Hedges came within inches of sealing the game, but his low shot hit the inside of a post and rolled over the goal line before going safely.
The Blades were barely shooting door to door in search of the equalizing goal, but one came out of nowhere on 81′. McBurnie shrugged off two challenges in the box before rolling a smart finish into the far corner.
After that, the traffic was one way and Doyle completed the turn in great style in the first minute of stoppage time when he shot home with a forceful effort, which Pears could not prevent.
winners sheffield united next face a trip to Norwich while black burn visit birmingham city. Both Championship qualifiers will take place on April 1, at 3 p.m.