EFL Cup - Fourth Round
MK DonsMilton Keynes Dons1Sheff UtdSheffield United2

Milton Keynes Dons 1-2 Sheffield United

By Chris OsborneBBC Sport at Stadium MK
Michael Higdon celebrates his winning goal
Higdon's two goals takes him to five for the season

Substitute Michael Higdon scored two dramatic late goals to beat MK Dons and put Sheffield United into the League Cup quarter-finals.

After an unremarkable first half, United squandered two chances to lead, with Marc McNulty missing out in a goalmouth scramble and Stefan Scougall heading over with the goal open.

Benik Afobe put MK in front from the spot after Craig Alcock had tripped Dele Alli.

But Higdon headed in Robert Harris's cross and then slotted in at the back post to complete a remarkable turnaround.

Higdon, a summer arrival from Dutch side NEC, had scored the winner against Leyton Orient in the previous round and breathed life into a game that had lacked excitement until his introduction on the 57th minute.

Only two points separate the teams in League One, with the Blades two places above the Dons in sixth, and they were evenly matched in a drab opening 45 minutes.

Scougall's header over the bar from a Ben Davies cross was a remarkable miss with the goal gaping and it looked like Nigel Clough's side would be punished when Afobe scored his sixth goal in the competition this season from the penalty spot in the 67th minute.

But former Crewe man Higdon looped a graceful header in four minutes from time to level up before Alli went down the other end and struck the outside of the Blades post.

With the game finally coming to life, Higdon collected Jamie Murphy's injury-time corner and rifled past David Martin to put United into the last eight for the first time in 11 years and just six months after reaching last season's FA Cup semi-final.

MK Dons boss Karl Robinson told BBC Three Counties Radio: "I thought we cancelled each other out. Tactically we both got it right to negate each other's strengths.

"It wasn't set up to be an entertaining game. But it's disappointing. I've said to the players we need to take care of the finer details.

"Switching off at a set-piece - they know that's a strength of Sheffield United. It's stupid and silly and we need to learn from that.

"But I want us to remember the good parts of this cup run. We have some memories that will live with us for forever and a day."

Sheffield United boss Nigel Clough told BBC Radio Sheffield: "It's an incredible achievement. For a League One side to make the last eight is a brilliant achievement.

"Over the course of the game I thought we just about edged it in terms of chances.

"A rash challenge from Craig Alcock gives them the lead. But after that I thought we deserved our two goals.

"Michael can't do too much more than that. He's done brilliantly coming off the bench and scoring those goals."

Line-ups

MK Dons

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Martin
  • 12Spence
  • 4Flanagan
  • 5McFadzeanBooked at 90mins
  • 3Lewington
  • 8PotterBooked at 40mins
  • 14Alli
  • 22Carruthers
  • 10ReevesSubstituted forGriggat 61'minutes
  • 9BowditchSubstituted forPowellat 61'minutes
  • 23Afobe

Substitutes

  • 6Kay
  • 11Grigg
  • 13Baker
  • 15Randall
  • 16McLoughlin
  • 17Powell
  • 19Hitchcock

Sheff Utd

Formation 4-5-1

  • 1Howard
  • 2AlcockBooked at 67mins
  • 17McGahey
  • 19McEveley
  • 3Harris
  • 16DaviesSubstituted forCampbell-Ryceat 76'minutes
  • 8Doyle
  • 10ScougallSubstituted forBaxterat 70'minutesBooked at 81mins
  • 22Reed
  • 9Murphy
  • 12McNultySubstituted forHigdonat 55'minutes

Substitutes

  • 11Baxter
  • 14McGinn
  • 20Campbell-Ryce
  • 21Higdon
  • 24Turner
  • 27Kennedy
  • 28Dimaio
Referee:
Roger East
Attendance:
8,520

Match Stats

Home TeamMK DonsAway TeamSheff Utd
Possession
Home54%
Away46%
Shots
Home9
Away8
Shots on Target
Home5
Away3
Corners
Home2
Away6
Fouls
Home16
Away13

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, MK Dons 1, Sheffield United 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, MK Dons 1, Sheffield United 2.

  3. Goal!

    Goal! MK Dons 1, Sheffield United 2. Michael Higdon (Sheffield United) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box to the bottom left corner.

  4. Post update

    Corner, Sheffield United. Conceded by Tom Flanagan.

  5. Booking

    Kyle McFadzean (MK Dons) is shown the yellow card.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Kyle McFadzean (MK Dons).

  7. Post update

    Jamal Campbell-Ryce (Sheffield United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  8. Post update

    Corner, Sheffield United. Conceded by Dean Lewington.

  9. Post update

    Dele Alli (MK Dons) hits the left post with a right footed shot from the right side of the box.

  10. Goal!

    Goal! MK Dons 1, Sheffield United 1. Michael Higdon (Sheffield United) header from the centre of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Jose Baxter.

  11. Post update

    Corner, Sheffield United. Conceded by Tom Flanagan.

  12. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Robert Harris (Sheffield United) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

  13. Post update

    Daniel Powell (MK Dons) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Jamal Campbell-Ryce (Sheffield United).

  15. Booking

    Jose Baxter (Sheffield United) is shown the yellow card.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Jordan Spence (MK Dons).

  17. Post update

    Jamie Murphy (Sheffield United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Samir Carruthers (MK Dons).

  19. Post update

    Louis Reed (Sheffield United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  20. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Samir Carruthers (MK Dons) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.