Premier League strugglers Sheffield United gained only their third win of the season as they beat Plymouth Argyle in their FA Cup fourth-round tie.
The Blades, bottom of the Premier League, went ahead when Chris Basham headed in from Billy Sharp’s cross.
Sharp added a second, scoring after going around goalkeeper Michael Cooper.
Panutche Camara, who missed a good chance in the first half, pulled one back with a low strike, but the Blades held on to move into the fifth round.
Sheffield United play at home to Championship side Bristol City in the last 16 after the Robins defeated Millwall 3-0.
The Blades failed to win in any of their opening 18 matches in all competitions in 2020-21 before knocking out League One side Bristol Rovers 3-2 in the third round of the cup and a 1-0 league victory over Newcastle.
Club record signing Rhian Brewster, still looking for his first Blades goal since a £23m move from Liverpool in October, had two early chances against the Pilgrims but headed wide from 12 yards out and then had a 25-yard strike saved by Cooper.
League One side Plymouth, who eliminated Championship Huddersfield Town in the third round, should have opened the scoring but, following a fine passing move, Camara shot wide when unmarked 12 yards out.
The hosts were then unlucky not to have a penalty as Ethan Ampadu’s shot was blocked by the arms of Plymouth defender Kelland Watts, with the incident going to the video assistant referee.
But the Blades went ahead in the 39th minute as Sharp’s cross was powerfully met by a Basham header, before Sharp scored himself soon after the restart.
Camara set up a thrilling finish when he scored following substitute Byron Moore’s pull-back. Plymouth’s Ben Reeves had a chance to force extra time but shot just wide as the Premier League team gained the victory.
‘We’ve done everyone proud’ - what they said
Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder: “They had to chuck everything at us and we’re disappointed with the manner of their goal. We had to have an attitude about us and we had that, it wasn’t as comfortable as it should have been but we saw it out.
“It’s the end bit again that has cost us. I’ve been involved in this cup many times as a player and a manager and these are not straightforward ties.
“They would have sniffed a result here but the attitude and play was good. We just didn’t go from 2-0 to 3-0 which would have seen it out.
“Indecision in a poor area, we’ve got to cut that out. It doesn’t matter what level you play at, you’ll get punished.”
Plymouth Argyle boss Ryan Lowe: “We ran them close. To come here and go toe-to-toe with them and showcase what we’ve got, we did that.
“We missed a great chance in the first half, he’s [Camara] been scoring them of late, but you can’t fault them. There’s no shame losing 2-1 at Bramall Lane.
“Our main priority is the league. If there was another five minutes, who knows, but we’ve done everyone proud.”
- 20BogleSubstituted forBaldockat 71′minutes
- 16NorwoodBooked at 68minsSubstituted forBryanat 72′minutes
- 24BrewsterSubstituted forMcGoldrickat 79′minutes
- 10SharpSubstituted forBurkeat 79′minutes
- 2WattsBooked at 90mins
- 28Pereira CamaráSubstituted forNoubleat 88′minutes
- 18FornahSubstituted forReevesat 59′minutes
- 31JephcottSubstituted forMooreat 64′minutes
- 9HardieSubstituted forTelfordat 64′minutes
- Lee Mason
Match ends, Sheffield United 2, Plymouth Argyle 1.
Second Half ends, Sheffield United 2, Plymouth Argyle 1.
Foul by George Baldock (Sheffield United).
Jerome Opoku (Plymouth Argyle) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Kelland Watts (Plymouth Argyle) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Oliver Burke (Sheffield United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Kelland Watts (Plymouth Argyle).
Corner, Sheffield United. Conceded by Michael Cooper.
Attempt saved. Oliver Burke (Sheffield United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by David McGoldrick with a headed pass.
Attempt missed. Byron Moore (Plymouth Argyle) right footed shot from the right side of the box is high and wide to the right following a set piece situation.
Foul by Chris Basham (Sheffield United).
Frank Nouble (Plymouth Argyle) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Substitution, Plymouth Argyle. Frank Nouble replaces Panutche Camará.
Foul by Oliver Burke (Sheffield United).
Will Aimson (Plymouth Argyle) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by John Egan (Sheffield United).
Dominic Telford (Plymouth Argyle) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by John Lundstram (Sheffield United).
Danny Mayor (Plymouth Argyle) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Ethan Ampadu (Sheffield United).