Hull City have booked an FA Cup quarter-final with English Premier League rivals Sunderland after seeing off second-tier Brighton 2-1 in a fifth round replay.
Also through to the last eight are Charlton, who spoilt fellow Championship side Sheffield Wednesday’s dream of a derby with Sheffield United after a 2-1 win at Hillsborough in their fifth round clash on Monday.
Curtis Davies’s header and Robert Koren’s deflected free-kick put Hull 2-0 up at the KC Stadium inside 35 minutes but south coast club Brighton, losing FA Cup finalists in 1983, were given hope when Leonardo Ulloa, who scored in the first meeting between the clubs, headed home from close range in the 69th minute.
Hull then survived some nervous moments to set up a meeting with manager Steve Bruce’s former club and prevent Brighton coming face to face with their old boss Gus Poyet, who is now in charge of Sunderland and left his job at the second tier side under acrimonious circumstances last year.
“Particularly playing Sunderland with this gaffer (Bruce), it’s going to be a big game,” Davies told the UK’s ITV4.
“Obviously Sunderland are going into the (League) Cup final next week (March 2 against Manchester City) as well so they’ll be trying to do well in both cups and stay in the league so it will be an interesting game but hopefully we will come out on top.”
In Sheffield, Callum Harriott opened the scoring for visitors Charlton before Leon Best’s second-half goal drew Wednesday level.
But Wales international Simon Church swung the tie back the way of the south London club by heading in Charlton captain Johnnie Jackson’s second-half free-kick.
However, it took a stunning stoppage-time save from Charlton goalkeeper Ben Hamer, who hurled himself at Chris Maguire’s deflected shot, to prevent Wednesday securing a replay.
It all meant Championship relegation candidates Charlton denied Sheffield football fans a first ‘Steel City’ derby in the FA Cup since Wednesday beat United in a Wembley semi-final in 1993.