In soaring temperatures at Wembley Stadium the game failed to ignite, but there was plenty of drama in the penalty shoot-out as Blades goalkeeper Steve Simonson blazed the 22nd spot-kick over the crossbar to send the Terriers into the second tier.
United pair Richard Cresswell and Stephen Quinn had chances blocked as the first 45 minutes provided little in the way of entertainment, with Huddersfield having to wait until the second half for their first half of note. Just seconds after the restart Danny Ward opened up some space for himself, but the youngster’s effort came crashing back off the crossbar with Simonson beaten.
That chance failed to spark some life into the game, but as time wore on and the players grew tired in the intense heat, openings began to present themselves to both sides. Simonson twice denied Peter Clarke and Tommy Miller’s effort was cleared off the line as the Terries sought a winner, while at the other end Chris Porter headed wide before Quinn hit the side-netting.
Extra-time was needed and Huddersfield goalkeeper Alex Smithies had to make a smart save to deny Quinn after the United man had surged into the box, and opposite number Simonson matched those efforts moments later as he kept out an effort from Alan Lee, ensuring the game went to spot-kicks.
Huddersfield looked to be down and out as Miller, Damien Johnson and Lee all missed their penalties, with misses from Lee Williamson and Matthew Lowton sandwiching Neil Collins’ converted spot-kick for the Blades. However, Clarke gave the Terriers hope by slotting home penalty number four and they were handed an even bigger boost when Andy Taylor, brought on to take a spot-kick, hit the post.
The next 12 men all successfully converted their spot-kicks, forcing both goalkeepers to take one under sudden death rules. Town’s Smithies made no mistake with his, and opposite number Simonson then cleared the crossbar to spark wild scenes of celebration at Huddersfield end of the stadium.