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All square between Preston and Sheffield United

Paul Gallagher scored from a free-kick. Credit: PA

Diego De Girolamo scored his first goal for Sheffield United as last season's FA Cup semi-finalists earned a fourth-round replay with a 1-1 draw at Deepdale.

Preston began the brighter and Paul Gallagher opened the scoring on 19 minutes but Italy under-20 international De Girolamo struck midway through the second half for the Blades.

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Captain tells Sheffield United to up game for Spurs clash

Sheffield United captain Michael Doyle accepts his side must lift their game to an even higher level if they are to pull off another upset in their two-legged Capital One Cup semi-final against Tottenham.

But the Irish midfielder insists if the tie is still alive after Wednesday night's first leg at White Hart Lane, Nigel Clough's cup specialists will have "a brilliant chance" in the return leg at Bramall Lane.

Michael Doyle will lead his team out at White Hart Lane. Credit: PA

"There's a lot to play for and I'm sure Tottenham will be fired up," Doyle said. "They'll look at our previous results and performances in other cup games and I'm sure they'll take note of that.

"They won't underestimate us, especially as we've come so far and they'll be looking to finish it in the first leg, so we've got to be on our guard.

"I just hope we can keep the tie alive. If we can, coming back to Bramall Lane will give us a brilliant chance."

Dyke: Ched Evans' return to football 'is not clear cut'

The issue of whether convicted rapist Ched Evans should return to football is "not clear cut", FA chairman Greg Dyke has said.

While Dyke refused to give his own view on Sheffield United allowing Evans to train following his release from prison, he said there is a "straightforward question" that needs to be answered.

Football Association chairman Greg Dyke said there is a 'straightforward question' that needs to be answered. Credit: Patrick Seeger/DPA/Press Association Images

He told BBC's Newsnight: "Here's the straightforward question - are people who go to prison entitled to come out of prison and to try and rebuild their lives or aren't they?

"Or is what they've done so bad and because they're in an industry where their image is important - and that's the dilemma and it's not clear cut."

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Ched Evans' aunt: 'He will never show remorse'

Ched Evans' aunt has attacked the footballer for not apologising to the victim of the rape for which he was convicted.

Nina Evans, 56, told the Sun: “Ched won’t grasp or listen. He won’t admit he’s done wrong. He’ll never show remorse.”

Footballer Ched Evans outside court. Credit: PA

Ms Evans, who works as an addiction counsellor and sometimes treats rape victims, said she was very disappointed in a video apology her nephew made.

In the video Evans apologised to girlfriend Natasha Massey but did not mention his victim.

“It cut me like a knife. I hoped he’d come to his senses and say the right thing. What about his poor victim? It’s a massive insult to her," Ms Evans said.

Ched Evans makes video appeal for 'second chance'

Ched Evans has issued a video statement asking for a "second chance" to resume his professional football career after serving a prison sentence for rape.

The former Sheffield United striker, sitting alongside his girlfriend Natasha Massey, said it was his "hope" to return to the game, adding: "If that is possible then I will do so with humility having learned a very painful lesson."

Evans said he remained "determined to continue the fight to clear my name" in the video released on his personal website.

BBC's Buerk: Ched Evans' rape victim deserves no credit

The BBC has apologised after presenter Michael Buerk broadcast that footballer Ched Evans' rape victim was among those not coming away "with any credit" from the case because she was "so drunk she could barely stand".

Michael Buerk's comments aired this morning on Radio 4 ahead of this evening's Moral Maze. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Archive

Speaking in a trailer for this evening's Radio 4 programme Moral Maze, which will debate whether Evans should return to his former club Sheffield United after his prison release, Buerk said:

Nobody comes out of the Ched Evans rape case with any credit. Not the victim who had drunk so much she could barely stand, nor the two footballers who had sex with her in the most sordid of circumstances.

The jury convicted only one of rape and now, after serving half his five-year sentence, ashamed but unrepentant, Ched Evans has been released and there is talk of a £500,000 contract to return to his club, Sheffield United.

– Michael Buerk

This morning's aired comments received strong criticism from rape charities amid an angry public response. A spokesman for Radio 4 said:

There was no intention to suggest that the victim was in any way at fault, and we apologise if the way this live trail was phrased suggested this.

Tonight’s Moral Maze will ask whether a convicted rapist who maintains his innocence should be entitled to get his job back.

– BBC statement

The criticism of Buerk's comments come after public outrage at TV presenter Judy Finnigan's claim that the victim in the case had "had far too much to drink" and that the "rape was not violent".

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