SHEFFIELD United conceded two late goals to surrender what looked like certain victory in a superbly-entertaining 2-2 tie at Bramall Lane this afternoon.
United made the most of their first half chances...yet it looked Wednesday wouldn’t bury their’s until the last gasp of the game.
Two lethal Owls’ strikes ensured a point a piece in this exhausting League One spectacle.
While it was honours even, it will feel like a defeat for Danny Wilson and his men.
The game was only 11 minutes old when Ched Evans’ effort clattered off the post and Stephen Quinn reacted quickest, to give United a lead, slightly against the run of the play.
Quinn converted from inside the six-yard box and Bramall Lane erupted - Quinn celebrating in front of his super-calm manager Danny Wilson - who was more concerned with working out his team’s next move.
Wednesday upped the pressure and Chris O’Grady had a clear chance to equalise but made a hash of it - and almost instantly the Blades punished them, Evans heading in from an angle on 20 minutes, after good work from fast-improving Lee Williamson.
United may have been 2-0 up but they continued to live dangerously at the back, and didn’t always deal well with Wednesday’s direct approach and marking was patchy.
A deflected Ben Marshall shot rubbed against the bar on 28 minutes.
The bad news continued for the Owls though with the referee cautioning Lewis Buxton, for unsporting behaviour.
A yellow card went to Richard Cresswell soon after.
With Gary Megson becoming more agitated on the sideline, Danny Batth almost found a way back, but couldn’t get his header on target.
He’d connected with an inswinging corner by Marshall from the left, but his effort from close range sailed wide of the left-hand post.
It summed up the problem for the blue half of the city - a lack of precision.
Half time: United 2 Wednesday 0.
Wednesday fans felt aggrieved to have been two down after their share of the first half chances and striking the woodwork. It had been roughly 4-4 on chances - but creating the chances and converting them are two different things.
They were heartened, perhaps, to see Jermaine Johnson replace of James O’Connor.
Free kicks and fouls littered a scrappy half to the second half, though, as the Owls tried to get a grip on the flow of play.
Evans was given a yellow card as the challenges flew in and tempers began to fray.
A fine Wednesday chance fell to Gary Madine; but he sent the ball on to the roof of the net.
New signing from Blackpool Matt Phillips came on for Williamson and immediately showed glimpses of his pace.
Wednesday needed to come up with something different - and with seven minutes to go O’Grady made up for his earlier miss, with a fine finish.
The tempo changed instantly - and Madine helped himself to a dramatic headed equaliser from inside the box on 85 mins.
An absolutely astonishing finish...and a game to remember for a long, long time.
Sheffield United: Simonsen, Lowton, Collins, Maguire, Williams, Montgomery, Williamson, McDonald, Quinn, Evans, Cresswell.
Substitutes: Long, Lescinel, M Phillips, Porter, Clarke.
Sheffield Wednesday: Bywater, Buxton, Batth, R Jones, Semedo, Johnson, Lines, O’Connor, O’Grady, Marshall, Madine.
Substitutes: O’Donnell, Bennett, Prutton, Johnson, Palmer.
Ref: Michael Oliver.
*Read our comprehensive analysis - four pages inside our Final Score supplement, in The Star on Monday.
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