Sunshine at Wembley.
Grey shirts of Rotherham United v the red of Leyton Orient, competing in the League One Play off final at the Mecca of English football.
Energy-sapped players running on empty after a long season...yet still giving absolutely everything.
Heart-stopping football for the fans of both the north-south rivals.
What an advert this was for the passion-filled programme that is the Football League!
It was a truly remarkable 120 minutes in a game decided on penalties.
After coming back from 0-2 down - Alex Revell’s second goal as good as you are likely to see this year even in the World Cup - the workaholic Millers and Orient took the final game of the campaign to spot kicks.
And they won it - courtesy of Chris Dagnall’s penalty miss.
We’d hoped it was going to be one of the greatest days Rotherham United’s 89-year history.
That’s how it turned out.
Rotherham sealed back-to-back promotions and return to the Championship for the first time since 2004-05.
That emulated Ronnie Moore’s Millers’ outfit that recorded successive promotions in 1999-00 and 2000-01.
Millers were the most confident and offensively adventurous side, at the start.
They should have had a penalty on two minutes when striker Revell was bundled over from the back by Nathan Clarke’s forearm.
Wes Thomas could have profitted from a couple of half chances in the O’s penalty area early on, too.
There were long shots from Lee Frecklington and James Tavenier.
Orient routinely risked only Kevin Lisbie high up front in the opening stanza and had fewer opportunities at the other end.
The team from the London Borough of Waltham Forest began to get more of the ball, but carved out little in the first half an hour other than a shot from Dave Mooney, from the left side of the penalty area, into the Millers’ side netting.
But on 34 minutes, Moses Odubajo stunned Rotherham; he hammered in a left foot volley from just outside the penalty box - the 20 year old midfielder getting booked for ripping his shirt off in celebration.
Odubajo, then used his right peg, to hurt the Millers once again.
He directed a neat ball across the face of the penalty area for an easy tap-in from the unmarked Dean Cox.
Rotherham had quite simply neglected their defensive duties - and had paid for it with two goals in five minutes.
Ben Pringle almost reduced the arrears with a superb shot from distance which landed on the roof of the net.
But as the teams walked off at half time, Orient had proved they possessed a cutting edge, Millers hadn’t.
Rotherham, the bookies’ favourites, who beat Preston North End 4-2 on aggregate in the Play Off semi-finals, were facing a massively difficult task.
Could Steve Evans’ team-talk possibly repair the damage?
Five minutes into the period, a Tavenier freekick ruffled the top of the net, a foot too high.
A minute later another set-piece, again just outside Orient’s pena
But there was no recalibration from Pringle, who also found the top of the net.
But then a third free kick, Tavenier’s cross falling for Revell to toe-poke over the line for 1-2, on 55 minutes.
Revell turned the game on its head on the hour.
If that was a fish and chips goal, his next was caviar.
The 6ft 3ins Cambridge-born forward walloped a looping right footed shot from 30 yards over the goalie’s flailing hand and into the top corner - a goal to compare with any at Wembley in recent years.
Millers, on the crest of a wave, would go on now and win it, right?
In fact Orient came close to getting the third, a right wing cross eluding everybody on 78 minutes.
Four minutes later, Kieran Agard wildly blasted high and wide. Then he put two headers just over.
The fans, on either side, were finding it almost too tense to bear as the match ended deadlocked after 90 minutes.
Especially with Orient forcing three corners at the death, before extra time.
Goalie Jamie Jones saved the O’s in the supplementary session, turning a header from one of his own defenders, Scott Cuthbert, over the bar. But on a breakaway Mooney almost undid Rotherham with a chip.
In the second period of extra time, Kari Arnason earned his money with a neat tackle as trouble loomed.
In fact, both defences stayed resolute - and so it went to penalties, such a harsh way to end a spectacle of this calibre.
By Bob Westerdale, Assistant Editor of The Star.