Things couldn’t really have started better for Wednesday…
Darren Moore’s side were bright from the offset, pressing high and putting the Dons under pressure in search of three points. Lee Gregory went close, and probably should have scored, but Jaming Cumming kept him out.
But they didn’t have to wait long. The resulting corner was well-worked between Barry Bannan and Jack Hunt, with the skipper fizzing the ball into the box to Saido Berahino, who struck it hard towards goal. Cumming will have thought he’d done enough, until it was somehow fumbled into the back of the net.
Wednesday led, and the away end erupted – fast-forward ten minutes, and things got even better.
After Berahino’s opener it was Gregory’s turn to get in on the action, he was on hand to get on the end of another Bannan corner – his 12th assist of the season – to poke it home, and Wednesday were in wonderland.
Wednesday’s captain, however, wasn’t done yet.
When Bailey Peacock-Farrell lumped the ball forward there seemed to be nothing on, but Bannan had other ideas, chesting down a headed ball in front of him before letting rip from range.
It looped over the goalkeeper and into the back of the net. You won’t see many better goals than that – if you haven’t seen it yet, I suggest you stop reading this for a second to go and find it.
The tie was far from over, though, and after the blows of losing Massimo Luongo and Sam Hutchinson, Moore was forced into another change – this time Harlee Dean, who was replaced by Chey Dunkley.
Moments later, the MK Dons were woken up right up. Troy Parrott found space down the left, and delicately dinked it over BPF. They weren’t giving up on this one.
Liam Manning’s side kept pushing as the half came to an end, and truth be known the Owls were probably quite pleased to hear the sound of the whistle.
Things were a lick of paint away from getting more tense early in the second half as Conor Coventry rattled the crossbar with a great strike, but Wednesday held firm and slowly seemed to regain control.
Fisayo Dele-Bashiru, who’d been tasked with filling the big shoes of Luongo, was superb, and Byers played a starring role as he bossed things alongside Bannan in the centre of the park.
They didn’t stop the Dons from pushing, though. BPF was called into action a couple of times, and Wednesday had to weather the storm a bit – managing to do so, even after the introduction of familiar face, Theo Corbeanu.
Gregory, Liam Palmer and Marvin Johnson all did their part in dealing with the former Owl, who had no joy when it came to trying to peg back his former teammates.
Scott Twine, however, made sure of a nervy finish when he rifled home an inch-perfect freekick two minutes into injury time - the tension was palpable.
There was a collective holding of breath, for what felt like an age, and when the travelling 5,649 fans did remember to exhale it was in the form of an almighty roar. Three points – just.