Paul Thompson’s Owls View: Derby thriller puts Sheffield Wednesday top of comeback table

Staying to the end: Wednesday fans back their team at the Lane.
Staying to the end: Wednesday fans back their team at the Lane.
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THERE was a lad just below me in the Cherry Street stand at Bramall Lane who was clearly wrapped up in the derby.

With about 10 minutes to go, he’d gone, when his team were winning 2-0.

He may have just moved nearer to an exit and watched the final stages from there, ready for a quick get-away.

If he left the ground he was spared Wednesday’s goals and the moment when Rob Jones had a chance to make it 3-2 in injury time.

Either way, it reminded me of something that always surprises me: the large number of spectators who leave grounds early.

No-one leaves a cinema before the film has finished.

I suppose it’s a bit different if the result of a game is inevitable, or, with heavy or glad heart, you just think it is inevitable.

In 1966 I tried to get out of Wembley early, sickened by the Owls’ loss of a two-goal lead and imminent defeat by Everton in the FA Cup Final.

But in view of what it costs to watch football, if I was a paying customer these days then in general I’d stay to get my money’s worth even if meant a slower getaway.

Wednesday fans have been given an extra incentive to stick around.

The draw at Bramall Lane made the Owls joint top of the League One comeback table.

That is a table based on the number points teams have gained in games where they were trailing at one stage.

Wednesday are joint first with Leyton Orient, with a haul of eight points. They were behind against Notts County, Yeovil, Charlton and United but won two and drew two of those games.

It just goes to show that you can never be sure what will happen before the 90 minutes are up.

There has been a little more certainty when the Owls have scored first in a game: they have won every time in those circumstances, and are joint top of that table with Chesterfield.

Wednesday deserved at least a point from the Bramall Lane derby.

Chris O’Grady was brave in keeping his eye on the ball and his header on target when there was the chance of an accidental punch in the head as Steve Simonsen came out.

The keeper was a central figure in the equaliser. I looked at it several times on film and I do not believe that there was a foul.

I like and respect Danny Wilson and I can understand his frustration and his claim that Reda Johnson fouled the keeper. Free-kicks are often given if someone lays as much as a finger on a goalkeeper.

In a game this season when Johnson just jumped alongside a keeper and beat him in the air to nod home a free-kick was given.

Lee Chapman would know what I am talking about; he sometimes was penalised unfairly.

On Sunday Wednesday had three big lads leaping almost together for the ball: Gary Madine, Lewis Buxton and Johnson, who had his eye on the ball; he and Madine jumped a considerable height and the keeper just couldn’t get there: it must have been like coming up against a towering wall of bodies.

What a finish for Owls fans. I wonder if any left in the 81st minute.