Sheffield Wednesday vs MK Dons - Josh Windass the hero as Sheffield Wednesday seal last-gasp win over MK Dons
It’s like he wrote the script himself. As Josh Windass’ threw his right foot at the result of his mis-kick in the 93rd-minute, the world stopped inside Hillsborough stadium. When the ball hit the back of the net, Windass did too.
So cool was the celebration a bystander would have little idea of the magnitude of the moment itself. The returning striker, playing his first minutes of the season after hamstring surgery in the summer, stood motionless as Wednesday came from behind to grab three points and finally – finally – rid themselves of that stat.
It was an evening that showed glimpses, perhaps, of what they could be in weeks to come as returning players entered the fray. When Darren Moore brought on Massimo Luongo alongside Windass on 54 minutes, the mood changed not only on the field but on the terraces.
In turth, it was a chin-scratching match. Wednesday had a clear-looking penalty turned down in the second half and minutes into the first half Ciaran Brennan poked ball in the net but for it to be ruled out for Chey Dunkley's push.
That for their little moments of sparkle; lead in part by the equally dazzling and wasteful Corbeanu on the left, it was curious that the Owls’ most potent attacking threat came from centre-half Dunkley. Thrice he thundered headers into the packed Dons six-yard box; thrice he cause problems.
It was his aerial dominance that was the ultimate threat in a bizarre first half that can be summed up by saying that in truth, neither team looked like scoring aside from at set pieces, when both sides frankly looked desperate to concede.
Such was the sense of shock at Hillsborough, then, that seconds into the second period the deadlock was broken with a moment of magic by MK Dons top scorer Scott Twine, who from nowhere thundered one past Bailey Peacock-Farrell from 25 yards.
On came the cavalry shortly afterwards in the form of the introduction of Luongo and – for the first time this season – Windass.
There came the uplift. After Jack Hunt hit the post from an acute angle and when Lee Gregory was bundled over on his way to the rebound, anger as referee Bobby Medley turned down what looked an excellent penalty shout.
Wednesday went for it. Saido Berahino replaced Fisayo Dele-Bashiru to make a three-man attack with Windass and Gregory. This, you feel, is surely an attack with League One goals in them once they get going.
And two combined to deliver the equaliser. Windass’ corner, Gregory’s glancing header. 1-1 and with five minutes to go, Hillsborough bouncing.
Here they huffed and they puffed, the Dons defence tiring under the weight of half a city.
And so when Windass fluffed his first effort in that 93rd-minute, when the ball ricocheted back onto his laces, when it hit the net and he stood motionless; pandemonium.
He’s been sorely missed. Wednesday will hope it’s the catalyst for something special.
Sheffield Wednesday: Peacock-Farrell; Brennan, Dunkley, Palmer; Hunt, Dele-Bashiru (Berahino, 72’), Byers (Luongo, 54’), Bannan, Corbeanu; Kamberi (Windass, 54’), Gregory
Subs unused: Wildsmith, Brown, Shodipo, Wing
MK Dons: Fisher; Baldwin (Darling, 77’), O'Hora, Lewington; Kioso, O'Riley, Kasumu, Harvie; Boateng, Watters (Eisa, 72’), Twine
Subs unused: Jules, Brown, Ravizzoli, Ilunga