Sunderland it is, then - Rampant Sheffield Wednesday take a step closer to the Championship in Hillsborough sell out

Three games. That’s all that now stands between this Sheffield Wednesday side and an immediate return to the Championship.

Saturday, 30th April 2022, 2:40 pm

We remember the names of those that have come before them. The Whelans and Brunts, MacLeans and Talbots, the JJs, Redas, Lleras and Semedos. A promotion at this club etches your name into the history books.

It doesn’t matter if it’s automatic or via a sunny day at Wembley. If you get the job done, you’ll be remembered at Hillsborough forever. This team hasn’t earned that right yet, but today they took a step closer.

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The afternoon didn’t start well though… Though the crowd were in good spirits, with inflatables all over the show and Hi Ho Sheffield Wednesday being belted from all four corners – on the pitch Wednesday looked a bit starstruck.

Their passes were loose, their play looked sloppy, and Portsmouth looked up for it. So it came as no surprise whatsoever to see former Owl, George Hirst, pop up in the box to give them an early lead. They needed to wake up, and wake up fast.

Thankfully, though, this Wednesday team isn’t one that lays down once they go behind. They’ve got spirit, and a bit of bottle.

So after their shaky start, Darren Moore’s men managed to turn it on.

Sheffield Wednesday beat Portsmouth 4-1 at Hillsborough.

Lee Gregory, of course, got the ball rolling as he expertly touched home a Marvin Johnson cross. Then it was Saido Berahino's turn – finishing nicely after a scramble in the box. And before the halftime whistle went the Owls were cruising - Jordan Storey was on hand to get on the scoresheet finding the back from close range.

They went in at the break with a two goal lead, and found out that Plymouth Argyle were also 3-0 down to MK Dons. The Play-Offs were in touching distance now.

But Moore won’t have wanted their levels to slip. And they didn’t.

The job may may have been pretty much done, but the Owls kept going. Gavin Bazunu had been kept busy, and was forced into action in the second half as well. The same has to be said for Bailey Peacock-Farrell as well though, who made some big saves to guarantee the three points before George Byers popped up at the near post to round things off.

There were some worrying scenes as Barry Bannan, after another strong performance, had to be taken off towards the end – seemingly holding his hamstring – we’ll have to wait on that.

But it finished 4-1. And results elsewhere mean that it’ll be a meeting of the League One giants in the semifinals – the Owls against the Black Cats of Sunderland. There are a couple more big crowds to come you’d think, at Hillsborough and the Stadium of Light.

To say it’s been a bumpy road is an understatement. There have been glorious highs and cold, miserable lows – but today S6 is full of smiling faces. Today will have created lifelong fans that are stuck with these blue and white stripes just like the rest of us.

They’ll hate it a bit, maybe a lot, but days like today give hope that it can be better. Darren Moore’s Barmy Army marches on – and they’ve got their sights set on that Wembley arch.