Wild scenes at Sheffield Wednesday as Owls pull off the greatest play-off comeback of all time
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They needed a fast start – they got one. Darren Moore’s men came out swinging, Callum Paterson and Marvin Johnson bombing down the wings and Liam Palmer – surprisingly – in midfield.
It didn’t take long to make their mark either. Johnson, brought down as he slipped his man, won a penalty with less than 10 minutes on the clock. Michael Smith, so proficient from the spot, dispatched it – Hillsborough erupted.
One was never going to be enough though, they needed more. And that they did. The first goal came as a result of the left side, the second would come from the right.
Paterson, getting on the end of a Will Norris punch, swung his right boot at the ball either shooting or crossing, whichever it was it worked, and Lee Gregory – the masked man – was there to poke it home. The roar rose again.
Wednesday went in at the break with their tails up, another ‘Hi Ho Silver Lining’ was belted out for the second stanza. Mission impossible suddenly wasn’t looking so impossible after all.
Fans wanted to see more of the same, they got it. Smith went close with a header, Gregory saw a superb overhead saved brilliantly, and Hillsborough’s faith grew stronger. Josh Windass went close as well, once more it was Norris to the rescue.
Peterborough were nowhere to be seen in Wednesday’s half, it was all the Owls. It felt like another was coming, and then it did.
A wonderful move down the left saw Gregory dummy a ball in the box, and Reece James was there on the end of it. He poked home, and the roof came off. Just one more…
Moore went for a last roll of the dice, Will Vaulks on for James and Aden Flint – who went up top – replaced Dominic Iorfa. It worked.
90+8 it was, Flint rising highest to head to ball into the box, and none other than Owls Player of the Season, Liam Palmer, was there to prod it goalwards. The noise was deafening, against all odds they were taking it to extra time.
They gave everything – blood, sweat, tears, the lot. But football is a cruel mistress and when a ball off Gregory’s back found the net it looked like that would be it.
Paterson had other plans, though. One last twist in the tale. A scramble in the box saw it land at his feet, he fired it home, and you’ve never heard a noise like it.
It wasn’t over though. Penalties. They had to hold their nerve.
Smith scored, so did Jonson Clarke-Harris. Vaulks fired home, Dan Butler hit the crossbar. The skipper stepped up, he sent Norris the wrong way, Oliver Norburn finished his - though Dawson was so close to stopping it.
Then it was Windass, he slotted home as calm as you like, but so did Kabongo Tshimanga. It all came down to Jack Hunt… He couldn’t have placed it better.
They said they couldn’t do it, but Wednesday are off to Wembley – and tonight was a night that nobody at S6 will ever forget.