Wednesday’s much-changed side rose to the challenge and knocked Premier League Brighton out of the FA Cup on their own patch today.
The only goal of the game came on 65 minutes when a free kick on the edge of the box was tapped to Adam Reach and his shot took a big deflection past home keeper David Button, sending the 2000-plus Wednesday fans behind the goal into raptures and the Owls into Monday evening’s fourth round draw.
All in all, it was a deserved victory as our line-up, including 19-year-old debutant defender Osaze Urhoghide, showed the fighting spirit and commitment that has been missing in recent matches and restricted Brighton to a handful of efforts on target.
The only negative on the day was a second-half injury to Steven Fletcher who was stretchered off with what appeared to be a serious knee injury, although x-rays have at least shown no break.
It was Fletcher who went closest to putting us ahead in the first half, pressuring the Brighton defence into an error just before half time and seeing his resulting tremendous effort from the edge of the box force an excellent tipover save from Button.
At the other end, Cameron Dawson tipped over a header from Gaetan Bong and was grateful to Dominic Iorfa for foiling Neil Maupay after the keeper had raced from his goal but lost the chase for the ball with the Brighton striker.
Then Dawson returned the favour when Iorfa was robbed by Maupay as the defender tried to shield the ball out for a goal kick and the keeper spread himself to block the resulting shot.
We continued to more than match Brighton after the break and were well worth the goal from Reach midway through the second half.
Brighton had their fair share of pressure but rarely troubled Dawson and the closest they came to equalising was a spectacular overhead kick from sub Alireza Jahanbakhsh that flew over the bar.
Dawson, Urhoghide, Iorfa, Börner, Fox, Murphy (Harris 71), Pelupessy, Lee, Luongo, Reach (Lees 90), Fletcher (Winnall 55). Unused subs: Wildsmith, Hunt, Nuhiu, Rhodes.