Wednesday’s season-long fight against relegation ended with us dropping back into division one after a 3-3 draw at Derby this afternoon.
We went into the game knowing that we had to win to have any chance of survival and led twice, before eventually having to settle for a point, leaving us bottom of the table and returning to the third tier of English football after nine years.
Rotherham go down with us after conceding an 89th minute equaliser at Cardiff, meaning Derby stay in the Championship.
In a poor first half from both sides at Pride Park, Colin Kazim-Richards saw a goal disallowed for offside before Wednesday took the lead in added time.
Jordan Rhodes’ brave header was saved by keeper Kelle Roos but Sam Hutchinson pounced on the rebound to turn home the loose ball from six yards.
However, the game was turned on its head for the first time when Derby struck twice in the first seven minutes of the second half, Martyn Waghorn heading them level and then Patrick Roberts curling home a 20-yarder.
With fellow relegation candidates Rotherham also leading at Cardiff at this stage, our hopes of avoiding the drop looked all but gone, before Wednesday hit back with our own double strike.
Just after the hour mark, Callum Paterson slotted the ball home from inside the box after defender Craig Forsyth miscontrolled a flick-on header from Rhodes.
And seven minutes later we were back in front, Julian Borner netting with a stooped header almost on the goal-line after Chey Dunkley had nodded back Barry Bannan’s corner at the far post.
We still needed Cardiff to get an equaliser against Rotherham to lift us out of the relegation zone but there was another twist to come on 77 minutes when Dunkley brought down Kamil Jozwiak as he ran clear and Waghorn levelled the scores again from the spot.
Lengthy stoppage time in the first half at Pride Park meant that the Cardiff-Rotherham game was more than 10 minutes ahead of our match. And almost immediately after Derby’s leveller, news came through that Cardiff had scored that late equaliser … apparently just before the Rams’ penalty, meaning we were actually safe for a very short space of time.
However, that spot kick then meant if the scores stayed the same then Rotherham and ourselves would go down to division one while Derby would survive.
Wednesday pushed forward for that fourth goal in the closing minutes, which would have kept us up, but failed to take advantage of a couple of set pieces, leaving us to prepare for life back in the third level.
Westwood, Palmer, Hutchinson, Dunkley (Harris 87), Börner, Reach, Bannan, Pelupessy (Green 90), Paterson, Windass, Rhodes (Kachunga 79). Unused subs. Wildsmith, Brennan, Urhoghide, Shaw, Hunt, Dele-Bashiru.