Emotional roller coaster at the seaside

Following the Owls over the years has been littered with more downs than ups but, whichever way we’ve gone, those moments have been full of drama and emotion … just take last night’s play-off semi second leg at the Amex as the latest example.

After Friday night’s amazing first leg atmosphere at Hillsborough, Brighton and the home fans did their best to blitz us with a mixture of flag-waving support and almost non-stop attacking play in the first half.

Somehow, we kept the scores level at 1-1. Good fortune, brave defending and some less than clinical finishing all played their part, along with a somewhat fortuitous equaliser from Ross Wallace that took the wind out of the South Coast sails, well for a few minutes at least.

Brighton failed to match those attacking heights for any long periods of time after the interval and Wednesday, with Sam Hutchinson replacing Alex Lopez in midfield, looked more assured and dangerous, at times, on the break.

Yes, it’s easy to write that now in the calm of the following day, and this is Sheffield Wednesday we’re talking about, so anything was still possible in the closing period.

However, we held our nerve – even during six added minutes – and now we are Wembley-bound for the first time since 1993.

Looking back at the game, somehow that barrage of Brighton attacks in the first-half, those heart-stopping moments like Knockaert’s early free kick coming back off the inside of the woodwork and the six extra minutes, all made the night even more glorious when that final whistle finally came.

The outpouring of joy and delight, coupled with more than just a little relief, was there for all to see. The nervousness amongst the 2000 travelling Wednesday fans, who gave great support all night, changed in an instant and sparked off fantastic scenes.

Supporters and players celebrating together in a tremendous end to an emotionally draining night for all.

Now we await the winners of tonight’s Hull-Derby second leg, with Hull clear favourites as they take a three-goal advantage into their home tie, to see who we meet at Wembley in the final on May 28.

Surely, it can’t live up to the pure drama and excitement of the two semi-final games … or can it?



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