An added-time equaliser from Jeff Hendrick saw Wednesday take a morale-boosting point from league leaders Leicester in a 1-1 draw at Hillsborough tonight.
Just when we looked to be facing another defeat, Callum Paterson headed on John Buckley’s hopeful high ball into the box and sub Hendrick shot past Mads Hermansen in front of the Kop to send three-quarters of S6 into raptures.
With Huddersfield winning at Sunderland, the gap to safety is now 12 points but the bonus of a last-gasp goal against the team heading the division will hopefully provide that much-needed confidence boost with Blackburn the visitors to Hillsborough on Saturday.
We almost started the game in sensational fashion, Barry Bannan winning the ball off the Leicester defence after just 30 seconds but when he broke into the penalty area he shot wide of the far post when he should have scored … or squared for Paterson.
Minutes later we fluffed another great opportunity, our pressing game again undoing the Leicester defence – and Hermansen in particular – but when the ball broke to Paterson with the keeper out of position, he managed to find the covering Conor Coady in front of goal, rather than the net.
Leicester had chances of their own in a lively opening, Cameron Dawson foiling Yunus Akgun, while Bambo Diaby sent a header straight at Hermansen.
However, it was Leicester who took the lead midway through the half with Wednesday allowing a cross to come in to the far post and the unmarked Abdul Fatawu fired home from eight yards.
We hit back when George Byers fired across goal, with Paterson close to making contact, and then Bailey Cadamarteri tested Hermansen with a turn and shot from 12 yards.
It was an encouraging first half from the Owls, despite the 0-1 scoreline, but our second half performance largely failed to live up to the action of the first 45 minutes while Leicester looked content to keep their one-goal lead.
Anthony Musaba turned a low Marvin Johnson cross wide on 77 minutes while Kasey McAteer shot weakly wide from six yards soon afterwards following some poor and hesitant Wednesday defending.
With the game about to enter added time, Ashley Fletcher shot too close to Hermansen but then came that late, late drama with Hendrick grabbing Wednesday’s last-gasp equaliser.
And there was still time for Leicester to to go close to a winner, Dawson saving Jannik Vestergaard’s far post header with his foot to ensure a battling point for the Owls.
Dawson, Iorfa, B Diaby (Palmer 62), Bernard, Famewo, Paterson, Vaulks (Fletcher 79), Bannan (Hendrick 79), Byers (Buckley 72), Johnson, Cadamarteri (Musaba 61). Subs: Vasquez, Ihiekwe, James, Gassama. Attendance: 26,036.