Two late, late goals saw Wednesday to a precious three points against relegation rivals QPR at Hillsborough this afternoon.
With the Owls trailing 1-0, Bailey Cadamarteri struck four minutes from the end of normal to level the scoreline and then Anthony Musaba turned the ball home to net a 94th minute winner in front of an ecstatic Kop.
The 2-1 win takes us onto 16 points, three clear of bottom club Rotherham and now only four behind QPR who sit one place above us. Just as importantly, it also sees us move to within six points of the next three clubs – Huddersfield, Stoke and Millwall – who are all on 22 points.
Such a victory looked unlikely for much of the game, particularly in a largely lifeless and disjointed first half from the Owls.
Wednesday mustered just one effort of any note in that first 45, Barry Bannan’s 15th minute free kick picking out Callum Paterson in the box but he headed high over the bar.
QPR, who had hardly threatened themselves, almost took the lead on 34 minutes when Cameron Dawson made a hash of trying to punch away a corner at the near post but Will Vaulks came to the rescue, clearing the loose ball off the line.
However, the reprieve was short-lived with Rangers going ahead a minute later.
We allowed the visitors to build up from near halfway and when dangerman Ilias Chair cut in from the left, his shot intended for the far post diverted off the head of the diving Bambo Diaby and into the net.
Wednesday began the second half at a better tempo and we were close to an equaliser within three minutes of the restart, Jake Clarke-Salter clearing Vaulks’ corner off the line with a spectacular overhead kick but the referee also penalised Cadamarteri for a foul on keeper Asmir Begovic.
Just after the hour-mark, Barry Bannan’s low 25-yarder saw Begovic saving at full strength as Wednesday showed some much-needed improvement from the first half.
However, QPR had a chance or two of their own and with 86 minutes on the clock even the most optimistic Wednesdayite was probably facing up to a crucial ‘six-pointer’ defeat … until Cadamarteri and Musaba turned the game on its head in spectacular fashion.
Djeidi Gassama, one of five subs made during the second half by Danny Rohl, pulled the ball back across goal and Cadamarteri pounced, steering the ball first time with the outside of his foot low into the far corner of the net from 12 yards.
And the fightback was complete four minutes into added time when Ashley Fletcher headed Barry Bannan’s far post cross against the upright and Musaba was first to react, turning the ball home from inside the six-yard box to clinch victory and spark massive Hillsborough celebrations.
Dawson, Valentin (Palmer 71), B. Diaby (Gassama 45), Bernard, Famewo, Vaulks (Fletcher 79), Bannan, Paterson (Buckley 71, Byers 85)), Johnson, Musaba, Cadamarteri. Unused subs: Vasquez, Ihiekwe, James, Bakinson. Attendance: 24,739.