Owls through to play-off final after incredible fightback

Wednesday produced a remarkable fightback to go through to the League One play-off final 5-3 on penalties after a memorable night at Hillsborough.

Trailing 4-0 from the first leg at Peterborough and roared on by a raucous crowd, we clawed back two goals before half time through an early Michael Smith penalty and then Lee Gregory on 25 minutes.

Peterborough looked a shadow of the side that dominated us last week and Reece James brought Wednesday within a goal of drawing level on aggregate after 71 minutes when he shot home from close range.

Then, after eight added minutes of normal time and our battling performance looking in vain, Liam Palmer sent Hillsborough wild when he turned the ball home from inside the box to make it 4-0 on the night and force extra time.

Peterborough struck back just before the end of the first half of extra time when Nathan Thompson’s header deflected into the net off Lee Gregory to lead 5-4 on aggregate.

However, Wednesday were not to be denied, Callum Paterson turning the ball home at the second attempt from close-in with just eight minutes remaining, making it 5-1 to us on the night, 5-5 on aggregate and so taking the game into a dramatic penalty shootout.

Smith, Will Vaulks, Barry Bannan and Josh Windass converted our first four spot kicks in excellent fashion while Peterborough’s Dan Butler missed one of Posh’s first four when his effort hit the bar.

That left Jack Hunt to step up and he sent our fifth – and winning penalty – into the top corner of the Kop net, sparking a mass pitch invasion of jubilant Wednesday fans, the Owls creating history as the first-ever team to overcome such a first leg deficit in the play-offs … and clinching that place in the League One play-off final at Wembley against Bolton or Barnsley on May 29.

What a night at S6!

Dawson, Paterson, Iorfa (Flint 92), Ihiekwe, James (Vaulks 88), Palmer, Johnson (Brown 102), Bannan, Windass, Gregory (Hunt 109), Smith. Unused subs: Stockdale, Adeniran, Bakinson. Attendance: 31,835.

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