A much-changed Wednesday side were fortunate to go through to the Carabao Cup second round on penalties after grabbing a 97th minute equaliser against division two Stockport at Hillsborough tonight.
The Owls looked to be heading out at the first hurdle with Stockport the better team for much of the game and leading 1-0 before sub Tyreeq Bakinson stabbed home in the last minute of added time.
Penalties followed and Josh Windass, Callum Paterson and Barry Bannan converted their spot kicks while debutant keeper Devis Vasquez saved two of the three he had to face before Lee Gregory netted from 12 yards to seal a 4-1 shootout victory and our place in round two.
It will also be a relief to Xisco Mundoz who made seven changes from the starting line-up against Southampton on Friday night, with full debuts for new boys Vasquez, Bambo Diaby, Di’Shon Bernard and Pol Valentin while Anthony Musaba and Ashley Fletcher made their first starts.
He then saw Wednesday fall behind on 16 minutes when Paddy Madden volleyed home in spectacular fashion from just inside the box and there was little for the majority of the near-11,000 crowd to cheer for the remainder of the half, apart from Musaba seeing his effort blocked by defender Ethan Pye.
Fletcher was just wide after the break and Bannan twice went close with long-rangers before Bakinson’s header brought a diving save out of Ben Hinchliffe.
However, Wednesday were not to be denied as the game entered the final minute of added time, and when Bannan’s cross into the box sparked a goalmouth scramble, there was Bakinson to turn the ball home from inside the six-yard box.
That was the signal for the penalty shootout with Vasquez grabbing the instant headlines as he saved two Stockport spot kicks and so help earn us a spot in tomorrow’s second round draw.
Vasquez, Valentin (Paterson 59), Diaby (Iorfa 80), Bernard, James, Vaulks (Bakinson 80), Bannan, Delgado (Fusire 80), Musaba, Gregory, Fletcher (Windass 59), Unused subs: Dawson, Palmer, Byers, Cadamarteri. Attendance: 10,886.