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10:13 29th May 2012

Owls into the Championship

Sheffield Wednesday clinched automatic promotion into the Championship on the final day of the season at Hillsborough.

The Owls went into the game knowing that a win would be enough to guarantee second tier football next term and did the necessary with a 2-0 win over Wycombe.

Goals either side of half time from Michail Antonio and Nile Ranger settled a contest that the home side had largely bossed from the first minute.

The game brings a conclusion to what has been a remarkable season for Wednesday and in particular, manager Dave Jones, who has steered his side to ten wins from his 12 games in charge.

The stage was set for the Owls' biggest game of the season with over 37,000 Wednesdayites packed into Hillsborough occupying all four stands.

The noise was deafening as the players emerged from the tunnel, with the crowd making a fantastic atmosphere in S6.

When the game got underway, Louis Laing had to be alert to clear from a dangerous Antonio centre after five minutes before Miguel Llera made an important block from Stuart Beavon moments later.

Antonio had made a good start to match, as he saw a smart strike from the edge of the area deflected out for a corner before Mark Beevers headed the resulting flag kick just over the crossbar.

Wednesday were beginning to assert their authority on the game and Antonio darted into the area before pulling back for Jose Semedo, who blasted over the Leppings Lane goal.

Then came a double chance for Llera who was denied twice by two outstanding saves from Wycombe keeper Nikki Bull.

First Bull managed to tip Llera's strike from inside the box out for a corner before expertly guiding the ball over from the defender's headed attempt.

Having bossed most of the opening 25 minutes, the breakthrough finally came for the Owls.

Owls v Wycombe

Antonio managed to profit from a loose ball from 25 yards and used his electric pace to ghost past two defenders before applying the finish touch over Bull and into the net.

That goal sparked joyous scenes at Hillsborough with all four stands bouncing in appreciation of what had been an encouraging opening to such a huge game.

The Owls continued to ask the majority of the questions with little in reply from Wycombe.

An offside flag then denied Ranger from doubling Wednesday's lead as the on-loan striker tapped home the rebound from an Antonio hit.

Owls v Wycombe

Keith Treacy's strike flashed just wide of the target before the referee brought an end to the opening period.

And Wednesday made the perfect start to the second half and went 2-0 ahead through Ranger.

A superb delivery from Chris Lines right into the heart of the area picked out Ranger, who nodded home into the bottom corner - putting Wednesday well ahead in the race for automatic promotion.

Gary Doherty then made a key block from Ranger, who would have almost certainly have doubled his own personal tally as Wycombe struggled to deal with the Owls' attacking talent.

Matt Bloomfield saw a snaphot sail wide in a rare Wanderers attack before Laing came to the visitors' rescue at the other end, clearing Gary Madine's header off the line.

As time ticked down, Llera almost added a third but was thwarted by another superb save from Bull.

And when the referee blew the full time whistle, it was scenes of sheer joy at Hillsborough with the Owls' place in the Championship confirmed for the 2012-13 campaign.

Owls v Wycombe

Owls: Bywater, Buxton, Batth, Llera, Beevers, Antonio, Semedo, Lines, Treacy (J Johnson 79), Madine, Ranger (Lowe 88)

Unused substitutes: Weaver, R Jones, Prutton

Wycombe: Bull, Lang, Eastmond, Ainsworth, Bloomfield, Basey (Dunne 13), Lewis, McCoy, Beavon, McClure, Doherty

Unused substitutes: Ingram, Kewley-Graham, Scowen, McNamee

    Data provided by Press Association


    For the first 50 years of their existence, England played their home matches all around the country.