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18 May 2023 Venue Hillsborough Attendance

Kick off 20:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Reports

Play-off penalties see the Owls through

18 May 2023

Darren Moore called for a performance – and boy did he get one on an incredible night of play-off drama in S6.

Wednesday had the proverbial mountain to climb and climb it we did all the way to the summit.

Trailing 4-0 from the first leg of this play-off semi-final, the odds were stacked against the Owls against Peterborough.

But Moore’s men defied the odds and overturned the deficit in the most dramatic of circumstances, winning 5-3 on penalties after emerging victorious 5-1 in normal time.

Goals from Michael Smith, Lee Gregory and Reece James took Wednesday to the brink before Liam Palmer levelled with the last kick of the game.

Peterborough got their noses back in front on aggregate via a Gregory own goal but Callum Paterson hauled Wednesday back all square.

Penalties were next and Jack Hunt scored the decisive goal to power the Owls to Wembley.

The demand was for an early goal, which was duly delivered nine minutes in.

Marvin Johnson was felled in the box by Joe Ward and the already deafening atmosphere went up a notch when the referee pointed to the spot.

Smith was the coolest person in S6 and sent Will Norris the wrong way from 12 yards.

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The contest settled, with Wednesday setting the pace while Posh attacked on the counter.

Cameron Dawson had to make smart saves to keep out Kwame Poku and Ephron Mason-Clark before Norris thwarted Gregory at the other end.

Josh Windass fired over the top after Paterson broke free down the right – then it was 2-0 on 24 minutes.

Paterson was the source, again down the right, and this time Gregory was perfectly positioned to prod into the back of the Kop net.

The tension was palpable as Wednesday poured forward ahead of half time, winning a succession of corners.

The flip side was the danger Peterborough posed on the break and Dawson made a super save at his near post to palm a fierce drive from Mason-Clark to safety.

The second half stayed the same, with Wednesday on the front foot. A towering header from Smith was inches off target and Gregory rolled back the years with an overhead kick acrobatically saved by Norris at full stretch.

Ronnie Edwards was in the right place at the right time to divert a Paterson hit and Norris did well to beat away a stinging Windass volley.

It was wave after wave of Owls attacks as Posh defended like lions. But on 71 minutes their rearguard was breached once more.

Palmer motored forward and a clever Gregory dummy allowed James to ghost down the left of the box and slot past the advancing Norris.

That set up a grandstand finish and the song remained the same. Posh were pinned into their own half and were desperate to see out the tie.

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Windass headed into the grateful arms of Norris – before Hillsborough exploded in stoppage time.

A long throw from Will Vaulks caused all sorts of problems and the ball found its way to Palmer, who poked home from close range.

It was pandemonium in the stands and on the bench and moments after the restart, the referee sounded the full time whistle.

Both sides regrouped for extra time, Peterborough’s gameplan had to change and they promptly scored from their next attack five minutes in.

Poku delivered an inviting free-kick into the danger zone, where Gregory inadvertently deflected into his own net.

But still there was more as Wednesday hit back in the second period with seven minutes to go.

Jaden Brown played in Paterson inside the area, his first shot was blocked, but the Scot made no mistake from the rebound, placing neatly past Norris.

Cue more joyous scenes and Ihiekwe so nearly added to the mayhem with a header that whistled just past the post.

That proved the final action before penalties would decide this play-off epic – and the Owls triumphed with Hunt applying the final coating of gloss to a truly unforgettable occasion.

Wednesday: Dawson, Paterson, Iorfa, Ihiekwe, James (Vaulks 88), Palmer, Johnson (Brown 102), Bannan, Windass, Gregory (Hunt 109), Smith

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