Connect with us


League One playoff final tie confirmed as second club advances through

The much anticipated League One Playoff Final tie is now confirmed as a second club advances through to the Wembley occasion later this month.

A fair few years ago, life in the second tier would have been a nightmare for Sheffield Wednesday or Sunderland. Now this is something that they were both eyeing a place for.

The first leg was a tense one which the Black Cats had the better of but Wednesday grew into it towards the end.

The Owls were backed by a vociferous home crowd for the second leg, just as Sunderland were on Friday.

We knew that a draw would be enough to see Sunderland to Wembley and Alex Neil knew his side were more than capable of coaching his side to that. Of his 16 games in charge of the Wearsiders they’ve lost just once.

The winners of this tie face Wycombe in the final at Wembley on Saturday, 21 May.

Wycombe lost 1-0 at MK Dons on Sunday but went through 2-1 on aggregate. Wycombe were relegated with Sheffield Wednesday last season.

Here’s how the second leg played out at Hillsborough…

Wednesday’s first real attack around five minutes in caused some real panic in the Sunderland defence.

They didn’t get enough quality deliveries into the Black Cats box on Friday night but this first chance was a lovely low cross from Marvin Johnson.

The Owls then had plenty of joy down the left wing with Lee Gregory flicking the ball into Massimo Luongo’s path. Luongo and Marvin Johnson put in crosses but the visitors dealt with them. Bailey Wright praised for some good defending.

Barry Bannan sent an overhit ball overs the top to Josh Windass, who was running in behind. Both on that left-hand side. Bannan was already trending on Twitter by this point. He’s had one hell of a season in League One.

The first 20 minutes saw Wednesday getting in plenty of positions for good chances. Bannan kept feeding Josh Windass, down the right, and he had a couple of efforts blocked.

Sheffield Wednesday’s George Byers was the first man booked for pulling the arm of Dennis Cirkin.

Then Sunderland have their first chance but Alex Pritchard’s deep free-kick is headed over by goal machine Ross Stewart.

On the 36th minute, we nearly saw one of the best play-off goals of all time. Barry Bannan’s corner was half-cleared and came back into the box.

George Byers controlled the ball on his chest up into the air and hit a lovely bicycle kick which was saved by the keeper.

Bannan was on hand again to put a cross into the box – a free-kick only for Harlee Dean to head over.

The first half remained goalless, Sunderland going into the break 45 minutes away from Wembley.

Sheffield Wednesday dominated but wasn’t good enough around the box.

Brian Laws (Ex-Sheff Wed manager on BBC Radio Sheffield) said: Sunderland have completed the first half in the perfect way, getting the boos going around the ground.

“That transfers to the pitch and the players start playing the occasion rather than the game. They’re getting sucked in.

“There is a long way to go yet but Wednesday have to come out with a calmness. They have to regroup and in the second half they need to play with more calmness rather than at 100mph.”

Sunderland had the first of the earlier second half chances, good play by Ross Stewart to win the ball off a Wednesday defender and then win a corner, which came to nothing.

Sheffield Wednesday couldn’t get any flow into the game and it was Sunderland who were showing more composure on the ball.

Late drama came, with

Sheffield Wednesday leading on the night and went level on aggregate 74 minutes in.

Marvin Johnson was played down the left by Barry Bannan and he put in a low cross to Lee Gregory, who beat keeper Anthony Patterson to the ball and scored from six yards out.

Then Sunderland sealed a place at Wembley by dealing a sucker punch to Sheffield Wednesday with an equaliser on the night in injury time.

Jack Clarke was given so long on the left-hand side, he got to the byeline and pulled it back for Patrick Roberts, who slotted home from six yards out.

Brian Laws said: “How disappointing that is. It’s gone against the run of play. In the last 15 minutes Wednesday have taken the game to Sunderland.

“They’ve got to throw the kitchen sink for the last five minutes.”

The Sunderland fans were going crazy! One current Premier League player in Tottenham loanee Jack Clarke teed up a former one in Patrick Roberts. Clarke has looked lively all night but hadn’t been able to find a final ball… Until then!

The full time whistle blew and Ian Woodcock (BBC Sport) said: “Wednesday’s players sink to the turf. Last season their campaign ended with relegation at Derby and now heartbreak at home to Sunderland. The Black Cats players rush over to their jubilant support. Wycombe now stand in their way from ending their four-year stay in the third tier.”

Gary Bennett (Ex-Sunderland defender on BBC Newcastle): “The way Alex Neil has managed that game is unbelievable. What a performance.

“Sunderland have come into the play-offs not being favourites and that’s been good for them.

“We were better equipped than the last time we were at Hillsborough and that showed tonight in the effort and the belief.”

Bailey Wright on Sky Sports Football: “Sheffield Wednesday gave us a right good game over the two legs. We put our bodies on the line, and when we show our quality, we can punish teams. We had incredible support tonight. This is by no means job done.”

“Alex Neil has been class and the results speak for themselves. He has brought a culture to the club and we have a real togetherness. He doesn’t leave anything untouched and works hard to give us the best platform to perform.”

Clinton Morrison on Sky Sports Football: “This is a massive club and the fans deserve to see their team playing higher – but you have to earn that. There is a lot of quality in that squad and they have to regroup ahead of next season.

“The trouble is that clubs will be circling around Barry Bannan in the summer.”

Kevin Phillips on Sky Sports Football: “Over the two ties, the football hasn’t been great, though there has been spirit in abundance. But you have to say Sunderland deserve this.

“Hopefully this year is the year, but they have got a tough game against Wycombe to come.”

Sunderland’s Ross Stewart on Sky Sports Football: “As you can imagine, it’s noisy in the dressing room! The boys are buzzing. It was opposite to Friday, but I thought we showed tremendous togetherness tonight and now we’re going to Wembley.”

This is how fans reacted with the League One playoff final tie confirmed as a second club advances through…

@MattVO20: Are your commentators ok? They sounded very distressed at the thought of Sheffield wednesday not winning?

@Barkermush: Thought Sheff Wed would have proper gone at if from the off, using that home advantage. Was pretty disappointed by them, they were pretty flat tonight.

@database4foot: Jack Clarke vs Sheffield Wednesday:
48 Touches
78% Pass Completion
2 Key Passes
2 Crosses
1 Big Chance Created
100% Successful Dribbles (5)
13 Ground Duels Won
2 Aerial Duels Won
3 Fouls Drawn
5 Tackles
2 Shots
1 Assist
What a performance from the loanee!

@safcliamm: Jack Clarke get him on a permanent

@KerrieRoebuck: You were very lucky to win that. Why come with a 1-0 lead and do nothing but defend for 75 mins? When you did actually come forward you scored lol. Hope you come up to the Championship next season. You’ve been away too long.

@SAFCGeorge6: Fucking hell, that nearly give us a heart attack. GERRIN

@a_sufc: Sheffield Wednesday getting owned by a team in red and white πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ who’d have ever have thought that πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

@marleygibson4: Commiserations. Can’t believe one of these two clubs had to stay in this tinpot division tonight. Instead fucking Wigan and Rotherham go up. Hopefully you get yourselves out next year, If we do, I’ll be supporting. Best team at the SoL this season

@GreggSAFC: Well played. Your fans were amazing up here and it sounded like an amazing atmosphere there tonight. Hopefully we see yous again in the championship in a couple of seasons.

@sufcwik: enjoy forest green away lads x


@andymurray75: Not good enough over both games, Sunderland deserve to go through I’m afraid. Would have been a lot worse to get to the final and then lose to fucking Wycombe. Another Summer of comings and goings and go again next season, top 2 a must

@1toowatch: Wednesday not good enough in keeping possession. Apart from Bannan they couldn’t keep the ball.

@RossJakeBarber1: Darren Moore and this group of lads have brought smiles, singing and togetherness back to Hillsborough and it’s unreal to see. I love this club and will never stop no matter the league we’re in. Better team won over both legs. Sunderland are also a sleeping giant so Fair play.πŸ¦‰

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in Championship