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Sheffield Wednesday v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One Play-Off Semi Final 2nd Leg

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Last time at Hillsborough...

A look back to the last time we travelled to Sheffield, because... why not?

Photo by Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Ah, our last time at Hillsborough - what fun we had. We hadn’t lost since the middle of February and were going into the second leg of the Playoff semi finals with a 1-0 advantage carried over from our victory at the Stadium of Light.

I don’t really think that mattered though because the nerves running through Wearside were out of this world. We’d done playoffs before, and hadn’t been successful. In fact, the only time we’d won them, we actually lost the final!

I’d only personally experienced the playoffs twice before - but something felt different this time around.

Charlton Athletic v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One Play-off Final Photo by Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

There was positivity around the Stadium of Light and it was almost a do-or-die situation - a situation in which I believed Alex Neil would get us to do, rather than die.

If we’d lost that game, it would have no doubt led to record low season ticket sales, all of our young, saleable assets would have left and every single spec of positive energy would have been zapped out of the football club - with a fifth season of League One staring us in the face.

And that fifth season really was staring us in the face as well. When Lee Gregory scored that goal, the decibel levels in Hillsborough increased and the away end was stunned.

As the blue side of Sheffield decided to turn the football match into a concert, we tried to give the Lads a boost with a few of our own songs, but it seemed destined for extra time.

Sheffield Wednesday v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One Play-Off Semi Final 2nd Leg Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

I don’t quite know where ten minutes of added time came from that game, but what I do know was that everyone in the stadium was praying for the game to not go on for an extra thirty minutes, I don’t think anyone’s nerves could have taken it.

As extra time crept ever closer, up stepped Jack Clarke who decided to use his left foot for what might have been the first time he EVER has, and played the ball across to Roberts who got in front of his man to tap the ball into the net and send the away end into absolute raptures.

We’d scored late under Alex Neil - Crewe, Shrewsbury, Gillingham and Oxford were all victims of that, but no one saw that one coming, the players looked dead on their feet as everyone and their dog was calling for a substitute.

The celebrations were euphoric, you’d have thought we’d already been promoted.

Deep down, I think we all knew we’d beat Wycombe - but it was on to Wembley...

Sunderland v Wycombe Wanderers - Sky Bet League One - Play Off - Final - Wembley Stadium Photo by Steven Paston/PA Images via Getty Images

Whilst today’s game does not have as much riding on it, it would be nice to experience another successful result at Hillsborough - which would take our unbeaten competitive run going to an impressive 19 games.



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