Wednesday 7 December 2016

Brighton and Hughton's promotion hopes dashed

Brighton 1-1 Sheffield Wed (Sheffield Wed win 3-1 on agg)

Published 17/05/2016 | 02:30

Sheffield Wednesday celebrate after the final whistle Photo: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
Sheffield Wednesday celebrate after the final whistle Photo: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Ross Wallace stunned Brighton for the second time in four days as Sheffield Wednesday moved another step closer to the Premier League.

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The Scottish winger had opened the scoring from 30 yards in the first leg of the Championship play-off semi-final on Friday, and struck from a similar distance at the Amex Stadium to fire Wednesday to Wembley.

Yet there was more than a hint of fortune about this strike after Wallace launched a cross towards the Brighton net and watched it loop over everybody and bounce into the net.

Nevertheless, it could prove a priceless goal - or one at least worth a sizeable chunk of the estimated £170million promotion brings this year - as it secured Wednesday a 3-1 aggregate victory.

They will move onto the final a week on Saturday, for what is likely to be an all-Yorkshire affair with Hull holding a 3-0 advantage over Derby in the other semi-final.

Meanwhile, Brighton, who finished 15 points ahead of the Owls, were left to dwell on a third play-off failure in four seasons.

Brighton's Lewis Dunk appears to be pushed by Sheffield Wednesday's Gary Hooper as Ross Wallace (not pictured) scores the first goal for Wednesday Photo: Reuters / Henry Browne
Brighton's Lewis Dunk appears to be pushed by Sheffield Wednesday's Gary Hooper as Ross Wallace (not pictured) scores the first goal for Wednesday Photo: Reuters / Henry Browne

Yet Chris Hughton's side, who started with Richie Towell on the bench, threatened to wipe out Wednesday's lead in the space of a frantic opening half hour. They led on the night through Lewis Dunk but saw a host of other chances come and go and they were made to pay for those missed attempts.

Brighton's Anthony Knockaert in action against Sheffield Wednesday's Ross Wallace Photo: Reuters / Henry Browne
Brighton's Anthony Knockaert in action against Sheffield Wednesday's Ross Wallace Photo: Reuters / Henry Browne

Irish Independent

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