Monday 27 March 2017

Brighton and Hughton's promotion hopes dashed

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

Sheffield Wednesday celebrate after the final whistle Photo: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
Sheffield Wednesday celebrate after the final whistle Photo: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

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

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

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