Sheffield Wednesday provide more RIDICULOUS drama! Owls promoted to the Championship as Josh Windass nets 123rd-minute winner in League One play-off final against 10-man Barnsley

Sheff WedGetty/ GOAL
  • Windass scores with five seconds remaining
  • Wednesday promoted to Championship with 1-0 win
  • Match caps off incredible play-off journey

TELL ME MORE: The Owls starred in one of the most dramatic comebacks in play-off history when they overcame a four-goal deficit to overcome Peterborough in the semi-finals, winning on penalties after a 5-5 aggregate scoreline. Monday's final against Barnsley may have been lacking in goals, but it certainly was not short on drama.

After a goalless first 45 minutes, Tykes midfielder Adam Phillips was sent off for a poor challenge on Lee Gregory shortly after the break, which looked to tip the balance into Wednesday's favour. But Barnsley were able to hold on through 90 minutes of regulation time and almost the entirety of the added 30, although Will Vaulk's chalked-off effort in extra time will have given them an early warning sign. However, with literally five seconds remaining before a seemingly inevitable penalty shoot-out, Josh Windass got on the end of Lee Gregory's cross to put a diving header past Harry Istead. Cue rapturous celebrations from the Owls faithful, and absolute agony for Barnsley players and fans alike.

THE MVP: Who else but Windass? The forward may not have scored in the semi-final comeback at Hilllsbrough, and he may have been quiet for the majority of the final, but his name will forever be etched in Wednesday folklore for his last-ditch heroics at Wembley. Ten-man Barnsley had defended resolutely since the 49th minute dismissal, but switched off for a fleeting moment in the dying embers - with Windass alert when it mattered most. His strike will bring back memories of father Dean's effort for Hull City back in 2008, which sealed their promotion to the Premier League.

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THE BIG LOSER: Had Barnsley survived Wednesday's late onslaught and gone on to victory in the shoot-out, people would have forgotten about Phillips' sending off. But given how Monday's final played out, it is hard not to see the midfielder's rash decision as the turning point in the game - and perhaps the defining moment of Barnsley's season. After finishing fourth in League One and overcoming Bolton in the semi-finals, the club - and Phillips - will have to lift themselves to try and do it all over again next campaign.


Josh Windass header Sheffield Wednesday 2022-23Barnsley dejected 2022-23Getty ImagesSheffield Wednesday celebrate 2022-23

WHAT NEXT? For Wednesday, though, they can start preparing for life in the Championship after the most dramatic of play-off stories. Monday's result will taste all the more sweet for Owls boss Darren Moore, too, after he was the victim of vile racist abuse after the 4-0 semi-final first leg defeat.