Sheffield Wednesday’s youth team are through to the second round of the FA Youth Cup after defeating Rotherham Utd in a five goal thriller on Wednesday night.
The clash at Don Valley saw Wednesday emerge 3-2 winners after extra-time but Rotherham will rue their luck after injury reduced them to nine men during the additional period.
With Alan Irvine and Howard Wilkinson amongst the crowd, Wednesday took a second half lead through a Mitch Husbands volley which flew beyond the reach of Millers stopper Daniel Hancock.
With the game seemingly going the way of the men from Hillsborough, United struck back with two goals in the dying of minutes.
First an equaliser came via the boot of forward, Conor Hiley who fired in at the near post and then midfielder Joe Gaughan looked to have won the tie with a far post header after some good work by Ollie Banks.
But Wednesday hit back and Joel Magill regained parity with the last kick of the 90 minutes, taking the tie to extra-time. It was during this period that United lost Hiley and Thomas Foltyn-Brown to injury having already used their permitted three substitutions during regular time.
While Wednesday enjoyed the lion’s share of possession nine-man Rotherham did well to keep the visitors at bay for most of the 30 minute period. But with penalties looming Wednesday won it at the death thanks to a Patrick Lacey strike.
Wednesday Academy Manager, Sean McAuley was delighted with the result and performance but also found the time to praise Rotherham’s youngsters for their contribution to a great game of football.
“The game was a fantastic advert for youth development up and down the country”, said McAuley.
“I thought we were really comfortable at 1-0 up but then Rotherham hit us with two goals out of the blue. But our lads kept going to the end of firstly normal time with the equaliser and then extra time with the winner.”
“There is real value for the players in winning and playing well, they gave absolutely everything. But credit to Rotherham as well, who contributed to an excellent and exciting game of football,” added McAuley.
Wednesday will now travel to Oldham Athletic for a second round that is due to be played before 20 November.