The steel city derby at Hillsborough and my second bout of nervousness for the weekend. Wednesday came into it with three defeats out of the last three, while United had won eleven of the last thirteen. Moreover the Owls were five points behind the Blades in the league, having played two games more; it was a must win game, with the manager’s job at stake too.
The first half was even, with Wednesday missing with two headers and United going close with a free-kick that bounced down from the crossbar.
The second half began scrappy. Neither side appeared to want to win the game and couldn’t put a move together. Until Wednesday went down the right, Buxton put in a perfect cross and Chris O’Grady scored with a header. The ground erupted on three sides, with only the Leppings Lane end quiet.
United came back with attack after relentless attack, but Wednesday held them off, although arguably inviting pressure onto themselves a little too much, and Bywater was forced to make a couple of outstanding saves. But with the game into injury time they managed to keep the ball down in the opposition half until the final whistle blew, with much relief all around.
The Blades may still be favourites to take the second automatic promotion position, but they will know that the Owls are breathing down their necks, and the slightest slip up will leave them ready to swoop.