June 21, 2024

Josh Windass scored an incredible 123rd-minute goal to win the League One play-off final for Sheffield Wednesday on Monday, breaking Barnsley’s hearts and leaving manager Michael Duff crestfallenSheffield Wednesday hero Josh Windass took aim at Barnsley manager Michael Duff just minutes after his last-gasp winner decided the League One play-off final in the dying embers of extra-time.

Windass, son of Hull City legend Dean, nodded in a 123rd-minute header to send Wednesday straight back up to the Championship after one season languishing in the third tier. The Owls once again did it the hard way after completing a dramatic comeback in the semi-final, as they remarkably recovered from a shock 4-0 first-leg defeat away to Peterborough in order to make it to Wembley.During the aftermath of Monday’s win, Windass claimed that he’d heard Barnsley boss Duff had left that first leg early, as he presumed the tie was over. “I heard their manager left our game against Peterborough because he said we were out,” the Wednesday forward told Sky Sports. “So, unlucky.”

Windass’ interview also drew attention as he savaged the level of quality in the game, as two teams from South Yorkshire slugged it out and looked set for a third successive penalty shootout in this year’s EFL play-off finals, with Luton and Carlisle previously coming out on top. That was until the 29-year-old scored a dramatic winner, downing a valiant Barnsley side who’d played most the game with 10 men and been denied a controversial penalty just minutes before midfielder Adam Phillips was sent off.

“Probably the worst standard of game that you’ll ever watch,” Windass admitted. “The standard from both teams was shocking to be honest, no real quality and luckily we got the winning goal.”

Asked what dad Dean, who scored a spectacular strike for Hull in 2008 to help send the Tigers into the Premier League, would have to say about his last-minute goal, Windass junior joked: “He’ll probably be five jagerbombs deep so I doubt he’ll say much.”

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The Owls’ failure to earn automatic promotion from League One, despite racking up a record-breaking 96 points, meant that were forced into a rollercoaster play-off run which culminated in more than 40,000 Wednesday fans making the trip down to Wembley.

“It’s one of the fan bases in the country. I’ve played for a couple of big clubs but look at this, it’s unbelievable,” a delighted Windass added. “We’ve been good on the pitch this year. The club’s got a lot of work to do to catch up with the other clubs off the pitch, but hopefully we can do that and start being the giant club that we are.”

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