A 95th minute equaliser cruelly denied City a well-earned win over Sheffield Wednesday after an exceptional performance at St James Park.
Jake Caprice's second half strike looked to have won the game for Gary Caldwell's side after a 90 minute period of heart, desire and determination, but Paterson's effort from the edge of the box sealed a dramatic point for the Owls, who continue their unbeaten run
After the draw away to Morecambe, Gary made three changes to the team that fought for a hard-earned draw at The Mazuma Stadium. Coming in to the starting XI for today’s fixture was Tim Dieng, Jevani Brown and a full debut for Kegs Chauke,
With City back at SJP, it was The Owls who made the better start, Dominic Iorfa picked up the ball on the halfway line, skipped past Dieng after a couple nibbles from the Frenchmen, but he was eventually stopped by Hartridge. From the resulting free kick, up stepped Josh Windass but his effort was saved with Jamal Blackman at full stretch.
Seconds later and City had their first chance of the game. Some lovely hold up play from Jay Stansfield found Dieng on the left wing, but his crossed effort was unable to find any red heads, but a miskicked clearance from Wednesday fell to Chauke but his effort was smothered by three Wednesday defenders.
After what was some beautiful short passing play between what seemed like every outfield player, the ball eventually made its way out to Pierce Sweeney on the right-hand side, but his low driven effort failed to find a City player and Wednesday were able to clear away.
With 25 minutes played Wednesday almost opened the scoring once again, and it was Dele-Bashiru who came close, forcing a superb save from Blackman. Moments later and The Owls were on the attack again, this time it was Windass with the effort on goal, but a huge block from Hartridge cleared the ball.
After what felt like an eternity of a break due to an injury to Wednesday’s captain Barry Bannan, a chance finally came for City in the 40th minute. The returning Dieng struck the ball from 30 yards out, but his strike cleared the bar, not troubling Stockdale in the Wednesday goal.
With half time looming, the referee went to his book for the first time in the game, the first player to get their name taken was Josh Key. The booking was a surprise to many as it was one of the softer fouls of the game.
After a relatively slow start to the second half for both sides, come the 56th minute SJP erupted. After a cross into the box spilt out to Caprice on the left-hand side, the wing back hit an absolute belter into the back of the net with a little bit of help from the far post. A first goal in 13 months for the marauding wing back.
With the goal, City were now on top, constant pressure and quick passing were starting to really trouble the high-flying Wednesday. The press didn’t come without its troubles though, with said trouble being another yellow card for City. Joining Key in the book was Brown after what is called a “tactical foul”. Following quickly after Brown was Jay Stansfield who was pulled up for offside, only to kick the ball away in frustration.
The longer the game went on the more cards were leaving the referee’s pocket. Mark McGuiness joined very soon after Stansfield for a high kick on the young Grecian. But it was another City player who entered the book in the 76th minute and this time it was Dieng for shirt pull on the edge of his own area.
78 minutes gone and City could have been two up. A Stockdale clearance didn’t go where it was intended and landed right at the feet of Stansfield, but his long-range effort was well saved by Stockdale who made up for his mistake.
After running himself into the ground with his constant pressing and tackling, Gary made the decision to sub off Chauke with five minutes left on the clock, replacing him was Sam Nombe.
With time running out, Wednesday levelled it right at the death with a goal from Callum Paterson, to shatter the hearts of every City fan and player in the ground.
The next game for your mighty Grecians is an away trip to the University of Bolton Stadium to face Bolton Wanderers. We hope to see you all there.
City: Blackman, Key, Sweeney, Diabate, Hartridge, Caprice, Collins, Chauke (Nombe), Dieng, Brown, Stansfield
Subs not used: Lee, Grounds, Sparkes, Beardmore, Harper, Jay
Sheffield Wednesday: Stockdale, Palmer, Vaulks (Gregory), Iorfa, Bannan ©(Bakinson, Windass (Wilks), Dele-Bashiru, Johnson, Smith (Paterson), James, McGuiness
Subs not used: Dawson, Hunt, Mighten
Referee: Neil Hair
Attendance: 7591 (1254 Away)