Beaming and brooding

Get in:Ched Evans puts the Blades two goals up.
Get in:Ched Evans puts the Blades two goals up.

The Owls were beaming back at Hillsborough; the Blades were brooding down at Bramall Lane.

Sheffield’s derby Sunday had a climax that showed why anybody who reckoned it was only three points at stake had lost the plot.

Faces in the crowd: Lane legends Len Badger and Ted Hemsley (circled) look fed-up as the Owls celebrate.       Photo: Steve Ellis.

Faces in the crowd: Lane legends Len Badger and Ted Hemsley (circled) look fed-up as the Owls celebrate. Photo: Steve Ellis.

Some points are more precious than others; some draws can damage your health.

Those were the immediate conclusions from what was a fine game and ultimately a fair result; clash of styles too but that made the mix all the richer.

A 2-2 share-out, if offered before the start, wasn’t going to break anyone’s heart. But Wednesday’s share of the spoils was worth far more, in psychological terms, than United’s.

Scoring two late goals had inestimable value for Gary Megson’s side as a statement of their resilience and a swelling of the belief around Hillsborough - where an astonishing 11,000 fans watched the match on giant screens - that Wednesday have the mentality of promotion winners.

To see their team throw away a two-goal lead was a shattering experience for United supporters and presented a challenging hurdle for manager Danny Wilson. If the Owls were fortified by the result, would the Blades be weakened by it?

But in the quest for balance, it was only a drawn game in the end. And perhaps rightly so in the circumstances, despite Wilson’s protest over the Gary Madine equaliser.

There are always likely to be recriminations when a highly-charged game produces a late twist and such contrasting emotions at the end.

Whether there was a foul or not - and I thought young Premier League referee Michael Oliver had a good game overall - it was always going to be a hard sell for Steve Simonsen considering the United keeper’s suspect performance.

But the final verdict has to be that there was nothing to deflect from the belief that both Sheffield sides will be challenging for promotion come the end of the season.