THE last time a footballer with a shoulder injury had this much impact on a match it was in a 1981 Second World War film starring Michael Caine, Sylvester Stallone and Bobby Moore among others.
On that occasion it was Brazilian genius Pele, playing the part of Corporal Luis Fernandez, who defied the German attempts to injure him to help inspire the Allied team to a dramatic win.
The film was called Escape to Victory and that is where fiction becomes fact as Wednesday’s wing commander, Michail Antonio, fought off the effects of a shoulder ligament injury to snatch a dramatic winner in front of the Kop.
It’s not often the Owls produce wins of this nature. Goals deep into injury time are usually the preserve of the opposition and not the boys from S6.
But, as manager Dave Jones pointed out after the match, it would have been a travesty of justice if Wednesday hadn’t walked away with all three-points - a win that pulls them tantalisingly close to cross-city rivals Sheffield United.
Antonio’s goal - a sweet right foot shot into the far corner as he cut back from the byline on the left hand side of the penalty area - was in the sixth minute of six minutes of injury time.
The lengthy addition was due to the on loan flyer’s own injury. He’d been sent scampering clear by Keith Treacy mid-way through the second half, but seemed to be upended by Liam Noble the covering Carlisle defender.
It looked a clear free kick and probably a sending off, but the otherwise excellent referee Mr Hooper judged that it was the players coming together rather than Antonio being impeded.
In the end it didn’t matter. The extra minutes were valuably used by Wednesday and Antonio should have enough time to be fit enough for Saturday’s match at Brentford.
It was also irrelevant that a host of glorious chances were missed that would have put the game safe long before Antonio’s last gasp heroics.
Wednesday dominated the first half with Antonio, Lewis Buxton and Jermaine Johnson taking it in turns to torment the unfortunate Peter Murphy down the right wing.
Murphy was booked after 10 minutes and, according to Carlisle boss Greg Abbott, ran for the showers at half time. Abbott was, of course, joking, but Murphy was a square peg in a round hole and was replaced by Matthew Robson at the break.
It took a while but Wednesday eventually broke the deadlock in the 26th minute. Mark Beevers, Miguel Llera and Gary Madine had all gone close but it was Chris Lines who made it 1-0.
Johnson powered down the right and when his shot was well saved by the impressive Adam Collin midfielder Lines stroked the ball into the corner. It wasn’t the cleanest of connections, but sometimes that’s what’s needed.
Madine had a chance to make it two but headed over and Nile Ranger was clear on goal but saw his left foot volley saved by Collin.
The best opportunity to double their advantage fell to Johnson. Again he showed his pace on the right wing. However, instead of squaring to Madine for a tap in he elected to try and nudge it past Collin. Collin saved.
Carlisle were better in the second half attacking their travelling fans. Wednesday still pressed but there was a sense that the visitors may prove dangerous.
Johnson was replaced by Keith Treacy for the Owls and Jon-Paul McGovern and Andy Welsh came on for Carlisle.
The moves worked best for Abbott’s team.
A handball by Llera, which looked a bit harsh, led to Robson’s free kick being blocked by the Wednesday wall. The ball fell to James Berrett who lashed his shot past Stephen Bywater from 22 yards.
It was an excellent finish and left just eight minutes for Wednesday to grab a winner.
When the fourth official raised the board for six minutes of extra time the Wednesday fans provided their own lift for the team.
Ranger channelled his own inner Pele to try and win it with an overhead kick, but it was left for Antonio to send the home crowd delerious and steal the final scene.