Three goals in the last 20 minutes of the tie were enough to see Preston North End come from 1-0 down at Sheffield Wednesday to put a stop to their seven-game winless streak.
Three minutes into a frantic first half, Dominic Iorfa rattled the crossbar with a header from a Barry Bannan corner.
On the half hour mark, Tom Barkhuizen passed up a great opportunity to notch his 10th league goal of the season when he ran clear of the Wednesday defence after a Josh Harrop flick on which took Iorfa out of the game.
The forward had plenty of time to think about where to place the ball and this told as he slipped his effort wide of the upright.
The Owls hit back with a great chance at the Leppings Lane end 10 minutes before the break.Bannan found Alessio De Cruz who had sprung the offside trap, but the Dutchman dwelled and had his effort blocked by Jordan Storey who recovered expertly.
It was the Owls though who seized the initiative after the break and took the lead. Jacob Murphy set off on a mazy dribble from out wide and played a great one-two with Atdhe Nuhiu, before squeezing the ball under Declan Rudd to make it 1-0 to the hosts.
This 57th minute stab was Murphy’s sixth goal of the campaign; he is currently the highest scorer still at the club.
Then, after Jayden Stockley was introduced to the action the balance of the game swiftly shifted.
On 78 minutes, a defensive mix-up allowed substitute Scott Sinclair the time and space to pick his spot and level proceedings and grab his fourth Championship goal of the season.
With four minutes remaining Julian Borner thought he’d snatched all three points for Wednesday, only for his goal to be ruled out as Joey Pelupessy was offside.
Things then went from bad to worse for Garry Monk. A minute later and Jayden Stockley swept home out of Joe Wildsmith’s grasp to steal the points for the Lancashire side.
Brad Potts then made it game, set and match with a precise curling effort from 18 yards, again well out of the clutches of the Wednesday stopper.
Views from the dugout
Garry Monk said to the club’s media: “To go from a situation where you think you’ve scored at the end but the main factor is, from the end of that game, we have to be much, much better at the fundamentals. It’s about that focus and concentration at the critical moment. You expect to have that at this level.
“Hugely disappointing that moment went against us with the goal but then those last ten minutes, the individual battles, the concentration, it has cost us. We didn’t concentrate in those vital moments. You have to focus and win those battles and we didn’t do that.”
Alex Neil said to Preston North End’s media team: “I thought first half we were excellent, but it felt as though it was going to be one of those days. We went really aggressive with our changes to try and force the issue and I think all of the substitutes made a really big impact.
“The disallowed goal swings the game in our favour, albeit it is a foul on Dec, and then the two after that are fantastic finishes for the goals.”
Sheffield Wednesday: Wildsmith; Palmer, Iorfa, Borner; Luongo, Pelupessy, Murphy (Odubajo 64’), Bannan, Harris (Reach 88’); Da Cruz (Windass 70’), Nuhiu. Subs not used: Dawson, Rhodes, Hunt, Hughes, Grant, Shaw.
Preston North End: Rudd; Storey, Davies, Bauer; Rafferty, Pearson (Johnson 65’), Ledson (Potts 65’), Hughes (Sinclair 76’); Browne; Barkhuizen (Gallagher 83’), Maguire (Stockley 65’). Subs not used: Ripley. Fisher, Nugent, Bodin.
Referee: Tony Harrington
Bookings: Sheffield Wednesday: Pelupessy (10’), Nuhiu (85’)
Preston North End: None
Sent off: Sheffield Wednesday: None
Preston North End: None
Scorers: Sheffield Wednesday: Jacob Murphy (58’)
Preston North End: Scott Sinclair (78’), Jayden Stockley (87’), Brad Potts (90+5’)
HT score: 0-0
FT score: 1-3
Man of the Match: Jayden Stockley (Preston North End)