Dan Bentley went from zero to hero for Southend United as they saw off Wycombe Wanderers on penalties in the League Two play-off final.
Southend United had two Wembley heroes as Joe Pigott scored a stoppage-time equaliser that allowed Dan Bentley to secure a League Two play-off final victory on penalties over Wycombe Wanderers.
The game started on a desperate note as Wycombe midfielder Sam Saunders had to be substituted, having sustained an ankle injury in a tackle mere seconds after kick-off.
A goalless 90 minutes saw each side score goals that were disallowed, though Southend perhaps should have had a chance from 12 yards in the second half as Barry Corr was bundled over by Joe Jacobson, whose involvement was far from over.
Indeed, Jacobson looked as though he would prove the match-winner for Wycombe – looking to go from a final-day survival from relegation to promotion in the space of a season - as his fine free-kick ended up in the net after hitting the crossbar and goalkeeper Bentley.
But Piggott displayed nerves of steel to coolly equalise in the 122nd minute to send the game to penalties.
As managers Phil Brown and Gareth Ainsworth looked on next to each other, Ben Coker missed Southend's second penalty, but Bentley ensured sudden-death by denying Matt Bloomfield.
And the goalkeeper – widely tipped for a move to a higher level – then sealed Southend's spot in League One, tipping Sam Wood's spot-kick onto the right-hand post.comments