Comment: Pride and pain for Wolves' army at Wembley
As Wolves’ 34,000-strong travelling army headed down Wembley Way for the club’s first FA Cup semi-final for 21 years, the overriding emotion was pride.
The gold and black faithful filled train after train before making that famous walk to the national stadium, in which they heartily sang song after song.
Some arrived in the capital at the crack of dawn, keen to soak up every minute of the special day – and get as merry as they could.
Others wandered over a little later but were filled with just as much excitement and anxiousness ahead of the massive clash with Watford.
After sampling the fan zone, a pub or two or a few, or just racing to the ground, it was up to the fans to make their presence felt once inside. And so they did. They took over Wembley.
Wolves were the only club out of the final four to sell out their semi-final allocation, before snapping up 1,000 extra seats, so supporters were not just going to let the occasion pass them by.
They really started to make themselves heard in the build-up to kick-off.
The players were greeted with a rapturous round of applause as they came out for their warm-ups, and there was an almighty cheer for old gold legend Steve Bull when he was pitchside – and on the large screens at either end – for a pre-game interview.
Then came a sight to behold. The Hornets waved their flags, but the massive mosaic in the East end – thousands of coloured bags coming together to make one imposing image – stood out as the players in all-white, captain Conor Coady at the front, emerged from the tunnel for kick-off.
The Wolves followers watched in wonder as Matt Doherty and Raul Jimenez scored the goals to put them two to the good.
Fans shouted Nuno Espirito Santo’s name aloud, as well as Joao Moutinho’s, Diogo Jota’s and Ruben Neves’.
They were not sat in their seats. They were jumping around – on cloud nine.
But they were soon stunned into silence.
Substitute Gerard Deulofeu’s deft chip and Troy Deeney’s penalty deep into added-on time saw the Hornets recover from an unlikely position and take the game to extra-time.
Deulofeu then scored his second to complete the comeback and send Watford through to the final.
After the final whistle, the overriding emotion was despair. Tears were undoubtedly shed in thoughts of what might have been. If only they did not concede that penalty.
But pride still remains over the journey which brought sensational victories over Liverpool and Manchester United at Molineux.
If you do not win, you learn. Nuno’s charges will recover – and be backed by the ever-so-loyal fans every step of the way.