It’s Sunday 21st April 2024 and I’m standing in block 136 of Wembley stadium, 18 rows from the front, on the corner behind the west goal. We have seats of course, but Coventry City fans only sit down when we’re playing at home. Bruno Fernandez has just scored Manchester United’s 3rd goal against us in the FA Cup semi-final. I knew it would be a tough game, but the party atmosphere and the magnitude of the occasion have already made it the best football game I’ve ever attended.

Five minutes after the goal Coventry’s Manager, Mark Robbins, decides to make 3 substitutions. Liam Kitching, Joel Latibaudiere and Josh Eccles make way for Luis Binks, Fabio Tavares and Victor Torp. I somehow become convinced that we’re going to score. A consolation goal, but a goal nonetheless. Within 8 minutes Ellis Simms finds the back of the net with an instinctive volley that he takes on his shin. Our fans have been in full voice the whole game but remarkably the noise finds another level.

Eight more minutes go by and a shot on goal from Callum O’Hare takes a deflection, lifting it out of the keeper’s reach and into the back of the net. Now we have momentum.

Before I know it we’re in stoppage time, still 3-2 down, with hope of reaching the final slipping between our fingers. We have one last attack and after a scuffle in the box, suddenly the referee is pointing to the penalty spot. It’s the final minute of added time and we have a penalty for hand ball.

Haji Wright bravely steps forward to take it, steadfast despite the magnitude of the occasion and the potential impact of his next kick of the ball. He does his usual side step, then run up and he scores like it’s the easiest thing he’s ever done.

Coventry City have just levelled the game after being 3-0 down, taking it to extra time.

There’s something even more joyful in those 30 minutes of extra time. Whatever the final outcome of the game we’ve had a fantastic day at Wembley, the fans are elated, the players have given everything.

And then it happens.

It’s the final minute of extra time. Haji Wright’s cross into the box finds Victor Torp in a great position to poke it into the bottom right hand corner of the goal. In the next 90 seconds I’m consumed by the biggest football celebration I’ve ever witnessed, triggered by one of the greatest comebacks in FA Cup history.

It’s then I realise that technology is sucking the joy out of the sport I’ve come to love. The goal is disallowed after a VAR check shows a borderline offside. We go on to lose on penalties.

Paul McCafferty @paulmccafferty