Woking, Newcastle United, Queens Park Rangers and Crystal Palace had been defeated. Now one more team stood in Watford's way of a first FA Cup final appearance for 35 years, but it looked increasingly like Wolverhampton Wanderers would prove a last hurdle too far. Then a Spaniard entered the fray...

For a substitute's appearance to later be named Individual Performance of the Season, it has to be something truly extraordinary.

No other words could adequately describe the way Gerard Deulofeu turned the semi-final completely on its head, as Watford came from behind to defeat Wolves at Wembley.

So much was at stake and the Hornets' fans' wounds from three years previous had still to fully heal.

They'd been here before, England's national stadium, with a chance of booking their place in the final of the country's most famous knockout football competition. But it had all gone wrong and for most of the contest it seemed that would be the case once again.

Wolves were good. Very good in fact.

They opened the scoring through a well-worked corner manoeuvre before extending their advantage with just half-an-hour to go through a clinical finish by Raul Jimenez, whose lucha libre mask celebrations irked those in yellow and black, while on the bench Deulofeu, who admitted being angry at not starting the game, sat watching on, desperate to be given his chance.

With 66 minutes on the clock, Will Hughes was sacrificed and on came the mercurial dynamo, whose impact was nothing short of devastating.

With 10 minutes remaining and the score still alarmingly 2-0 to Wolves, Deulofeu's introduction may have appeared futile, until he produced a moment of genius that perhaps only he on that pitch could have conjured.

It looked an impossible shot. Too many defenders stood between himself and the net and yet, somehow, he found a way.

Time seemed to stand still as the Spaniard assessed his options. Hopeful deliveries into the box had proven fruitless until this point and insanity, they say, is trying the same thing over and over again and expecting to see different results.

Instead, with a balletic flick of the leg, the former Barcelona man sent the ball arcing over the top of everyone, with Wolves' goalkeeper John Ruddy stood hopelessly weighted to the ground, as the shot delicately delivered itself into the top corner. The lead was down to one and there was time enough to hit back once more.

In situations like this, a strong leader is vastly advantageous and Troy Deeney proved himself to be just that.

"Troy Deeney, he will not give it up. He lives and breathes Watford Football Club," said Martin Tyler on the commentary - he'd felt the force of Deeney earlier on in the competition when the skipper had knocked out the Woking side where the broadcaster also works as assistant manager and now, perhaps he sensed Deeney was in the mood once more.

A loose ball bounded aimlessly into the area and Leander Dendoncker assumed, wrongly of course, that he had time to calmly take control of the situation.

A flash of yellow and black cut across the Belgian's vision and before he knew it, he had brought the Watford captain down in the area and referee Michael Oliver was pointing to the penalty spot.

Deeney smashed the penalty home. Of course he did, it was never in doubt and extra-time beckoned, with Wolves looking dejected and exhausted, while pure exhilaration kept Watford primed and ready to do battle once again.

Psychologically, the game was already won and when Andre Gray and Deulofeu linked up with some intricate passing that zipped past the lethargic Wolves defenders, the Spaniard kept his composure and rolled the ball past Ruddy into the net and that was that - the Hornets had done it. Their first FA Cup final in 35 years, only the second in the club's history.

Javi Gracia's men had achieved what so many before them had failed to do. Now all that remains is to see whether or not they have one more big performance in them.