Stanley get Chairboys OUT of another fine mess!


At about 9.20pm, it looked like Wycombe Wanderers promotion drive had come to an end.

They were struggling to score against an excellent Fleetwood Town and all four sides above them were ahead. The fourth official was about to hold up the added minutes sign. Wycombe lay 8th. Both Sheffield Wednesdsay and Plymouth Argyle in 7th and 6th had scored vital openers in their respective second halves.

It looked dire. Wycombe would have been four points behind seventh place with a game more played leaving a very high hill to climb and depending on sides with nothing to play for to win games in the run-in. Even beating Sheffield Wednesday in their outstanding fixture at Adams Park on APril 23rd would have been insufficient to top the Owls.

Oxford and Plymouth stood five ahead. Promotion was out of Wycombe’s hands

Then two goals in rapid time 157 miles apart changed everything. Firstly, Accrington Stanley equalised unexpectedly at Hillsborough when Ross Sykes’ header went in off Wednesday’s Marvin Johnson.

The game at Adams Park had entered the added minutes when Wycombe’s Jason McCarthy stabbed home a desperate clearance after substitute Jack Young had lofted the ball into the area as the Chairboys bombarded the Cod Army goal.

It was an enormous relief for Gareth Ainsworth’s side whose finishing was unworthy of their support play. Prior to the goal, they had crafted a commendable 18 shots in 90 minutes. But 16 of them had been off target. Centre half Ryan Tafazolli had probably missed the best of them in the 88th minute when feet from goal, he stroked the ball the wrong side of the post, but it really wasn’t the kind of night where Sam Vokes would have done any better.

Wycombe are still in the running for a play-off after Jason McCarthy’s late winner

It was injury hit Fleetwood’s 5th loss in 15 days but their hastily cobbled together side had performed admirably given the 18 injurues the squad is carrying. Ben Butterworth and 18-year-old Cian Hayes (both on loan though) looked to be excellent prospects.

They had nine shots of which four were on target but Dave Stockdale in the Chairboiys goal proved as reliable as ever.

On the balance of play, Wycombe can claim the win was deserved but the overriding take was that Fleetood’s loss was not. The Lancastrians can only hope they start to get their injured players back in time to halt the losing streak.

The Chairboys now head to a very tricky tie at Portsmouth. If every other aspect of their form remains the same, but their finishing improves, they could reverse that November loss to Pompey at Adams Park.

Plymouth host Accrington Stanley and Wednesday visit Gillingham on Saturday. Oxford United have a tircky tie hosting in form Ipswich Town

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