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Match Report


Posted Sat 30 Oct 10 at 17:03 PM


Wycombe were forced to settle for a point at home to Lincoln City as the visitors twice came from a goal down to frustrate the hosts.

Kevin Betsy got the game off to a dream start with a close range finish after 47 seconds when Stuart Beavon's header bounced off the post and into his path, but the Imps levelled through Mustapha Carayol's fierce drive on 21 minutes.

Wanderers regained the lead through Scott Davies' fine curling effort from the edge of the box, yet they were pegged back again when Ben Hutchinson raced through the defence and finished smartly into the corner.

Eight minutes of injury time came and went but the Blues were unable to find a way through and were left rueing their inability to hold on for all three points.

Following a well-observed minute's silence for former club director Gordon Richards, who passed away earlier this month, the game got underway with Scott Davies starting in midfield in the place of the injured Matt Bloomfield.

The visitors arrived with fresh optimism following the recent appointment of new manager Steve Tilson and the arrivals of four loan signings in the week, but they found themselves behind after 47 seconds - and it was their former hero who was the architect.

Gareth Ainsworth spent two successful years with the Imps towards the beginning of his career but showed no signs of goodwill when he delivered a teasing cross from the right, with Stuart Beavon heading against the near post. The ball fell kindly for Kevin Betsy virtually on the goal-line, and the in-form winger made no mistake in flicking home to put the Blues in front.

As if the Wanderers weren't already full of confidence after their superb 4-3 win at Rotherham the weekend before, the early goal lifted the mood even further and they dominated possession with an eye-catching range of passing in all areas of the pitch.

The lead should have been doubled when Kevin Betsy won a battle with Adam Watts outside the area and continued into the area, but fired high over the bar.

And Wycombe were punished four minutes later when Mustapha Carayol was given the time and space to cut in from the left wing and smash the ball home, despite the attentions of Danny Foster.

It was a rare lapse in concentration from the home side, who had looked settled up to that point, and it didn't knock them too far off their stride, coming close to restoring the lead when Ben Strevens headed a teasing cross over the bar on 28 minutes.

Moments later, a burst forward from right-back Danny Foster almost resulted in success when he cut onto his left foot and lashed his effort just over the top.

But the Blues were back in front on 38 minutes thanks to fantastic work from Ben Strevens and Scott Davies. Neat footwork from Strevens outside the area resulted in the ball finding its way to Davies, who curled home the first goal since his return to Adams Park from the edge of the box.

From the sublime to the ridiculous, Davies then rushed to the dugout to celebrate with a tribute to 'Paul the Octopus', who died this week after rising to fame in the summer with his successful World Cup predictions. While Davies and sub Scott Rendell imitated an octopus on the pitch, Andy Sandell held aloft a t-shirt reading 'RIP Paul'.

And so with Wycombe back in control, the referee brought the first half to an end to the sound of rapturous applause from an appreciative home crowd.

The Blues were given a warning just moments into the second half when Adam Watts headed wide from a corner, but the chances kept coming at the other end with Stuart Beavon fizzing an effort just over the bar from 20 yards.

There was then a change of an unusual nature when referee Chris Sarginson pulled up with cramp and had to replaced by fourth official Mr Scholes, just moments after booking Gareth Ainsworth for a late tackle.

Lincoln's wingers were getting gradually more and more into the game, sending a series of tantalising crosses into the Wycombe area, and despite the home side's general control over the game, there was always the danger that the visitors could carve open a meaningful goalscoring opportunity.

And when it came, they took it. Ben Hutchinson was sent through on 68 minutes and the Celtic loanee dispatched the ball with composure, sending it across Nikki Bull and into the corner off the inside of the post.

All of a sudden, the game looked like it could swing either way, although Wycombe looked the more eager to press on for a winner. However, the Imps' defence were standing firm after their earlier mishaps, and looked arguably stronger on the counter-attack.

Drewe Broughton will feel he should have converted a chance against his former club when he hit the bar on 88 minutes, and then the award of eight additional minutes at the end of the game offered both sides the opportunity to snatch a winner.

The stage was set for Andy Sandell to be the hero with a free-kick from 25 yards in the dying seconds, but his effort struck the wall and the Imps finished the game the happier of the two sides as they secured their point.


1min: GOAL - Kevin Betsy flicks home after 47 seconds following a header from Stuart Beavon bounced off the post into his direction.

8mins: CHANCE - A spell of cannon-ball around the Lincoln area results in efforts from Stuart Beavon and Lewis Montrose being blocked en-route to goal.

17mins: CHANCE - Kevin Betsy fires wastefully over from inside the area after winning a dogged tussle with the defender.

21mins: GOAL - Mustapha Carayol levels the scores when Danny Foster fails to close him down and the winger drills home from ten yards.

28mins:CHANCE - Ben Strevens sends a looping header over the bar from a teasing cross.

31mins: CHANCE - Danny Foster fires over the top after a strong run forward.

38mins: GOAL - Terrific finish from Scott Davies from the edge of the area but equal credit must go to Ben Strevens for the assist.

47mins: CHANCE - Adam Watts heads a yard or two wide from a corner.

48mins: CHANCE - Stuart Beavon cuts on to his left foot and fires agonisingly over the top with a great effort from 20 yards.

53mins: YELLOW - Gareth Ainsworth is the first name in the book for a late challenge.

55mins: SUB - A change of a bizarre nature, as fourth official Mr Scholes replaces injured referee Mr Sarginson.

60mins: CHANCE - Nikki Bull darts from his line to dive at Ben Hutchinson's feet and divert the ball behind for a corner.

66mins: YELLOW - Scott Davies is booked for a poor tackle.

68mins: GOAL - Ben Hutchinson levels matters again with a neat finish off the inside of the post after being sent through.

73mins: YELLOW - Albert Jarrett trips Gareth Ainsworth and receives the appropriate punishment.

74mins: SUB - Dave Winfield replaces Alan Bennett at the back.

75mins: YELLOW - Chris Westwood tugs back Ben Hutchinson and goes into the book.

84mins: SUB - Joe Anderson replaces Albert Jarrett.

86mins: SUB - Ashley Grimes comes on for goalscorer Ben Hutchinson.

88mins: CHANCE - Ex-Wycombe loanee Drewe Broughton hits the bar from the edge of the box.

95mins: SUB - Matt McClure comes on for Scott Davies.

96mins: SUB - Clark Keltie is replaced by Scott Kerr.

98mins: CHANCE - Andy Sandell's free-kick hits the wall and the game ends 2-2.

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