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Match Report


Posted Tue 09 Aug 11 at 22:33 PM


Wycombe are into the second round of the Carling Cup for the first time since 2006 after a breathtaking penalty shootout success over Colchester United at Adams Park.

Ben Harding slotted home the winning penalty at 10.25pm after a night which had seen the Essex club recover from a two-goal deficit to lead 3-2 in extra-time before Stuart Beavon's wonder goal.

Scott Donnelly and Joel Grant sent the Blues into an early lead, but Colchester recovered through Kayode Odejayi and Ian Henderson before half-time.

Chances came and went for both sides and after Nikki Bull saved from Michael Rose in the shootout, Harding stepped up to clinch the glory over Wanderers' old foes.

There were five changes to Gary Waddock's starting XI, with Kadeem Harris earning a first ever professional start while Ben Harding came in for his Wanderers debut in the middle of the park.

The opening goal came within 100 seconds of kick-off, when Andy Sandell's quick free-kick left United flat-footed and Scott Donnelly rifled the ball home from 12 yards. United were aggrieved that the set-piece was taken ahead of the whistle but referee Pat Miller allowed the goal to stand, giving Wycombe the perfect start.

Ashley Vincent headed into the side netting before fine defending from McCoy then prevented Ian Henderson from getting his shot away as the U's pressed for an immediate leveller.

But they came unstuck again when a superb move from the Blues saw John Halls, Donnelly and Stuart Beavon all exchange neat passes before the latter's shot was parried away by Mark Cousins, giving Joel Grant the easy task of slotting into an empty net.

The football was a pleasure to watch, with the central midfield trio all exchanging short passes and working the ball forward in neat passages, frustrating the visitors and creating a number of openings.

John Joe O'Toole sent a glancing header wide on 24 minutes when he found space from a corner and Wycombe didn't heed the warning, allowing Kayode Odejayi time to halve the deficit when he headed Michael Rose's inswinging cross past Nikki Bull.

The Wanderers keeper then turned behind Anthony Wordsworth's low swerving drive as Colchester cranked up the pressure, and the home fans were beginning to get a little restless as they saw their side pushed further and further onto the back foot.

So it was no surprise when the equaliser came, and it arrived in style courtesy of a 25-yard thunderbolt from Ian Henderson, finding the top corner with pace and swerve to leave Nikki Bull a helpless spectator.

Odejayi almost put the U's in front in first-half stoppage time, seeing his poked effort blocked by the legs of Bull following a defensive mishap, and Wycombe would have been relieved to hear the half-time whistle after squandering their early lead.

After an absorbing first 45 minutes, the opening to the second period was tame by comparison, with Wycombe looking more settled but neither side able to create any clear-cut chances.

Kadeem Harris went close to opening his senior account with a low drive on 67 minutes which just evaded the keeper's right-hand post, while a series of crosses into the Blues' box threatened to bring about a goal for the visitors, but the hosts held firm.

The play was disjointed from both sides and neither set of players were happy to settle for extra-time, and pressed in pursuit of a winner. Odejayi launched a powerful strike into the side netting as the clock approached 90 minutes, and a superb last-gasp block from Nikki Bull sent the tie into extra-time after Ian Henderson was sent through on goal.

Steven Gillespie saw an early chance saved by Bull before Joel Grant and Andy Sandell missed the target with efforts from 20 yards, while Gillespie then attempted an audacious lob which needed to be expertly tipped over by the home keeper.

The substitute wasn't to be denied moments later, however, as Andy Sandell brought down Ian Henderson in the box and Gillespie smashed his penalty high into the net, giving no chance and putting the visitors in front for the first time in the match.

Lloyd James could have put the game out of sight when he found space on the right-side of the box following a deft flick, and the Blues were desperate to claw their way back into the game.

Gary Waddock responded by bringing on Jordon Ibe for his first senior appearance at the age of just 15, becoming the youngest player to represent the club since 1982.

The lifeline came just moments later, and it was Stuart Beavon who made it 3-3 with a stunning left-footed strike on 105 minutes. The attacker had worked tirelessly all game with little reward, but the goal was one to savour, and set his side back on track.

Ian Henderson's clipped effort after the break again needed a smart save from Bull, before Scott Rendell's glancing header should have hit the target from a Marvin McCoy cross.

Joel Grant snatched at an effort on the corner of the penalty area after a succession of skilful runs from Jordan Ibe had opened holes in the United defence, with the teenager looking more than capable of finding that elusive fourth goal for the Blues.

It didn't come, and so it went to penalties.

Steven Gillespie - SCORES
Andy Sandell - SCORES
Anthony Wordsworth - SCORES
Marvin McCoy - SCORES
Ian Henderson - SCORES
Stuart Beavon - SCORES
Lloyd James - SCORES
Scott Rendell - SCORES
Michael Rose - SAVED BY BULL
Ben Harding - SCORES

Bull had been sent the wrong way for the first four penalties but changed strategy for Michael Rose's spot-kick, making a fine save to allow Ben Harding to win it for Wycombe.

The Carling Cup second round draw will be made on Thursday.

50/50 Blues Youth Matchday Draw
Prize Fund: 251.00
Winning Number: 109906

Wanderers: Bull; Foster, Sandell, Tunnicliffe, Johnson (Winfield 113); Donnelly (Ibe 104), Halls, Harding; Harris (Rendell 80), Grant, Beavon.

Subs: Ingram, Winfield, Foster, Kewley-Graham, McClure.

Goals: Donnelly (2), Grant (12), Beavon (105)

Colchester: Cousins; Wilson, Rose, Okuonghae, Heath; Vincent (Gillespie 68), O'Toole (James 75), Izzet, Wordsworth; Henderson, Odejayi.

Subs: Pentney, Baldwin, Coker, White, Duguid.

Goals: Odejayi (27), Henderson (41), Gillespie (98 pen)

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