Sat 05 Nov 16
at 16:45 PM
Report: Portsmouth 1-2 Wycombe
Adebayo Akinfenwa's late winner sent the Chairboys into the second round of the Emirates FA Cup, capping a superb 2-1 victory over 2008 cup winners Portsmouth.
The striker headed home from Dominic Gape's cross to restore the visitors' lead after Gareth Evans had cancelled out Paris Cowan-Hall's first-half opener for the visitors.
Gareth Ainsworth made two changes to the side that drew 2-2 at Doncaster in their last outing, with Danny Rowe missing out through injury and Will De Havilland dropping to the bench as Anthony Stewart and Akinfenwa were called into action.
Pompey, meanwhile, made five changes and it showed, as they struggled to replicate the attacking spark that yielded four goals in the league meeting two months earlier, leaving Jamal Blackman relatively untroubled during a first half which saw the Chairboys earn their one-goal lead.
Aaron Pierre looped a header wide from Joe Jacobson’s free-kick to set the tone before Milan Lalkovic’s powerful shot at the other end was deflected behind, sparking a brief period of pressure from the hosts which was expertly repelled by the visiting defence.
Matt Bloomfield then hit the post with a rasping left-footed drive from 20 yards after smart link-up play with Paris Cowan-Hall, who himself was then denied when Bloomfield played it into his path inside the box and the striker’s low shot was kept out by the outstretched foot of keeper David Forde.
With the pressure growing, Dominic Gape drilled narrowly wide from distance before the breakthrough came when Akinfenwa caused panic from a Michael Harriman free-kick and the ball bounced off the back of defender Christian Burgess into the six-yard box, where Cowan-Hall was lurking to nod it over the line.
Paul Hayes and Cowan-Hall added to the shot count as the groans rang out from the home ends around Fratton Park, and the half-time advantage could have been doubled when Akinfenwa headed just wide from a Jacobson corner with the last action of the first period.
But Pompey wrestled their way back into the game just 90 seconds after the restart, when Gareth Evans turned home from close range after Enda Stevens whipped in a teasing low cross from the left.
All of a sudden, the game was alive with both sides equally matched, and both hunting a winning goal to seal their place in round two. The hosts had become more of a threat and Wycombe were thankful to crucial interventions from Jamal Blackman and Anthony Stewart to clear the danger from pacy attacks just before the hour mark.
Paris Cowan-Hall had a shot deflected to safety before Adebayo Akinfenwa was denied twice in quick succession, firstly from a block and then the hands of the keeper and immaculately controlling a free-kick into the area.
Blackman then produced a superb full-length save to deny Portsmouth substitute Carl Baker’s rasping drive from distance, before Gareth Ainsworth introduced Myles Weston and later Garry Thompson from the bench to freshen his attack.
Weston was denied by a save from David Forde after a mazy run before the keeper produced a fine save to tip Akinfenwa’s nonchalant lob over the crossbar with 11 minutes remaining.
It was end-to-end as Baker drilled wide before the winning goal came courtesy of an excellent assist from Wanderers’ Southampton loanee Dominic Gape, who delivered an inch-perfect cross for Akinfenwa to rise above Christian Burgess and beat the keeper for his fourth goal of the season.
He then left the field to a standing ovation from home and away fans alike as Marcus Bean entered the fray to shore up the midfield for six minutes of stoppage time, in which Pompey threatened with a succession of corners, the last of which saw Enda Stevens head wastefully over the bar.
The final whistle rang out moments later to spark jubilant scenes from Chairboys fans and players, who will now look forward to the draw for round two on Monday evening.