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Match Report

 

Posted Tue 10 Jan 17 at 21:00 PM

Shootout success for Wycombe

Jamal Blackman saved the crucial penalty in a shootout to send Wycombe through to the last eight of the Checkatrade Trophy following a 1-1 draw at Blackpool.

Kelvin Mellor’s early headed opener for the hosts was cancelled out by Anthony Stewart’s crisp finish in the second half, and the Blues were successful with all five spot-kicks before Blackman denied Will Aimson to clinch victory.

Wycombe began brightly and saw Luke O’Nien drill wide from 20 yards, but they fell behind on nine minutes when a poorly taken corner was delivered back into the box and Kelvin Mellor lost his man to head home at the far post.

The Chairboys recovered well and Max Muller glanced a header wide from Joe Jacobson’s corner before Sam Wood rattled the bar with a fierce drive at the end of a smart move involving O’Nien and Myles Weston.

Then Garry Thompson was picked out in the area by a clever diagonal pass from Will De Havilland, but as the keeper opted to stay on his line, the striker could only send his left-footed shot into the arms of Sam Slocombe.

Paul Hayes was the next to threaten, side-footing Jacobson’s deep cross over the bar on the volley, before Armand Gnanduillet drilled a shot off-target at the other end.

Wycombe thought they were level when Thompson jinked inside his man and finished well, only to be denied by a late offside flag, and then the Tangerines had a chance to double their lead when Bright Osayi-Samuel went down inside the area to win a penalty.

Danny Philliskirk stepped up and sent his effort towards the bottom right corner, but Jamal Blackman sprang to his left to keep the spot-kick out, having also denied Fred Onyedinma from the penalty spot in the last round at Millwall.

The second half began with Wycombe in the ascendancy, and that’s how the whole 45 minutes panned out, with an equaliser seemingly destined to come around.

Garry Thompson saw a shot blocked from the edge of the box and Wanderers had a penalty appeal turned down when Myles Weston’s cross was blocked – possibly by an outstretched arm – but only a corner was given.

Pressure grew with Will De Havilland looping a header inches too high for the top corner, before Sam Wood planted a header narrowly wide from Thompson’s excellent cross from the right.

Joe Jacobson’s dangerous set-pieces were causing headaches for Blackpool and after Anthony Stewart had the ball nicked off him at the back post when ready to pull the trigger, the hosts didn’t learn their lesson and were pegged back when the excellent Stewart lashed home from a poor headed clearance from Jacobson’s corner.

Substitute Adebayo Akinfenwa headed straight at Sam Slocombe before the hosts sent two free-kicks over the bar from shooting positions, while Stewart came close to securing a late winner with a low drive at the end of a rampaging run from right-back.

The game was to be decided by penalties then, and after Joe Jacobson, Luke O’Nien, Will De Havilland, Adebayo Akinfenwa and Garry Thompson were all successful with their spot-kicks, Blackman was again the hero, tipping Will Aimson’s effort onto the post to secure the Chairboys’ place in the quarter finals.

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