Wanderers ended 2014 with a fantastic 0-0 draw against league leaders Shrewsbury Town at the Greenhous Meadow.Gareth Ainsworth was forced into a multitude of changes ahead of kick-off, with skipper Paul Hayes missing with a calf injury while Sam Wood and Peter Murphy dropped to the bench after an exhausting recent schedule.
It meant starts for Stuart Lewis, Matt Bloomfield, Fred Onyedinma and Aaron Holloway in a bold 4-3-3 set-up, supported by a real engine room in midfield and the regular back five who have performed outstandingly throughout the season.
The hosts started brightly and saw Bobby Grant’s shot blocked after Matt Ingram was impeded when coming for a cross, and then James Collins blasted over from 20 yards under pressure from Alfie Mawson.
At the other end, Stuart Lewis tested the handling of Jayson Leutwiler with a daisy-cutter from 25 yards, and the visitors found their feet in the game, looking bright in attack and winning a free-kick in a dangerous position which Joe Jacobson sent over the bar.
Shrewsbury looked unsettled and unaccustomed to having an opposition side coming and ‘having a go’ quite like the Wanderers, and the groans of displeasure from the home fans suggested they feared for their unbeaten home record.
Connor Goldson came close with a volley from a corner which was deflected behind, before the Shrews finished the half strongly, seeing Liam Lawrence’s free-kick curl over as Joe Jacobson and Matt Bloomfield were booked for struggling to contain their pacy opposing attack.
There were no changes at the break and Shrewsbury had the first chance to break the deadlock, seeing Scott Vernon head over the top at the end of a smart move before Mickey Demetriou blasted over from a tight angle.
Wycombe held firm and came close twice in quick succession midway through the half, firstly when Matt Bloomfield’s shot was deflected just wide and then when Alfie Mawson’s header from the resulting corner flew over.
At the other end, the pressure cranked up when Matt Ingram produced a spectacular stop to deny Mark Ellis after Aaron Pierre had denied Vernon, and Ingram was again called upon to keep out Bobby Grant’s inswinging free-kick on 79 minutes.
Grant fired wastefully over with three minutes left but the drama was saved for the final minute of stoppage time when James Collins smashed home at the second attempt, only to be denied a fairytale winner by the offside flag.
With that, Wycombe become just the second side to leave the Greenhous Meadow with a point this season, thanks to a superb battling performance from front to back.
Wycombe: Ingram, Jombati, Jacobson, Mawson, Pierre, Bloomfield (Murphy 89), Lewis, Scowen, Cowan-Hall,Onyedinma (Wood 69), Holloway (Craig 73).
Shrewsbury: Leutwiler, Goldson, Demetriou, Ellis, Knight-Percival, Lawrence, Woods, Passley, Grant (Mangan 87), Collins, Vernon (Akpa Akpro 80).
Subs: Halstead, Grandison, Vincent, Griffith, Clark.
Referee: Mr M Clattenburg
Attendance: 7,239 (475 from Wycombe)