A late Wycombe fightback wasn’t enough to prevent a 3-2 defeat at home to Northampton Town on Saturday afternoon.Luke O’Nien guided home a header inside two minutes but the Cobblers struck back through Marc Richards’ well-hit free-kick, and seemed to be cruising when Lawson D’Ath and Shaun Brisley struck in quick succession after the interval.
Danny Rowe slammed home from close-range to set up a tense finale, but Town held on to inflict just Wanderers’ second defeat of the campaign.
The game was barely two minutes old when Luke O’Nien struck his first ever professional goal, staying onside to meet Danny Rowe’s lofted ball into the box and loop his header over the stranded Adam Smith.
Cobblers reacted well and saw Matt Ingram gets fingertips to a low cross-shot which stayed out despite the best efforts of the sliding Nicky Adams.
Then Joel Byrom’s long-range effort deflected just wide and Sam Hoskins stayed onside before seeing his shot blocked en route to goal by his team-mate Marc Richards, while at the other end, Adam Smith did brilliantly to block Gozie Ugwu’s close-range effort and Garry Thompson when he received the ball one-on-one.
Aaron Amadi-Holloway then crashed an effort against the foot of the post and the pendulum swung the other way when Ryan Cresswell’s header looked destined for the net before Joe Jacobson stuck out a foot on the goal-line.
The goal looked destined to see another goal and it arrived on 35 minutes when Marc Richards curled home a peach of a free-kick from 20 yards, finding the top corner after Marcus Bean had been shown a yellow card for stopping the striker’s progress into the area.
Richards had a chance to replicate his feat when he was presented with another free-kick in a similar position moments later, but he chose to put power behind it and the ball slammed into the wall before the rebound rose over the bar.
There were no further chances before the break but Town took the lead on 47 minutes when Nicky Adams’ cross was met by a clever header from Lawson D’Ath, who steered the ball home.
And things got worse three minutes later when Shaun Brisley rose high to head home having lost his marker from a free-kick into the area.
The goals knocked the stuffing out of the Blues and they found openings hard to come by, prompting Gareth Ainsworth to make a double substitution on the hour-mark with Sam Wood and Matt Bloomfield both coming on, and the changes gave the hosts new impetus by putting Town under pressure.
That paid off on 82 minutes when another sub – Max Kretzschmar – delivered a corner which wasn’t well dealt with and Danny Rowe smashed home from close range after an initial shot was blocked.
Matt Ingram reacted quickly to deny Dominic Calvert-Lewin at the other end, but Wycombe were unable to summon an equaliser in five minutes of stoppage time despite Sam Wood's cross flashing across the face of goal with Garry Thompson inches away from connecting.
Wycombe: Ingram, Jombati, Jacobson, Rowe, Pierre, Bean, McGinn (Wood 60), O’Nien (Kretzschmar 80), Amadi-Holloway (Bloomfield 60), Thompson, Ugwu.
Unused subs: Lynch, Sellers, Banton.
Northampton: Smith, Furlong, Buchanan, Cresswell, Brisley, D’Ath (Watson 77), O’Toole, Byrom, Adams (Diamond 90), Richards, Hoskins (Calvert-Lewin 70).
Unused subs: Clarke, Horwood, Lelan, Hackett.
Referee: Mr Keith Hill
Attendance: 4,227 (597 from Northampton)
Winning 50/50 Number (Blue £1): 1097
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Winning 50/50 Number (Orange £2): 2161
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