Wycombe held Premier League Aston Villa to force a replay in the Emirates FA Cup third round.A Joe Jacobson penalty cancelled out Micah Richards’ first half opener as the Blues delighted a sell-out Adams Park crowd to take Villa back to Villa Park for a second tie.
The Blues came into this tie on the back of a 2-0 defeat at home to Morecambe in Sky Bet League 2, and also lost keeper Matt Ingram to that game with a red card, meaning Alex Lynch came into the side.
Aaron Amadi-Holloway also started up front alongside Garry Thompson, replacing Max Kretzschmar who dropped to the bench.
Wycombe made a confident start to the game, going toe-to-toe with their Premier League rivals and keeper Lynch collected a couple of crosses early on to settle any nerves he may have had.
The first half-chance fell the way of the Chairboys as a Joe Jacobson corner was delivered with typical precision. The Villa defence allowed the ball to bounce and a minor scramble led to Thompson toe-poking the ball wide.
Scott Sinclair’s cross-shot was cleared by Aaron Pierre on 7 minutes as Villa started to show their top-flight class.
Idrissa Gana worked space on the edge of the box for a shot which was bravely blocked, and Ashley Westwood fired over the rebound on 15, but they weren’t to be denied for long as the Villains took the lead after 22 minutes.
Winger Carles Gil worked some space on the right-hand side of the Blues’ penalty area and squared the ball to the incoming Micah Richards. The Villa captain calmly slotted the ball through a crowd of legs and into the far corner past a helpless Lynch.
Wycombe came back strongly and looked most dangerous through the left foot of Joe Jacobson. Firstly in the 29th minute when his corner was whipped right into the six yard box as the players crowded around keeper Mark Bunn, but he managed to get a fist on it to clear.
Jacobson’s wing partner Sam Wood had Wycombe’s first clear chance of the half on 32, as neat play from Thompson and captain Matt Bloomfield led to the skipper crossing for Wood, who struck a right-footed volley but couldn’t keep his effort on target.
It was Jacobson again who provided Wycombe’s creative threat on 37, as a short pass to Richards allowed the full back to nick in front of him. The Welshman’s low cross went towards Michael Harriman, but the winger waited for the ball to arrive rather than going towards it and Villa were able to clear.
Aaron Pierre rose highest to meet another excellent Jacobson corner after 42 minutes, but the centre half couldn’t keep his header down under pressure as Villa went into the break with a 1-0 advantage.
The Chairboys came out of the blocks at the start of the second half and were deservedly level on 49.
Jason McCarthy hit a cross which looped up off a Villa defender. Bloomfield was under the ball and Ashley Westwood ploughed into the back of him, leaving referee Michael Oliver no choice but to point to the spot.
Jacobson grabbed responsibility and fired the ball past Bunn who dived the wrong way to send the fantastic Chairboys fans delirious.
Wycombe nearly took the lead just a minute later as a long one-two between Sam Wood and Garry Thompson led to the striker crossing to the back post for Wood. His volley beat Bunn in the Villa goal but the covering Jores Okore was able to clear off the line.
Villa came on stronger in the second half, applying pressure to the Wycombe defence without testing Lynch. That was because of heroic performances from Anthony Stewart and Aaron Pierre in the centre of defence, who mopped up every cross and blocked every shot. The midfielders in front of them - Bloomfield and Luke O'Nien, shielded them superbly and every player on the pitch put in a fantastic performance to keep Villa at bay.
The Blues held out for a replay at Villa Park in a fantastic battling performance, and saluted the superb Chairboys fans at the full time whistle.
Line-up: Lynch, McCarthy, Pierre, Stewart, Jacobson, Harriman, O’Nien, Bloomfield (McGinn 80), Wood, Thompson, Amadi-Holloway (Ugwu 69)
Subs: Richardson, Jombati, Kretzschmar, Rowe, Udumaga