Blues earned a point at Carlisle in a game that saw Sam Wood score, Joe Jacobson have a penalty saved and Marcus Bean sent off.Sam Wood opened the scoring with a smart header from Joe Jacobson's cross before Charlie Wyke levelled the scores with a close range tap-in.
Jacobson then had a penalty saved by home keeper Mark Gillespie before the break, and Marcus Bean was shown a red card for a tackle on Mark Ellis but there were no further goals as the Blues made it three games unbeaten.
Gareth Ainsworth made four changes to his side for the second of two successive games in the north-west, calling Marcus Bean, Stephen McGinn, Sam Wood and Gozie Ugwu into the starting line-up, while new loan keeper Ben Siegrist was named on the bench.
Wood had the game’s first shot of note after Luke O’Nien raced into the area and passed left to Joe Jacobson, whose miscued shot was cleared as far as the midfielder but his left-footed effort was straight at the keeper.
Then Carlisle had a sight of goal when Hallam Hope landed the ball comfortably in the arms of Ryan Allsop from a tight angle, before Wanderers’ hearts were in mouths when Tom Miller met Danny Grainger’s near-post corner only to send it wide of the far upright from close range.
Then Grainger’s free-kick from long-range was well tipped around the post by Allsop as the hosts enjoyed a good spell in Wycombe territory, with giant striker Charlie Wyke being the regular target to hit with long passes forward.
But when Wanderers broke forward from a well-cleared corner on 12 minutes, they went on to take the lead. Luke O’Nien fed Joe Jacobson on the left who strode forward, checked back and delivered an inch-perfect cross for Sam Wood to send a well-placed header into the bottom corner from 10 yards, escaping his markers to score for the second time this season.
The goal seemed to rock Carlisle and they could’ve been two down when Anthony Stewart let fly with a powerful strike from 40 yards which was well held by the keeper.
But after a quiet period in which neither side threatened, Carlisle found an equaliser out of nothing when Alex Giliead’s cross was expertly controlled by Hallam Hope and he fed Charlie Wyke for the simplest of tap-ins from just six yards.
Then Ryan Allsop made a smart double save to deny Jason Kennedy and Hope when Danny Grainger’s long free-kick caught the visiting defence half asleep, before Hope headed over from an unmarked position in the six-yard box after Wyke nodded a cross back across goal.
Aaron Pierre headed Joe Jacobson’s drilled corner over the bar after the centre-back had earlier been bundled over in the area, only for the referee to turn down appeals for a penalty.
But Wanderers were awarded a spot-kick four minutes before the interval when Garry Thompson was brought down by Mark Gillespie as he met Marcus Bean’s knockdown by Sam Wood’s cross. The keeper went unpunished as the ball was heading out of play after Thompson’s touch, and made himself a hero when he made a superb save from Joe Jacobson’s penalty, diving to his right to tip it behind.
A lively first half ended level with two goals being scored in the opening period for the first time in any Wycombe game for over three months, but the second half began slowly with the first chance arriving eight minutes in. Jason McCarthy burst towards the edge of the opposition box and played it left to Jacobson, whose cross was headed towards the bottom corner by O’Nien but Gillespie dived to his right to tip it away.
Hallam Hope bent a shot over from a tight angle following Tom Miller’s throw as the clock ticked towards the hour-mark, and the hosts were galvanised by two quick substitutions as first Michael Raynes was twice denied by brave blocks from Aaron Pierre, then Ryan Allsop saved from Derek Asamoah and Hallam Hope shot wastefully over.
But then came a moment of controversy when Marcus Bean was shown a straight red card for a tackle on Mark Ellis, which looked to be a firm block challenge but left the United players surrounding the red card and baying for a sending off, which duly followed.
Wanderers responded by bringing on Michael Harriman to shore up the midfield, and it was enough to see the Blues see the game out to secure a second straight 1-1 draw.
Wycombe: Allsop, McCarthy, Jacobson, Stewart, Pierre, Bean, McGinn, O’Nien, Thompson (Liburd 68), Wood (Bloomfield 90), Ugwu (Harriman 81).
Unused subs: Siegrist, Jombati, Sellers, Hayes.
Carlisle: Gillespie, Miller, Grainger, Raynes, Ellis, Atkinson (Smith 68), Gilliead (Asamoah 65), Kennedy, Joyce (Ibehre 77), Grainger, Hope, Wyke.
Unused subs: Hanford, Archibald-Henville, Hery, McQueen.
Referee: Mr Tim Robinson
Attendance: 4,532 (179 from Wycombe)