Wanderers survived an early scare to progress to the third round of the Emirates FA Cup for the third year running, defeating Leatherhead 3-1 at Adams Park.
Jack Midson buried an early penalty to put the seventh-tier club in front but the Chairboys regained their composure to battle back, with Sam Saunders levelling matters with a sublime free-kick.
Craig Mackail-Smith made it 2-1, burying a rebound after Adebayo Akinfenwa had a shot well saved, before the Tanners were reduced to ten men as their player-boss Sammy Moore was sent off for collecting a second yellow card.
And Akinfenwa wrapped up the victory in stoppage time, finding the net with an exquisite header from Matt Bloomfield’s cross, securing Wycombe’s passage into round three.
Gareth Ainsworth reverted to a full-strength side after ringing the changes for the midweek visit of West Ham U21s in the Checkatrade Trophy, recalling the likes of Adebayo Akinfenwa, Craig Mackail-Smith and Matt Bloomfield to the starting XI.
But despite their efforts to stamp their authority from the first whistle, Wanderers were rocked just seven minutes in when referee Tim Robinson spotted a tug in the area and awarded a penalty to Leatherhead, duly dispatched by Jack Midson.
The 1,000+ Tanners fans were in delirium in the Lords Builders Merchants Stand and they were almost celebrating a second goal when Sean Clohessy broke into the box unchallenged moments later, bringing a vital save from Scott Brown as he pulled the trigger.
Then Yannis Ambroisine looped a header onto the woodwork before the Chairboys began to get a hold of proceedings, with Mackail-Smith firing wide and Akinfenwa heading over.
Midson sidefooted goalwards on the volley with Brown saving comfortably, before the Blues grabbed their leveller in spectacular style.
Tanners player-boss Sammy Moore was booked for a foul 35 yards out but neither he nor his team-mates would’ve expected the resulting free-kick to hit the net. However, Sam Saunders let fly with an incredible curling effort into the bottom corner, bringing a sigh of relief across three sides of the stadium.
A flurry of yellow cards spoiled the end of the first period as a spectacle, before Sammy Moore drilled wide from distance and Dayle Southwell produced a save from Zaki Oualah with a shot on the turn as the second half got underway.
Sam Saunders took aim with another free-kick from distance but this was time it comfortable for Oualah to hold, and Luke O’Nien volleyed over from Anthony Stewart’s to end a sustained spell of Wycombe pressure.
Gareth Ainsworth swapped Dayle Southwell for Nick Freeman on the hour-mark, and then Craig Mackail-Smith fizzed a deflected shot into the side netting after a smart lay-off from Bloomfield.
From the resulting corner, Adam El-Abd’s header almost caught Oualah off-guard but he flung himself backwards to hold onto it, while at the other end, Lee Minshull headed over from an excellent Moore free-kick.
Matt Bloomfield looped a shot over the top from Akinfenwa’s flick-down, and was then thwarted at the last second as a Tanners tackle denied him a shooting chance inside the area, before Saunders’ low shot from the corner deflected narrowly wide.
The pressure had to pay off, and it did, courtesy of stunning build-up play by Adebayo Akinfenwa. His sumptuous turn fooled the defender and he unleashed a fearsome low shot, which was parried by the keeper and Craig Mackail-Smith won the race with his marker to bundle it home from close range.
Leatherhead’s chances of a comeback were dealt a huge blow when they lost their player-boss Sammy Moore to a second yellow card, this time for an off-the-ball push as the players awaited a throw-in.
The game could’ve been wrapped up when Akinfenwa planted a header wide from Freeman’s delicious cross, before Tom Richards was well-placed to clear a cross from virtually under his crossbar as Freeman attempted to pick out Mackail-Smith for a tap-in.
Akinfenwa’s header was stopped on the goal-line as the game ticked into stoppage time but he wasn’t to be denied his 11th goal of the season, sending a flying header thundering into the net from Bloomfield’s cross to secure Wycombe’s passage to round three.
Attendance: 3,835 (1,152 Away)
50/50 Draw Numbers
Blue £1: 10202 (Prize: £605.00
Orange £2: 30855 (Prize £75.00)