Report: Wycombe 1-1 LutonAdebayo Akinfenwa's header rescued a point for the Chairboys in a fiery encounter with Luton Town at Adams Park.
Scott Cuthbert headed the Hatters in front before his centre-back partner Johnny Mullins was sent off for a foul on Scott Kashket, and Akinfenwa broke their resistance to extend the unbeaten run to 15 games.
Kick-off was preceded by a beautifully observed minute’s silence for club president Monty Seymour, pierced only by the noise of an overhead aircraft – perhaps poignant given his association with the RAF in his younger days.
Then came a deafening roar as kick-off approached, and the Luton fans almost raised the noise a few extra decibels when Danny Hylton took the ball round Jamal Blackman in the early exchanges, only to fire into the side netting from a tight angle.
Paris Cowan-Hall glanced a header wide with Wycombe’s first chance from Sido Jombati’s cross, before Adebayo Akinfenwa diverted Sam Wood’s volley goalwards only to see it nestle in the arms of keeper Christian Walton.
Then the action swung back to the other end where Wood was required to make a goal-line clearance, hooking Hylton’s goalbound header off the line following an expertly-delivered corner.
Both teams were attacking brightly, but equally strong in defence, making for a very watchable spectacle without either keeper being really tested.
Akinfenwa headed wide from a Jacobson free-kick and Luke O’Nien then sent a swerving set-piece over the bar before Town enjoyed a good spell, seeing Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu’s powerful drive blocked en route to goal and Jack Marriott’s shot clip the bar after he was sent free in the Wycombe half.
Town had two penalty shouts turned down, with Jonathan Smith being booked for simulation on the first occasion as the game developed a real edge with the referee doing his best to keep matters under control.
Aaron Pierre and Danny Hylton were both booked as the intensity grew further towards the break, and Luke Gambin almost broke the deadlock but dragged his chance wide of the near post.
With no changes at the break, the game continued its end-to-end flow in the second period, with Jake Gray’s goalbound shot blocked by a team-mate before Adebayo Akinfenwa teed up a chance for Anthony Stewart before volleying over himself from the resulting corner.
But the breakthrough came at the other end when Scott Cuthbert lost his man to power a header past Jamal Blackman from Luke Gambin’s inswinging corner, earning a booking for his celebrations with the Hatters fans behind the goal.
Danny Hylton survived a second yellow card when catching Joe Jacobson with a flailing arm, before Jamal Blackman held a low deflected shot as Luton looked for a second.
Gareth Ainsworth introduced Scott Kashket and the returning Sam Saunders on 66 minutes, with Paris Cowan-Hall and Paul Hayes making way, and the immediate impact was a positive one, with the ball being moved around well high up the pitch.
Kashket came close with a clever shot on the turn which flew just wide, before Town defender Johnny Mullins was shown a straight red card for the Hatters for a nasty foul on the livewire striker.
Sam Wood drilled wide from the resulting free-kick, while Isaac Vassell missed the target following a swift counter-attack with the Hatters desperate to relieve the pressure.
But they had no answer for that man Akinfenwa, who levelled the scores with eight minutes remaining, guiding a sublime cross from Jacobson into the top corner to leave Walton with no chance, and give the home fans hope a thrilling late turn-around.
Scott Kashket went close with a low drive from distance, and even closer in the 89th minute, robbing the left-back and gliding towards goal only to see his shot bend inches past the far post.
There were four minutes of time added on, but the visiting rearguard held firm to ensure the points were shared in an enthralling encounter.
Winning 50/50 Draw Numbers
Blue £1 – 28552 – Prize Money: £795
Orange £2 – 17607 – Prize Money £97