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Match Reports

Report: Cambridge 1-3 Wycombe

Eze (2) and Umerah on target.

7 October 2017

Two stunning strikes from Ebere Eze set the Chairboys on the way to a fourth successive win before Josh Umerah wrapped up the points late on at Cambridge.

After a bruising yet goalless first half, the game burst to life when Eze struck twice in quick succession from outside the area, before Medy Elito gave Cambridge hope, making it 2-1 from the spot.

However, Leon Legge was sent off for a second yellow card and Josh Umerah wrapped up the points with a smart finish late on.

Gareth Ainsworth made one enforced change to his starting line-up, with Sido Jombati replacing Michael Harriman who suffered an unfortunate leg break in training in the week.

In a lively opening, the hosts won a couple of early corners but Wanderers threatened on the counter-attack, while Piero Mingoia flashed a shot wide from distance as he looked to find his range.

Scott Brown made a smart double-handed save at his near post from George Maris’ well-struck free-kick from the corner of the area, but the Blues were dealt a blow when Nathan Tyson sustained an injury 20 minutes in, seemingly falling awkwardly after shooting goalwards from 25 yards.

There was a lengthy delay as he received treatment before leaving on a stretcher, with Josh Umerah taking his place in the frontline.

Maris then fired over the top after wriggling free in midfield, though Ebere Eze did well to apply enough pressure to the youngster as he got his shot away.

Action then swung to the other end and after Eze teased the defence with some quick footwork, he teed up Sam Saunders whose curling effort was tipped behind for a corner, from which Anthony Stewart headed into the side netting.

Umerah’s first sight of goal came when Adebayo Akinfenwa beat three defenders to an aerial ball to flick the ball onto him, but the Charlton loanee curled his chance wide of the left-hand post on the turn.

Wycombe came forward again with an excellent passing move down the left which resulted in Craig Mackail-Smith’s left-footed strike being deflected narrowly wide, but then there was a huge let-off when Sido Jombati was caught in possession by Medy Elito who raced goalwards unchallenged but opted for power rather than placement, and Scott Brown beat the ball away.

David Forde was the next keeper to be called upon, as Joe Jacobson’s floated free-kick was headed into the path of Anthony Stewart, whose first-time volley needed the save at the near post.

Stewart was then booked for an alleged foul on Jabo Ibehre, shortly after Uche Ikpeazu saw yellow for kicking the ball away, and George Maris followed before the break for stopping a free-kick from being taken.

That was the last incident of note before half-time which came and went with no changes for either side, but when the breakthrough came just a couple of minutes after the interval, it was a moment to savour.

A low cross from the right didn’t carry much initial threat but after Adebayo Akinfenwa got a toe to it and picked a pass to Ebere Eze 25 yards out, the QPR loanee showed his class with an incredible half-volley into the top corner after taking a touch to control it.

The goal-of-the-season contender was celebrated in style, and sparked a bright spell from the visitors, who threatened again when Josh Umerah found space to pull the trigger, only for a deflection from the sliding defender to take the sting out of the shot.

Uche Ikpeazu went on a one-man mission to find a leveller when he cut in from the right, but Scott Brown held well at his near post, before Harrison Dunk curled harmlessly over from 25 yards.

Cambridge made their first change when Jake Carroll replaced George Maris, but Eze’s second moment of sheer genius followed within a minute.

It arrived from virtually the same spot as his first, and it found the same top corner, but this time it was a left-footed curler which had the away end rocking.

Leon Legge was booked for a late tackle on Umerah after the striker seized on the defender’s poor touch, though he nearly made amends with a stooping header from a deep cross from the left which flew a yard wide.

However, the hosts were handed a lifeline when Marcus Bean tugged back Uche Ikpeazu in the area and the referee had no option but to point to the spot. Medy Elito stepped up and calmly stroked it to Brown’s left as the keeper dived right, setting up a grandstand final 20 minutes.

Sam Saunders was booked for a foul on United’s right wing before action swung to the other end and Eze was denied a hat-trick after his silky skills took him into the box but his fierce shot was palmed away by Forde, and then Akinfenwa glanced a header inches wide from Jacobson’s resulting corner.

Cambridge brought on David Amoo for Piero Mingoia, before Mackail-Smith’s low shot was tipped away by Forde into the path of Umerah, who couldn’t convert from a tight angle so opted to square it into the six-yard box but the hosts scrambled it away.

However, United’s hopes of a comeback were lessened when Leon Legge was shown a second yellow card, this time for obstructing Mackail-Smith after the striker knocked the ball past him, reducing Cambridge to ten men.

Josh Umerah shot wide with a speculative shot on the turn before Wycombe introduced Dan Scarr for the goalscorer Ebere Eze, helping to add height at the back with United likely to go direct in their quest for an equaliser.

The final change came when Nick Freeman replaced Mackail-Smith, and Freeman’s superb play almost brought about the third goal for Wycombe when his low pass found Saunders, whose first shot was blocked and then his pass to Umerah saw the striker’s shot was saved by Forde.

However, Umerah didn’t have to wait long at all for his goal, and it came as stoppage time loomed. He stayed onside to collect a pass inside the box and slotted calmly past the keeper for hiss econd goal in two games.

He almost had a second, but his header from Marcus Bean’s cross was denied by the keeper, before Scott Brown produced a fine low save when Ikpeazu’s low shot fizzed through the legs of a defender.

That was that, leaving Wycombe to celebrate a fourth successive win in style, ahead of the visit of league leaders Exeter to Adams Park next week.

Attendance: 5,365 (568 from Wycombe)



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