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Match Reports

Report: Wycombe 2-2 Forest Green (4-3 on penalties)

Kashket and Stewart on target before Allsop is the hero in the shootout.

28 August 2018

Wanderers reached the third round of the Carabao Cup for just the second time in their history thanks to a penalty shootout victory over Forest Green Rovers following a 2-2 draw in normal ti

All the goals came in the second period with Scott Kashket's opener being cancelled out by Dayle Grubb, only for Anthony Stewart to restore the lead and seemingly secure the Chairboys' passage to round two.

However, Joseph Mills' free-kick crept all the way through to Carl Winchester to bundle home at the back post with five minutes remaining, sending the game to a penalty shootout.

Ryan Allsop was the hero, denying Christian Doidge and then crucially Paul Digby to win it, after Sam Saunders had seen his spot-kick denied by James Montgomery.

Gareth Ainsworth changed his entire front six but retained the back five from the 2-1 league win at Bradford on Tuesday, with keeper Yves Ma-Kalambay out of the equation with a slight injury.

Playing in their orange change strip due to Rovers having only their sky blue third kit available, the Chairboys looked to start on the front foot, though the visitors' Theo Archibald had the game's first chance, seeing his powerful drive deflect over the bar.

Then Ryan Allsop darted off his line quickly to reach the ball outside the area ahead of Reuben Reid as Forest Green looked to counter with a long ball through the middle, before Reece Brown fired the loose ball wide of the goal from distance.

The visitors were getting closer, and a flowing one-touch move around the box resulted in Carl Winchester firing narrowly past the post with Wycombe struggling to get going across the park.

At the other end, Paul Digby sliced Jason McCarthy's teasing cross over the bar before Adebayo Akinfenwa headed just wide from Joe Jacobson's corner with Wycombe beginning to grow into the encounter.

Nick Freeman's fierce shot took a deflection into the keeper's arms following a mazy run from Scott Kashket and cross from McCarthy, while Archibald let fly at Allsop's goal but saw his effort sail too close to the keeper.

Kashket hit one wide and Allsop collected a comfortable save in the closing stages of a goalless first half, before Sam Saunders hit a clean effort straight at James Montgomery five minutes into the second period.

The game looked to have slipped into a lull before the tried-and-tested combination of a clever Joe Jacobson ball to Adebayo Akinfenwa paid dividends, with the striker's pass thread perfectly for Scott Kashket to race through and net for the second home game running.

It was a typically clinical finish from the diminutive forward, but the lead was short-lived with Forest Green pulling level within 60 seconds. A well-weighted through-ball was met in the nick of time by Dayle Grubb with Allsop bearing down on him, and the Rovers man made no mistake in stroking it past the keeper from just inside the box, and into the net.

The visitors then changed approach, bringing on prolific scorer Christian Doidge for midfielder Lloyd James on the hour-mark, and had Gavin Gunning's header comfortably saved by Allsop as the game all of a sudden opened up.

There were further changes when Paris Cowan-Hall and George Williams replaced Kashket and Archibald respectively, and Cowan-Hall was involved in Wanderers' second goal which restored their lead on 74 minutes. His touch from Allsop's long kick into the Rovers area teed up for Sam Saunders to crash a thunderous volley against the inside of the post, and Anthony Stewart was on hand to tuck home the rebound in front of the terrace.

Rovers brought on Isaac Pearce for Reuben Reid before Gareth Ainsworth handed a debut to Alex Samuel, who took the place of Akinfenwa in the Chairboys' frontline.

And Forest Green levelled matters again on 85 minutes when a low free-kick from the right wing somehow bounced through a crowd of players to enable Carl Winchester to see it over the line, despite the best efforts of Marcus Bean.

Just as in round one, the tie was to be settled by penalties, but only after Stewart's excellent looping header was saved by Montgomery and the keeper denied Cowan-Hall's low shot towards the end of the 90.

Joe Jacobson - SCORES - 1-0
Christian Doidge - SAVED - 1-0
Nick Freeman - SCORES - 2-0
Gavin Gunning - SCORES - 2-1
Jason McCarthy - SCORES - 3-1
Dayle Grubb - SCORES - 3-2
Anthony Stewart - SCORES - 4-2
Reece Brown - SCORES - 4-3
Sam Saunders - SAVED - 4-3
Paul Digby - SAVED - 4-3 - Wycombe win

Attendance: 1,934 (168 from Forest Green)

Winning 5050 Draw (Blue) Number
04151 (Prize Money: £255.50)

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