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Match Reports

Report: Wycombe 3-2 Swindon

Akinfenwa wins it at the death.

13 February 2018

Adebayo Akinfenwa struck a late winner to cap a superb victory for the Chairboys in an enthralling topsy-turvy affair at Adams Park.

Marc Richards put the visitors in front inside two minutes when he reacted quickest to Scott Brown’s save, but before long Wanderers were in front, thanks to a superb low strike from Luke O’Nien and an instinctive finish from Craig Mackail-Smith.

However, Swindon hit back in the second half with an unstoppable free-kick from 35 yards from Matt Taylor, though the Chairboys felt they were harshly denied a third goal when Adebayo Akinfenwa’s header was ruled out for a push.

He’ll have felt justice was done then in the 89th minute, when Dominic Gape returned a corner to the back post and as the keeper missed it, Akinfenwa headed home his 15th goal of the season to win it.

Gareth Ainsworth made two changes to the side that drew 1-1 at Exeter, recalling Luke O’Nien after suspension while Craig Mackail-Smith returned to the attack, with Matt Bloomfield and Nathan Tyson dropping to the bench.

The game was little more than a minute old when Marc Richards tapped home the opener after Scott Brown parried Luke Norris’ header from a deep right-wing cross, but O’Nien wasted no time in levelling matters, announcing his comeback from suspension with a stunning first-time drive from 20 yards following a knockdown from Adebayo Akinfenwa.

And the fast tempo continued as Wycombe took the lead on 10 minutes, courtesy of a superb assist from Paris Cowan-Hall. He robbed a Robins defender 40 yards out but had plenty to do as he raced forwards, drawing the keeper and squaring it for Mackail-Smith, who was just able to convert on the turn as he dragged it from behind him.

It was end-to-end stuff, with both teams attacking with pace on a zippy surface, though chances looked more likely to come from set pieces with both defences just about holding firm after the early onslaughts.

Mackail-Smith was a constant threat, twice being denied from a tight angle, while there was a let-off at the other end when Dan Scarr’s weak back-header set Keshi Anderson through one-on-one, only for the forward to bundle it wide under pressure.

Timi Elsnik volleyed powerfully at Brown from 25 yards before the interval, and the keeper was called upon soon after the break when Matt Taylor’s cross bounced awkwardly, with the ball being parried to safety just ahead of the onrushing Richards.

At the other end, the ball fell kindly for Akinfenwa whose prodded shot was blocked by Robins keeper Reice Charles-Cook, and the striker then headed over from a deep cross from the right.

Swindon made their first change when Kaiyne Woolery replaced Keshi Anderson in attack, and they should have levelled when a cross from the right was glanced on by Joe Jacobson and Luke Norris missed the target by inches with a diving header as he stretched to reach it.

Then Akinfenwa headed a glorious chance over after Cowan-Hall delivered a delightful cross following blocked efforts from Luke O’Nien and Dominic Gape, before the leveller came from a moment of top-flight magic from former Premier League player Matt Taylor.

Ordinarily a free-kick 35 yards out would hold little fear for a League 2 keeper, but Taylor unleashed a free-kick with such venom and precision that two keepers would have had little chance keeping it out as it found the top corner to spark euphoric scenes of celebration from the Robins fans.

Game on then, and a 2-2 finish looked most unlikely with the match rediscovering its end to end flow, as Woolery went close with a lobbed effort over Brown after getting the better of El-Abd when tussling for a long ball over the top.

Gareth Ainsworth made his first change, introducing Nathan Tyson for Paris Cowan-Hall on 74 minutes, and Wycombe thought they’d regained the lead when Akinfenwa headed home a sublime Marcus Bean cross, only for the officials to rule it out for an alleged push.

Wanderers were beginning to get on top, as Mackail-Smith’s low cross was almost diverted into the net for an own goal, and then Gape hit the target with a volley from the edge of the box, but the keeper held.

Akinfenwa headed wide under pressure from an excellent Tyson cross, but when his moment came, it was a decisive one, netting the winner with 89 minutes on the clock. Jacobson’s corner was cleared to the right wing, Gape returned it, and Akinfenwa rose highest to head home off the bar to clinch the points.

Nathan Tyson almost netted a fourth with the final touch of the game but poked wide when one-on-one with the keeper, though it didn’t matter as the Chairboys celebrated a sixth win in seven in 2018.

Attendance: 4,863 (1,012 from Swindon)

50/50 Draw Numbers
Blue £1: 26765 (£524.00)
Orange £2: 33625 (£100.00)

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