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Match Reports

Report: Wycombe 1-1 Cambridge

Chairboys denied at the death.

10 March 2018

Goals in stoppage time of each half saw Wanderers and Cambridge share the points as Paul Lewis struck late on to secure a draw for the U's at Adams Park.

Adebayo Akinfenwa headed home his 17th goal of the season to put the hosts in front and chances came thick and fast in a pulsating second half before Lewis made his count, lashing home from just inside the box.

Gareth Ainsworth made one change to the side that had lost narrowly to Coventry 11 days earlier, with Matt Bloomfield taking the place of Marcus Bean in midfield, while Cambridge fielded the fearsome powerful front pairing of Jabo Ibehre and Uche Ikpeazu.

It was Nathan Tyson who had the first sight of goal when Tafari Moore’s cross dipped over the head of the challenging defender, but the Wycombe front man couldn’t find the target due to the distraction in front of him.

Knocks to the heads of George Maris and Adam El-Abd slowed the tempo of the game early on, with the Cambridge midfielder eventually deemed to unable to continue as Paul Lewis took his place.

Both sides enjoyed spells of possession in the final third without finding the cutting edge, with the next opportunity arriving via a Wanderers counter-attack when Adebayo Akinfenwa and Tyson combined with the former providing a clever ball behind the defence for the latter to race onto, but Tyson skewed a difficult chance wide under pressure.

Then Gary Deegan was denied by a fine save from Scott Brown in a crowded area before Liam O’Neil drilled the rebound over the top, before Jabo Ibehre was booked for persistent fouling as the game ticked into nine minutes of stoppage time at the end of the first half.

And from the free-kick that followed, Wycombe broke the deadlock. It was as routine as they come, with Scott Brown’s long punt into the box finding the trusted head of Akinfenwa, who just needed to help it on its way with a cute glancing flick to send it into the net for his 17th goal of the season.

Adam El-Abd came close to doubling the lead just before the whistle when he sent a looping header over the bar from Dan Scarr’s knock back across goal, but the Chairboys will have been content with their lead, handed to them by the Beast.

Cambridge were almost level shortly after the interval when a cross from the right was met by Paul Lewis but diverted inches past the post by the Dominic Gape’s brave block, though both players required treatment after clashing heads.

From the resulting corner, Luke O’Nien dived at the feet of a U’s attacker to prevent the shot reaching the target, before the Blues swung momentum to the other end where Dan Scarr’s towering header was tipped over the bar by David Forde.

Wycombe’s first change was enforced when Nathan McGinley took the place of the injured Joe Jacobson, slotting in at left-back for the first time since arriving on loan from Middlesbrough, initially as a central defender.

Billy Waters fired just wide from 20 yards before George Taft turned O’Nien’s low cross onto his own post in his desperation to stop the ball reaching Akinfenwa, and Cowan-Hall curled a shot over the bar as the tempo intensified midway through the half.

And the drama continued. Blues broke superbly after the referee denied Cambridge a free-kick and Tyson skipped away down the left to tee up Akinfenwa, but the striker’s left footed shot was kept out by the feet of the keeper, who kicked it to safety.

Moments later, Akinfenwa headed over from a free-kick after Billy Waters was booked for dissent, and Cambridge swiftly withdrew the forward from action, bringing David Amoo into the fray.

He was involved early on, heading wide of the near post from a corner, before O’Nien almost pierced the net with a stinging drive from 20 yards but saw his powerful effort fly just wide.

Taft misfired a first-time shot following a United free-kick before the visitors introduced their young starlet Jevani Brown, who replaced Liam O’Neil.

Wycombe made a change of their own as Nick Freeman replaced Cowan-Hall, and the new arrival was involved in the build-up which ended with O’Nien’s low shot being parried by Forde as Akinfenwa couldn’t adjust his feet in time to convert the rebound.

Then O’Nien was involved at the other end, putting his body on the line to block Greg Taylor’s fierce drive, but United weren’t to be denied an equaliser which came in stoppage time. Blues couldn’t clear an awkward bouncing ball on the edge of their own box and Paul Lewis capitalised to smash it home.

Scott Kashket came on for the final few moments, replacing Matt Bloomfield, and had half a chance to snatch back the three points, but bent his shot over after jinking onto his left foot following a burst into the box.

That was that; an end to successive defeats for the Chairboys but they’ll feel it should have been a victory having defended bravely for such long parts.

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