Wycombe have been eliminated from the Checkatrade Trophy after Oxford United secured a 3-0 away victory at Adams Park.
Goals from Cameron Brannagan and Marcus Browne gave the U’s a two-goal cushion going into half time before Sam Smith tapped in from close range to seal Oxford’s place into the next round of the competition.
Gareth Ainsworth made eight changes to his starting eleven, resting a number of regular first team players, with one eye on Wycombe’s weekend clash against Luton Town in the FA Cup.
The Chairboys got off to the worst possible start when the visitors took the lead from what was the first attack of the game just 20 seconds in. Gavin Whyte dinked the ball towards the back post from the right which found Cameron Brannagan, whose diving header glided into the top right corner.
It took a while for Wycombe to get going and create any sort of chance on goal, however it was in the 13th minute when Scott Kashket received the ball on the right side of the penalty box where he turned his defender well, however his floated a delivery towards the far post curled out of play and away from striker Craig Mackail-Smith.
The U’s dominated the first half where they created numerous chances in the final third, and Oxford came close to scoring a second goal just 16 minutes in when Marcus Browne’s effort from a tight angle smashed into the side netting.
Wycombe goalkeeper Yves Ma-Kalambay was then fortunate not to concede when his attempted kick up field was blocked by Sam Smith sliding in.
The U’s continued to threaten the Chairboys’ backline when Whyte’s strike was saved low down by Ma-Kalambay after the winger used his blistering pace on the counter attack to drive at the Wycombe goal.
The Chairboys’ best chance of the first half came 26 minutes in when Kashket’s low driven shot was well saved low down by keeper Jonathan Mitchell.
Oxford continued to pile pressure on the Wycombe backline and that persistence eventually paid off as the U’s doubled their lead half an hour in when Marcus Browne’s trickery inside the penalty box deceived Charlie Fox, giving the attacker space to rifle his effort in off the crossbar from a tight angle.
Much needed change was required from Gareth Ainsworth who decided to make three changes going into the second half with Dominic Gape, Adam El-Abd and Fred Oneydinma being replaced by Bryn Morris, Jason McCarthy and Alex Samuel.
It only took five minutes for Samuel to test the Oxford goalkeeper, however his ferocious strike from the edge of the area was comfortably saved by Mitchell.
Despite the three substitutions made, which aimed to breed a little more life into the Chairboys’ side, Wycombe’s chances of a comeback seemed to have come to an end when the U’s scored their third goal of the game through striker Sam Smith who tapped in from close range after Curtis Thompson’s attempted flick away from danger in amongst a melee of players, slipped into the path of the Oxford striker.
Wycombe struggled to test keeper Mitchell in the Oxford goal and create chances in the final third, however the Chairboys came close twenty minutes from time when a well worked move down the right flank resulted in Jason McCarthy whipping in a dangerous delivery towards the near post, only to be clear away for a throwing.
Sido Jombati’s brilliant sliding challenge inside his own box prevented Marcus Browne from scoring his second of the night.
Smith also came close to scoring a second of his own in the final ten minutes when his free header inside the penalty box was comfortably saved low down by the arms of Ma-Kalambay.
The Chairboys had one final chance to pull one back in stoppage time when Samuel’s looped effort from inside the area curled over the crossbar, but that evidently wouldn’t have been enough to see Gareth Ainsworth’s side qualify for the next round of the Checkatrade Trophy.