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Match Reports

Report: Fleetwood 1-1 Wycombe

Akinfenwa opens scoring for the Chairboys in draw at Highbury Stadium.

20 August 2019

Paddy Madden salvaged a point for Fleetwood with a late equaliser after Adebayo Akinfenwa had opened the scoring for the Chairboys at Highbury Stadium.

The hosts began brightly but Wanderers got to grips with the game and came out strong in the second period, forcing the opener when Alex Pattison's cross was steered home by Adebayo Akinfenwa.

Darius Charles and Alex Samuel came close to stretching the lead, but Fleetwood rescued a draw late on when Madden turned home at the second attempt after Ryan Allsop blocked his initial header.

Gareth Ainsworth made four changes from the side that started in Saturday’s 3-2 win over MK Dons, which included a first start for match-winner David Wheeler while Nick Freeman and Adebayo Akinfenwa also came into the attack and Darius Charles earned a first appearance since last November, taking the place of the injured Jack Grimmer.

Akinfenwa had the game’s first chance, shooting wide after chesting Joe Jacobson’s deep free-kick into his own path, before Fleetwood escaped down the left and saw Paddy Madden’s effort blocked by Charles after good play by Josh Morris down the left.

Morris was involved again shortly after when he fed Wes Burns, who unleashed a powerful swerving effort from 25 yards which cannoned back off the crossbar.

Alex Pattison then drilled wide after an excellent interchange between Freeman, Wheeler and Akinfenwa which started on the left wing, but back came the hosts, seeing Madden flash a shot past the far post after Conor McAleny found too much room in the middle of the park to feed a pass to the striker.

Paul Coutts and Wes Burns had shots blocked in quick succession after Freeman was caught in possession outside his own area, before the game entered a quieter period with Wycombe finding their feet more and more.

Peter Clarke turned a chance over the bar from close range under pressure from Darius Charles following a deep free-kick from Danny Andrew, while Giles Phillips and Clarke both entered the referee’s notebook in quick succession for fouls.

Fleetwood had to make a change before the break when Jack Sowerby departed with an injury, as Ross Wallace took his place, before the half ended goalless with no further chances.

David Wheeler won a free-kick just outside the box shortly after the half-time break, though Joe Jacobson’s curling effort was blocked by Harry Souttar in the wall, but the opening goal wasn’t far away and it was Adebayo Akinfenwa who broke the deadlock.

Having got the better of Peter Clarke moments earlier as he almost picked a pass to release Nick Freeman in the area, but the chance stayed alive and when Alex Pattison’s cross took a nick and looped into the box, there was only one man likely to win the aerial challenge and Akinfenwa nodded it past Matt Gilks in the Fleetwood goal.

As the rain poured down, Fleetwood hauled off Clarke with Ashley Eastham taking his place in the backline, and with no chances coming their way, Joey Barton made another change as Ash Hunter replaced Danny Andrew while Alex Samuel replaced Akinfenwa in the Wycombe attack.

Lewie Coyle bent a shot wide after a burst from deep, though Anthony Stewart and Charles continued to excel in the heart of defence to frustrate Fleetwood as the clock ran down.

In fact Charles almost had a goal to show for his efforts, staying onside to meet Dom Gape’s excellent floated cross and seeing it tipped onto the post before it was hacked to safety. Just prior to that, Alex Pattison almost scored with an audacious effort from distance which was tipped over the top by the keeper.

Matt Bloomfield replaced an injured Nick Freeman with three minutes of normal time remaining, and moments later, the outstanding Alex Samuel peeled away from his man and drilled a low shot which was well blocked for a corner by the keeper.

But the twist came on the 89th minute, when out of nothing, an inswinging cross from the left was met by the head of Paddy Madden and his bullet effort into the ground squirmed away from Ryan Allsop and allowed the striker to tap home the rebound from close range.

Josh Parker replaced Fred Onyedinma in stoppage time, but there was no time for either side to find a winner as Wanderers return south with their unbeaten start intact.

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