A late goal from substitute Regan Charles-Cook saw Wycombe Wanderers fall to defeat against Gillingham at Adams Park on Saturday.
After what proved to be an even contest throughout, the visitors snatch all three points after Charles-Cook tapped in from close range in the 83rd minute.
Jason McCarthy had a wonderful chance moments earlier to break the deadlock for the Chairboys; however he could only poke the ball over from just a few yards out.
Despite last-ditch efforts from the Chairboys to pump the ball into the area, the home side couldn’t quite snatch a late equaliser.
It was a fairly quiet and even first 45 minutes with the game beginning poorly in the early moments as neither side were able to create an opening, but Paris Cowan-Hall hoped to provide an early spark for the Chairboys’ when he picked up the ball centrally just inside Gillingham’s half and drove towards goal before he dinked the ball towards Adebayo Akinfenwa inside the area, who could only direct his header just wide of the near post.
After great control and a neat swivel from Akinfenwa on the edge of the area, the striker came close again just minutes later when his sweetly struck volley was well saved low down to goalkeeper Tomas Holy’s right.
Jason McCarthy’s then struck a low driven effort from the right but that was deflected narrowly wide for a corner.
The closest Gillingham came to taking the lead was when full-back Luke O’Neill whipped in a dangerous cross towards Tom Eaves in the penalty box whose bullet header flew inches over; however, the striker was flagged offside by the linesman.
Brandon Hanlan attempted to cause problems from the right when he placed a cross in towards the six-yard area, however McCarthy was calm under pressure as he chested the ball back into the grasp of keeper Ryan Allsop.
Just before the half hour mark, Cowan-Hall’s strike from distance rolled a few yards wide after he did well to weave beyond O’Neill on the touchline. Then a looped header by Akinfenwa floated over the crossbar moments later following a deep free-kick from Allsop.
The Chairboys seemed the gain the upper hand following a few chances on goal and in the 35th minute another opening emerged. After Dominic Gape did brilliantly to beat his man from the right, his low delivery into the box escaped Matt Bloomfield but fell to Akinfenwa who somehow blazed his shot well over the crossbar from six-yards out, failing to capitalise on a decent opportunity in front of the Gillingham goal.
The scores remained level going into the interval with both sides needing to create more in front of goal in order to break the deadlock.
The second half began similarly to the first with neither keeper having much to deal with. Nerves however kicked in momentarily for Wycombe as the Gills broke on the counter-attack with a three-on-three situation; however that break resulted with Sido Jombati blocking a powerful strike from midfielder Mark Byrne inside the area.
After an hour’s play, Scott Kashket’s well struck snapshot just inside the box flew straight towards keeper Holy and was comfortably saved.
That effort proved to be Kashket’s last of the match as he was replaced by Alex Samuel due to injury. Nick Freeman then replaced Cowan-Hall shortly after with just over 20 minutes to go.
The game then began to get stretched with more action emerging in the final thirds, and with less than ten minutes on the clock, a glorious chance fell to McCarthy who found himself free inside the penalty area, but after a wonderful ball from Joe Jacobson which picked the full back out, McCarthy could only poke his effort over from close range.
That missed chance proved costly as the Gills broke the deadlock moments later in the 83rd minute when substitute Regan Charles-Cook tapped the ball home from close range after receiving a low-driven cross from the right.
Wycombe responded well and came close to an equaliser late on after a scramble inside the box saw the ball fall to both Akinfenwa and Samuel; however neither could strike the ball beyond Gills keeper Holy who stood firm in between the sticks.
Nathan Tyson replaced Matt Bloomfield just before stoppage time which added another attacking body to Wycombe’s frontline, however, despite numerous floated balls into the final third, the Chairboys couldn’t grab a late equaliser, seeing the visitors take all three points away from Adams Park.
Attendance: 4,879 (472 Gillingham)
50/50 Result: £1 Draw (£650)- 39514 £2 Draw (£91) - 29255