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Match Reports

Report: Tranmere 2-2 Wycombe

Teams will meet again in FA Cup first round replay.

9 November 2019

Joe Jacobson and Alex Samuel were on target as Wanderers earned a first round replay in their FA Cup tie at Tranmere Rovers.

Kieron Morris drilled Rovers into an early lead but a sumptuous free-kick from Jacobson levelled matters before Samuel turned the game on its head in the second period.

However, Morris secured a draw with his second of the game and neither side could find a winner, meaning they'll meet three times in 12 days as they prepare to do battle once again in the league next Sunday.

Gareth Ainsworth was forced to do without regular right-back Jack Grimmer, who picked up a knock in training in midweek, so Sido Jombati came into the defence with the Blues boss naming David Wheeler, Rolando Aarons and Alex Samuel in the front three.

And Wanderers were fortunate not to fall behind in the first minute, when Kieron Morris was picked out in space on the right-hand side of the box and drilled a low effort against the base of the post, with Anthony Stewart then blocking Connor Jennings’ follow-up.

But the chance didn’t serve as a wake-up call for Wycombe, who then found themselves unable to clear at the edge of their own box and a through-ball to Morris was expertly converted into the far corner beyond the reach of Ryan Allsop.

Jennings then bent a chance just high and wide from 20 yards with Rovers enjoying more possession in the final third, as Wanderers’ more patient approach was yet to pay dividends with the killer pass eluding them.

Rolando Aarons looked to be a potential game-changer, winning a corner with a superb run from deep, the end result being a free-kick to Wanderers just outside the box – dead centre – after Dominic Gape was clattered.

Step forward Joe Jacobson, who curled a peach of an effort into the top corner, leaving Scott Davies standing for his fifth goal of the season.

Rushian Hepburn-Murphy looped a header into Allsop’s arms as Tranmere looked for an immediate response, but the game entered a lull as half-time approached, with neither side likely to add further goals before the interval, though David Wheeler did have a sniff of a goal when he stretched to meet a low cross in stoppage time.

1-1 it stood at the break, and the first opening of the second period arrived via Wheeler, who delivered an inviting cross across the face of goal, but no blue shirt could convert.

Wheeler was then denied a clear penalty for shirt-pulling, with the officials seemingly watching the ball from Sido Jombati’s lofted cross rather than the two-handed grapple from Sid Nelson as the two jostled in the box.

But it mattered not. A minute later, Wanderers were ahead, thanks to a clinical finish from Alex Samuel as Jacobson’s free-kick towards the penalty spot landed amidst a flock of players, and the Wycombe number 25 kept the coolest head to strike it past Davies’ outstretched right glove.

Tranmere were rocked, and sloppy in possession, giving the visitors hope of extending their lead, as Wheeler nodded down for Samuel to send an overhead kick at goal, only for a deflection to make it easy for Davies to collect.

Samuel then drilled wide and Wycombe won a quick series of corners as their pressure grew, but then out of nothing, Rovers were level. Jennings escaped down the right and though his first cross was poor, he was granted a second opportunity to drive into the box and ultimately find Morris, who lashed home his second of the game.

Tranmere made a double change with Morgan Ferrier and Corey Blackett-Taylor being introduced to add extra pace to their attack, while Wycombe responded by bringing on Adebayo Akinfenwa for goalscorer Samuel.

But Rovers’ equaliser now saw them move into the ascendancy, with the crowd behind them once again, and Kane Wilson almost put them in front with an inventive effort with the outside of his right boot, but the ball bent just wide.

Then came Nick Freeman, taking the place of Bloomfield as Jacobson took the armband, before Akinfenwa went agonisingly close, beating his man to Curtis Thompson’s cross but glancing a header just wide with Davies beaten.

And then Freeman cut in from the right, leaving his man sprawling on the ground, before unleashing a low shot which deflected behind, which led to Wheeler nodding down for Charles to poke it goalwards only for Davies to tip his chance over.

Rovers sub Ferrier then won a free-kick when an unconvincing tumble when chasing a ball alongside Charles, but it was convincing enough for the ref to award the set-piece, but when the ball came out to Jennings, his effort was high and wide.

Nnamdi Ofoborh replaced Dominic Gape as the clock hit 90, with three minutes added on, as Wycombe won another succession of set-pieces with Ofoborh seeing a chance deflect wide.

Tranmere had a 3-on-2 break in the final minute but Ferrier wasted the opportunity to play an early pass to his team-mate in acres in space, and in the end a low shot was comfortable for Allsop to collect before the referee blew for full-time.

The two sides will now meet at Adams Park in the replay on Wednesday 20th November, k.o. 7.45pm.

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