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Match Reports

Report: Wycombe 1-2 Tranmere (AET)

Blues exit FA Cup at first round stage.

20 November 2019

Wanderers lost 2-1 to ten-man Tranmere Rovers in the FA Cup first round replay at Adams Park on Wednesday evening.

The visitors lost Kane Wilson to a red card before the break and Anthony Stewart hammered the hosts in front, only for Morgan Ferrier's well-taken finish to force the game to extra-time.

Kieron Morris was then the match-winner, drilling home after his keeper Scott Davies had made a succession of excellent saves to keep his side in it.

Gareth Ainsworth made four changes from the side that beat Tranmere in the league three days earlier, with Jamie Masoll, Giles Phillips, Nick Freeman and Paul Smyth all coming into the starting line-up.

A quiet opening 15 minutes ended with Adebayo Akinfenwa glancing a header narrowly wide, before Connor Jennings blasted over when well-placed at the other end.

Scott Kashket bent a delicate chance just past the post on 24 minutes, and Akinfenwa outmuscled his marker Manny Monthe to send a header goalwards, but Scott Davies collected.

The best chance of the game fell to Jack Grimmer when patient build-up resulted in Nick Freeman delivering an inviting cross which the right-back raced forward to meet, but under pressure from the opposing defender, he could only turn it wide.

A flash point then arrived on 41 minutes when Kane Wilson’s dreadful challenge on Jack Grimmer was punished with a red card five minutes before the interval, though there was no further punishment for the players involved in the altercation that followed.

And before long, Wanderers were ahead.

Akinfenwa and Giles Phillips kept the ball alive in a mass of Rovers defenders and it fell kindly to Anthony Stewart to lash home his second goal of the season from 10 yards.

1-0 was the score at half-time, at which point Gareth Ainsworth brought Alex Samuel into the attack in place of Akinfenwa, while Rovers swapped Cameron Borthwick-Jackson for George Ray.

The score was almost doubled when Freeman collected a short corner and unleashed a fierce drive against the crossbar, with Phillips unable to react in time to turn home the rebound.

But then out of nothing, Rovers’ equaliser arrived. A hopeful ball over the top found Morgan Ferrier onside and his first touch enabled him to bury the chance past Allsop in front of the Rovers fans – who relented their senseless booing for a short period to celebrate the goal.

Ferrier’s pace on the counter-attack looked to be Rovers’ best outlet, while Blues went close when Phillips’ header hit Smyth en route to goal and flew over.

Then Smyth was denied a goal by the offside flag when he reacted quickest to turn home the rebound once Davies had parried Kashket’s low daisy-cutter back into danger.

Alex Pattison replaced Curtis Thompson on 65 minutes, and Wanderers kept knocking at the door, with Freeman’s dipping effort flying just wide and Kashket’s powerful shot stinging the palms of Davies, who clawed the loose ball away from danger as Smyth prepared to pounce.

Monthe floored Samuel with an awful tackle which earned a yellow, and Tranmere made their second change when Rushian Hepburn-Murphy came on for Stefan Payne.

Wycombe’s third change arrived when David Wheeler took the place of Smyth, and as the game entered the last 10 minutes, Pattison was denied a first Wanderers goal when his rocket following a well-worked short corner was expertly tipped over by Davies.

Tranmere brought fresh legs in Corey Blackett-Taylor into the frontline, at the expense of goalscorer Ferrier, and then Dom Gape’s sizzling volley flew a yard wide through a crowd of players.

Davies almost fumbled a Kashket chance into his own net on 90 minutes, but for all their late territory, Wanderers couldn’t find the goal to prevent the need for extra-time.

Giles Phillips was booked for a foul in the sixth minute of extra-time, before a defensive lapse allowed Blackett-Taylor a half-chance which Allsop pushed away.

Wanderers’ fourth change – permitted in extra-time – brought Josh Parker into the fray as Kashket departed, and he almost saw Samuel turn home moments later when Mascoll’s devious corner fell to Gape and then Samuel, but Davies tipped it behind low to his right.

Parker then diverted a header powerfully towards the bottom corner, with Davies again to Rovers’ rescue, and the same pair were involved when the keeper tipped away Parker’s cracking free-kick from distance.

Then, in the second period, Kieron Morris’s penalty appeals were waved away, but the man who scored twice against Wanderers in the original tie was the one to put the visitors in front with just five minutes remaining, collecting Blackett-Taylor’s pass and jinking onto his left foot before drilling into the bottom corner from 20 yards.

Attendance: 2,928 (243 away)

Wycombe: Allsop, Grimmer, Mascoll, Phillips, Stewart, Gape, Thompson (Pattison 65), Freeman, Smyth (Wheeler 76), Kashket (Parker 101), Akinfenwa (Samuel 45).

Subs: Yates, Pattison, Gardiner-Smith, Ofoborh.

Tranmere: Davies, Wilson, Caprice, Nelson, Monthe, Ray (Borthwick-Jackson), Potter, Jennings, Morris, Payne (Hepburn-Murphy 73), Ferrier (Blackett-Taylor 85).

Subs: Pilling, Mullin, Maddox, Walker-Rice.

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