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Report: Wycombe 3-3 Peterborough

Akinfenwa scores brace on 150th appearance to earn p

5 October 2019

Adebayo Akinfenwa scored a stoppage-time penalty to rescue a point for Wanderers in a thrilling 3-3 draw with Peterborough United at Adams Park.

The Blues trailed to first-half goals from Mo Eisa and Josh Knight, but clawed their way back into the game through Akinfenwa's header and a Frankie Kent own goal at the end of a magnificent passing move from the hosts.

However, Ivan Toney restored Posh's advantage and Curtis Thompson was sent off for a second yellow card, only for Akinfenwa to save the day with a spot-kick following a foul on Scott Kashket, and Ryan Allsop produced heroics to keep the visitors at bay in a last-gasp scramble.

An injury in training to Alex Pattison prompted one change from the Wycombe side that started in last weekend’s 3-0 win at Rochdale, as Nick Freeman came into the midfield, and both teams looked to begin on the front foot during a fast end-to-end start.

The opening goal came on 10 minutes, and it was a gift for Posh striker Mo Eisa, who stroked home from the penalty spot after Dominic Gape’s pass to Jack Grimmer was intercepted by Frazer Blake-Tracy, and his low pass was converted by the visitors’ million-pound summer signing.

Fred Onyedinma and Gape attempted to level matters with long-range efforts, and Akinfenwa glanced a header wider at the end of a sustained spell of pressure after Curtis Thompson had expertly dispossessed Marcus Maddison.

The Posh no.11 then took out his frustrations by kicking the ball away to earn a yellow card on 25 minutes, before both Onyedinma and Freeman fired off-target from distance with Wanderers just needing to take a little more care with their final ball.

Posh too went off-target with two long-range shots before Anthony Stewart sent a near-post header wide of the post from Gape’s deep free-kick, but the visitors stretched their lead on 38 minutes following a corner that fell kindly for Josh Knight. His powerful effort at goal struck David Wheeler on the line but bounced into the net, handing Wanderers the same uphill task that faced them against Southend earlier this season – although against far more in-form opposition.

Maddison blasted a free-kick over the bar before Gareth Ainsworth made a change in personnel before the break, introducing Rolando Aarons in place of Onyedinma who appeared to have collected a knock.

There were no further changes at the interval, though Wanderers were twice caught out in possession outside their own box at the start of the second half, with one leading to a free-kick where Ivan Toney’s shot struck the wall, and the other resulting in Maddison bending a great chance past the far post.

Wycombe needed a spark, and they turned to their talismanic forward Adebayo Akinfenwa – on his 150th appearance for the Blues – to nod home his 48th goal for the club. Gape’s long free-kick was bang on the money, finding the head of the Beast on the penalty spot, and his header beat Christy Pym to halve the deficit.

Wanderers had burst into life, and a dance from Aarons down the right wing had the crowd on their feet, prompting the Posh into a change to stem the tide. Maddison – highly talked about in the build-up, but largely ineffective under the close watch of Curtis Thompson – made way, with Serhat Tasdemir taking his place.

But the visitors had no answer for a simply sensational move from the Chairboys that brought about the equaliser. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more slick and stylish passage of play in almost 30 years of Adams Park history, starting outside Wanderers’ own area, and resulting in a phenomenal move which freed Jack Grimmer to whip in a low cross which was clumsily cleared into his own net by Frankie Kent. The stadium erupted – Wycombe were level, and with their tails well and truly up.

Frazer Blake-Tracy was then booked for a tug on Grimmer, with the right-back enjoying the freedom of that wing in the second half, and from the resulting free-kick, Aarons’ fierce low goalbound shot was blocked behind for a corner, from which Giles Phillips nodded over.

Phillips was then required at the other end, with Toney finding an inch of space to get into a shooting position, but the defender launched into a fantastic sliding challenge to force the corner. It deserved to be a decisive moment, but when the delivery came in, the ball landed for Toney to volley home from close range into the roof of the net. It was their first chance of the half, but cruelly enough to leave Wanderers chasing the game again.

Back came the hosts though, with Freeman drilling Grimmer’s cross over the top, before Scott Kashket took the place of David Wheeler in attack with 18 minutes remaining.

Akinfenwa came close to bundling home from Freeman’s teasing cross, before Kashket raced into the box to meet an exquisite through-ball but found himself out-numbered by the recovering defenders.

Then at the other end, Ryan Allsop produced a fine save to scoop Toney’s low drive behind for a corner, before Peterborough brought on Alex Woodyard for Josh Knight.

But Wycombe’s task was made tougher with eight minutes remaining when Curtis Thompson collected a second yellow card for a crunching tackle on Toney. Posh’s bench were on the pitch in protest before referee Will Finnie reached for his whistle, and wallet, putting the hosts down to ten men.

They continued to battle, though, and after Gape had a free-kick blocked by the wall, Akinfenwa planted a header wide when well-placed.

Kashket was denied a possible penalty and Aarons bent a smart effort on target as the clock ticked towards 90, with six extra minutes being added on.

Posh brought on Dan Butler at left-back to combat the growing threat of Grimmer and Aarons down that side, but they couldn’t handle Kashket, with the striker being bundled over and giving the referee no option but to award the penalty. Ivan Toney was booked for scuffing up the penalty spot before Wanderers were able to take it, prolonging the agony for Adebayo Akinfenwa, but the coolest man in Adams Park rolled home the spot-kick to make it 3-3.

Incredibly, there was more drama to come, and Allsop made a phenomenal save in a scramble with both Eisa and Toney going close to forcing the ball over the line.

But that was that – a point for the Chairboys, a continued unbeaten home record, and a growing belief that Gareth Ainsworth’s men are capable of competing with the very best in this division.


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