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Match Reports

Report: Wycombe 1-0 Sunderland

Darius Charles wins it for the Chairboys.

19 October 2019

Darius Charles's first goal for the Chairboys capped a famous 1-0 victory over Sunderland at Adams Park on Saturday afternoon.

A bumper crowd witnessed yet another special occasion at Adams Park as Gareth Ainsworth's men racked up an eighth win in 10 unbeaten home outings - though they had Ryan Allsop to thank for a wonder save in stoppage time to deny Aiden McGeady.

Gareth Ainsworth made three changes to the side that drew 3-3 with Peterborough a fortnight earlier, with Newcastle loanee Rolando Aarons being handed his first league start against his parent club’s fierce rivals.

Sunderland, in Phil Parkinson’s first game in charge, also had a freshness to their line-up, bringing keeper Lee Burge into the team his first start, and a packed-out Adams Park was set for another high-octane affair as matters got underway.

Aiden McGeady curled a shot over the bar from distance in the early stages, before David Wheeler had a strong penalty shout turned down following a trip in the box.

Burge was called upon twice in quick succession, first smartly tipping away Joe Jacobson’s curling free-kick following a foul on Aarons by Luke O’Nien, and then collecting Adebayo Akinfenwa’s header on target from Wheeler’s knockback.

And then came the breakthrough that Wycombe deserved. There’ll be few better stories in football this season than Darius Charles’ almost miraculous return to action after a surgeon’s instruction to retire in the summer, but the defender has been integral to Wanderers’ fine start this season and it was he who blasted home the opener after O’Nien and Akinfenwa challenged an aerial ball and it fell to Charles to smash into the net with a first-time volley.

With the terrace now rocking, the Chairboys almost had a second. A textbook Jacobson corner was knocked down by Anthony Stewart and Nick Freeman drilled narrowly wide, though Grant Leadbitter may have had it covered on the line.

Openings kept coming. Matt Bloomfield almost had a goal in bizarre circumstances when Jordan Willis’s clearance cannoned into him and looped just over the bar, and Akinfenwa glanced a header past the post from Jacobson’s inswinging free-kick.

Wanderers of course needed to keep the door shut at the other end, and after Duncan Watmore did excellently to skirt inside the box on the right-hand side, Grimmer did just as well to stylishly turn it behind for a corner with McGeady lurking.

Jacobson saw another free-kick go close, this time just landing the wrong side of Burge’s left-hand post before the half-time interval, at which point Parkinson swapped Charlie Wyke for Will Grigg in a bid to bolster his frontline.

A relatively quiet, yet edgy, start to the second half brought about no real chances before the hour-mark, other than a rushed effort from Conor McLaughlin which landed wide, though Wanderers were looking tantalisingly strong on the counter-attack, particularly through Grimmer and Aarons down the right.

Sunderland’s second change saw Chris Maguire replace Watmore, and their third followed soon after, when Marc McNulty came into the attack as Grant Leadbitter made way.

Wycombe then swapped Matt Bloomfield for Alex Pattison, during a lengthy stoppage time due to a head injury sustained by David Wheeler, but he continued with a scrum cap as play got back underway.

Aiden McGeady was booked for a scathing challenge on Grimmer, before Akinfenwa again threatened from a set-piece, heading agonisingly wide under pressure from Jacobson’s delivery.

Maguire’s cross-shot was grasped by Allsop as the clock ticked closer to 90, and then in stoppage time, McGeady twisted and turned before unleashing a curling effort which appeared destined for the net before the right hand of Allsop heroically turned the ball onto the crossbar.

Josh Parker replaced Aarons in stoppage time, and he played his part in thwarting any further Sunderland attacks as the hosts held on for another historic victory on home turf.

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