Joe Jacobson scored a last-gasp penalty to secure a return to winning ways for the Wanderers, coming from behind to defeat Rochdale 2-1 at Adams Park.
The visitors took an early lead when Ian Henderson charged down Ryan Allsop's clearance and saw the fall cannon into the net, but McCarthy equalised with a floated cross-shot which beat keeper Jay Lynch to restore parity.
Wanderers had the better of the second period and finally earned their rewards when Paul Smyth was fouled in the box by Luke Matheson, and Jacobson stroked home the penalty in the dying seconds.
The start to the game matched the dazzling nature of the yellow and pink strips worn by the two sides on the ‘Anything But Blue’ matchday in support of the Chiltern Samaritans, with Jimmy Ryan stinging the palms of Ryan Allsop with a drive from outside the box, before Joe Jacobson tested Jay Lynch with two dangerous deliveries and Jason McCarthy’s low cross caused panic with David Wheeler almost converting.
But then the game entered a lull which was broken only by a goal completely out of the blue, and a stroke of fortune for the visitors. Ian Henderson is a prolific scorer of goals for Dale but he won’t have known much about this one, jumping to block Ryan Allsop’s clearance and blocking the ball into the back of the net to give his side the lead.
Darius Charles looped a header over the bar from another McCarthy cross as Wycombe pushed for an equaliser, but Wanderers were fortunate not to concede a second when Henderson’s low shot bobbled awkwardly off the turf and Allsop could only parry into the path of Calvin Andrew, who blasted wide from close range.
So if fortune was the name of the game, then it’s up to you to decide whether Jason McCarthy intended to find the net with a dangerous cross from the right wing, but he cared not one jot as it sailed over the head of Jay Lynch and into the net to spark jubilant celebrations from the right-back.
It came at the end of a sparkling move – the second in two minutes – as Wycombe began to get into the groove, with Nick Freeman firing wide after jinking past his man 20 yards out.
There was another scare when Andrew headed wide from a dangerous corner, and at the other end, Freeman volleyed over after Lynch fisted a Jacobson corner into his path.
Freeman had the first chance of the second period, firing over after Dom Gape’s fierce low cross-shot cannoned into his path, and then Josh Parker couldn’t adjust in time to convert Joe Jacobson’s cross after it was helped on by David Wheeler.
Wheeler came to the rescue at the other end, hammering clear after Rhys Norrington-Davies’ low ball appeared destined to land at the feet of a Dale attacker, and from the resulting corner, Andrew headed straight at Allsop.
Wanderers wanted a penalty for a handball when Adebayo Akinfenwa’s header following a clever short-corner was blocked en route to goal, but after a corner was given, Akinfenwa’s effort was again denied by the face of Jordan Williams.
The hosts’ first change came on 73 minutes, with Paul Smyth taking David Wheeler’s place, while Dale brought on Fabio Tavares for Jimmy Ryan at the same time.
McCarthy excelled down the right to carve open the next chance, defying the non-award of a free-kick for a foul on him by continuing his surge into the box and teeing up Akinfenwa, whose low shot was turned over the bar by Paul McShane, and Lynch held Darius Charles’ header on the line from the corner.
Dominic Gape departed with a knock on 86 minutes as Nnamdi Ofoborh took his place, and Matt Bloomfield replaced Curtis Thompson shortly after.
With the game heading for a draw, Paul Smyth darted into the box and drew a foul from young right-back Luke Matheson, and Joe Jacobson converted the spot-kick to banish the blues well and truly as the home fans celebrated all three points.