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Match Reports

Report: Wycombe 0-1 Hartlepool United

The Chairboys bow out of the FA Cup at Adams Park.

16 November 2021

Despite a solid attacking display that boasted plenty of chances for the home side, Wanderers couldn’t quite find the finishing touch as they bowed out of the cup to a resistant Hartlepool side.

Gareth Ainsworth made six changes from the side that drew 2-2 away at Hartlepool in the two clubs initial meeting, notably Chris Forino-Joseph dropping to the bench after his debut heroics in the North East.

Wycombe began the stronger of the two sides, with Daryl Horgan carving out the Blues first chance of the game, cutting in onto his right foot to fire a vicious effort just over the terrace.

The Irishman was at the heart of the action once again as the timer struck 8 minutes, striking an effort towards the top corner, eventually gathered by Ben Killip.

Hartlepool’s first chance came after a cross was initially dealt with by Joe Jacobson, however the resulting corner ended with Mark Cullens effort deflecting into the travelling Pool faithful.

Brandon Hanlan had the biggest chance of the opening 15, firing just over the bar from the edge of the box after Akinfenwa’s knock-down.

The Beast was heavily involved in a dominant first half display for Wanderers, heading wide from Scowen’s cross in the 16th, only for the linesman’s flag to be raised shortly after.

However, it was Hartlepool to open the scoring after Wycombe failed to clear their lines. The experienced Mark Cullen provided a curling finish into the bottom right, giving the travelling League Two side the advantage.

Akinfenwa was on a mission to try and ensure that this wouldn’t be his last dance in the FA Cup, with another header on target, yet the result was the same as his initial efforts, reaching the hands of Ben Killip.

It was a tale of two strikers in the first half, Luke Molyneux bending an excellent cross onto Mark Cullen's head, this time his effort going wide of the post.

Half time: Wycombe Wanderers 0-1 Hartlepool United

A rapid fire start to the second half saw Jack Grimmer float a searching ball just over the heads of Akinfenwa and Vokes, before Jacobson then crossed a free kick from the edge of the box onto the head of Anthony Stewart, his header ending up in the side netting.

Wanderers were left puzzled as to how they weren’t on level pegging with the Monkey Hangers after Daryl Horgan’s cross was met by Vokes, hitting the post of the away goal, before Akinfenwa headed the rebound narrowly over an open goalmouth.

An end to end opening to the second 45 saw Hartlepool strike narrowly wide just after Wycombe went tantalisingly close - Molyneux feeding in David Ferguson whose strike whistled past the post.

Brandon Hanlan won the Chairboys another free kick just outside the box, this time the Welsh Wizard opting to shoot as Jacobson forced an exquisite save from the on-form Killip.

Wycombe’s second half pressure was relentless but still lacked the finishing touch. Vokes nodded a beautiful Obita delivery just over the bar on the 63rd minute, an opportunity the former Premier League forward was visibly disappointed not to take.

It wasn’t to be the Welshmen’s night as he once again struck the post, this time from 25 yards on the right-hand side in the 71st minute, a moment of magic in front of the travellers in the away stand.

The introduction of Anis Mehmeti saw fans rise from their seats, as a mazy run earned a free kick that Jacobson could tease to the back post, eventually cleared as Wanderers turned the screw on their League Two opposition.

Mehmeti sparked another chance following his introduction, crossing onto fellow substitute David Wheeler’s head whose effort was tame and gathered with ease by Ben Killip, the busier of the two keepers on the day.

The Albanian youngster sparked another free kick opportunity - Jacobson’s free kick then cleared at the front post as Wycombe’s second round prospects seemed to be fading.

Wanderers’ luck was out on the night as Ainsworth’s men struck the post for the third time in the game through David Wheeler’s additional time effort. It was to be Wycombe’s final chance of the game as a solid defensive display saw Hartlepool progress to an away tie at Lincoln City.

Full time: Wycombe Wanderers 0-1 Hartlepool United

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