Goals galore at Highbury as Wycombe take down 9-men Fleetwood 4-1, with a missed penalty in there for good measure.

Their was no holding back from either team at the start of this play off contest as Wycombe opened the scoring in spectacular fashion as Nnamdi Ofoborh buried a wonderful left footed volley into the bottom corner in the first minute.

There was no rest for the away side though, as Fleetwood earnt themselves a contentious penalty two minutes later that was buried by Ched Evans. Wycombe were back in front soon after, as Joe Jacobson scored straight from a corner to give the away side a 2-1 lead.

The away side could have extended their lead from the spot, as Lewie Coyle was sent off for a foul on Jacobson, but the latter saw his spot kick saved by Alex Cairns in the Fleetwood net. Just before half time the visitors made it 3-1, as David Wheeler snuck the ball past the keeper from just inside the box.

Into the second half and Wycombe took the game well away from the home side’s hands, with Alex Samuel gifted a goal by a mistake from Fleetwood keeper Cairns. As soon as the players stepped out onto the pitch, the wind was howling from all four corners, both sides recognised the problems that would cause, as a fast and quick start was needed, and that’s exactly what happened.

The game started like a house on fire, and especially for Wycombe as they opened the scoring after only one minute. A cross field ball from Matt Bloomfield found Ofoborh and he leathered the ball home to give the away side the lead early on.

The game didn’t let off however, as the home side forced the ball up the other end, leading to a free kick which turned into a surprising penalty for the home side. Ched Evans stepped up and slotted the ball home to level the score in the fourth minute.

Two minutes later, it was 2-1. This time it was Wycombe taking the lead again, and it was direct from a corner with Joe Jacobson whipping the ball to the near post and Fleetwood goalkeeper Alex Cairns made a real mess of the ball and palming it into the back of the net.

Eventually the game levelled off, with the next notable attack coming around the 20thminute. Onyedinma’s left footed strike deflected wide of the goal, resulting in a corner that was poorly cleared by the shot was poor by Gape.

On the half hour mark, the first booking of the game was given, as goalscorer Joe Jacobson goes in late on Josh Morris near the half way line.

The game started to get a bit tastier after that, and it even resulted in a second penalty of the game, but this time it went Wycombe’s way. A very high challenge from Fleetwood defender Lewie Coyle against Joe Jacobson was even worthy of red card for the fullback, gifting Wycombe the opportunity to extend their lead.

Jacobson stepped up, but a brilliant save from Cairns kept the game at only 2-1, and he even stopped the follow up at the near post.

As the half time whilstle approached, there was still enough time for another yellow in the game, this time for Callum Connolly. But that wasn’t all there was time for…

A minute before the end of the half, Wycombe snuck home a 3rd. It was David Wheeler this time reacting sharp from some poor defending from Fleetwood, slotting the ball past Cairns at the perfect time for the away side.

10 minutes into the second half, the game was dead and buried. A long free kick from the goalkeeper Allsop was fluffed at by Cairns and the ball fell to the feet of Alex Samuel and he slotted the ball into an empty net to make it 4-1 to the away side.

After that killer goal from Wycombe, the game started to dwindle down into a slower pace with neither team being able to carve out any clear-cut chances.

Fleetwood ‘s hopes of getting back into the game were hampered even further when Paddy Madden was adjudged to have dived inside the box, resulting in a yellow card for the striker, who then proceeded to talk himself into a second yellow and sending Fleetwood down to nine men.

Eventually the final whistle was blown, with Wycombe looking so dominant throughout the match, but the red card was definitely a game changer. Should be easy for Wycombe now, but you never know what can happen in football.

 

Fleetwood (3-5-2): Cairns, Connolly (Dempsey 45), Souter ©, Gibson, Coyle, Morris (Andrew 35), Coutts (Madden 64), Whelan, McKay (Saunders 76), Burns, Evans.

Subs: Gilks, Southam-Hales, Biggins, Sowerby, Hill.

Wycombe (4-2-3-1): Allsop, Grimmer, Stewart, Charles, Jacobson, Gape, Ofoborh (Thompson 86), Wheeler (Freeman 90), Bloomfield © (Pattison 79), Onyedinma (Akinfenwa 86), Samuel (Kashket 79).

Subs: Stockdale, Phillips, Smyth, Parker.

 

Player Ratings

Fleetwood

Alex Cairns: A very poor performance from the experienced goalkeeper in the Fleetwood net this evening. Should have done much better with the corner goal, and dropped a simple catch for the fourth early in the second half. 3

Callum Connolly: Connolly struggled in the first half up against the pace of Fred Onyedinma, even going as far as picking up a booking in the first half for a challenge on the striker. Could have been sent off with another foul a few minutes later. 5

Harry Souter ©: A difficult performance for Soutter in this game as he struggled to deal with the direct running of Onyedinma and Samuel over the 90 minutes. 5

Lewis Gibson: Performed the better of the 3 defenders in the match for Fleetwood, as he looked assured on the ball whenever he was tasked with moving it around the pitch. 6

Lewie Coyle: Coyle’s game was cut short by a very high challenge in the first half against Joe Jacobson, as he was sent off and gifted the away side a penalty. Very fortunate that they missed considering the final result. 3

Josh Morris: Substituted early on after the red card for Lewie Coyle, didn’t make much of an impact before the sending off either.  5

Paul Coutts: Overrun in the midfield by Gape and Bloomfield, but wasn’t at fault for any of the goals that were conceded. Was always going to be tough to control the midfield when a man down. 6

Glenn Whelan: Didn’t control the game like the manager would have wanted him to, got overrun a fair amount in midfield due to his poor fitness. 6

Barrie McKay: Had a few good runs in the game, particularly when attacking Jack Grimmer, but was more and more isolated once Fleetwood went down to 10 men. 6

Wes Burns: Few good runs down the right at the beginning of the match but his wings were clipped after the sending off so he didn’t get to move forward as much as he would have wanted. 6

Ched Evans: Fleetwood’s best player in a tough match, scored the penalty early on to give the home side an equaliser, but was stranded on his own once Coyle was sent off. 7

Subs

Danny Andrew: Half Time sub who didn’t make a large impact on the match. Composed on the left, looking comfortably on the ball whenever he was tasked with it. 6

Kyle Dempsey: Another player who struggled to make an impact, few good runs here and there but was never going to test the Wycombe back line. 6

Paddy Madden: Two yellows in 18 minutes, dived in an attempt to win a penalty and then berated the ref afterwards. Deserved red card for a player who offered nothing in his short time on the pitch.2

Harvey Saunders: Tough situation to sub on to, struggled again to make anything stick throughout.6

 

Wycombe

Ryan Allsop: Gave away the penalty in the first half, but other than that he didn’t have a save to make in the end. Easy game for the ‘keeper. 7

Jack Grimmer: Had some troubles up against McKay on the right hand side, but once he was subbed off he looked much more comfortably in defence. 6

Anthony Stewart: Controlled the game from the back, never in trouble and didn’t look like being overrun by Evans at any point. 7

Darius Charles: Same as Stewart, simple game for Charles in the end as he didn’t have any issues against Evans nor Madden. 7

Joe Jacobson: My MOTM. Scored an excellent goal from a corner, which even with the helping hand of Cairns was flying in anyway. Could have had a doubled but his penalty was well saved. 8

Dominic Gape: Game seemed to pass him by in the end but that wouldn’t faze him with the teams’ performance. 6

Nnamdi Ofoborh: Scored a cracking goal in the first minute with a wonderful left footed volley, and it set the tone for a dominant game for the away side. 7

David Wheeler: Another goalscorer who took his finish well in a packed box, slotting it past the keeper with ease in the end. Looked confident on the wing all game. 7

Matt Bloomfield ©: Controlled the midfield very well throughout the game, supplying Ofoborh for the goal in the first minute of the game. A good match from the captain. 7

Fred Onyedinma: A performance that deserved a goal in the end, and he nearly had in just before his substitution but the ball just slipped past the post.  

Alex Samuel: Took his goal very well considering the conditions, and made life very difficult for the back 3 all game long. Confident performance from the striker.

Subs

Alex Pattison: Made a few good passes in the midfield but didn’t get much of the ball after he was subbed on late in the game. 6

Scott Kashket: A few good runs, only notable moment in the game was being launched over the barricade by Glenn Whelan. 6

Curtis Thompson: No impact of the bench after only being given a few minutes to impress Gareth Ainsworth.6

Adebayo Akinfenwa: No impact of the bench after only being given a few minutes to impress Gareth Ainsworth.6

Nick Freeman: No impact of the bench after only being given a few minutes to impress Gareth Ainsworth. 6