Wycombe Wanderers put their fans through the full gamut of emotions this afternoon before clinching a vital 3-2 victory thanks to Kevin Betsy’s stoppage-time winner.
Coming into this game on the back on two consecutive victories, the Chairboys knew they had to do it again today, and in a never-say-die performance to be proud of, they overcame the disappointment of twice losing the lead and kept hammering on the door until their persistence finally paid off with just seconds remaining.
In-form striker Alex Revell gave Wycombe the lead after 29 minutes when he steered the ball into the bottom right hand corner of the net after being teed up by Kevin Betsy’s cut-back.
It was no more than the Blues deserved and they could have doubled their lead before the interval if Lewis Hunt’s header hadn’t been cleared off the line following a Craig Woodman corner.
But just as the Wycombe fans looked forward to basking in a half-time lead, it all went wrong. The full two minutes of first-half stoppage time were already up when Matt Bloomfield gave away a needless free-kick, and the home side took full advantage with a floated ball across the box which was slotted home by Aaron Wilbraham at the back post.
Not to be deterred, Wycombe came out for the second half clearly intent on restoring their lead and they nearly did so five minutes later when Jon-Paul Pittman sprinted clear and shot past keeper Willy Gueret only to see the ball slide agonisingly wide of the post.
Alex Revell made no mistake when he found himself in a similar situation after 62 minutes. The on-fire striker collected a through-ball from Kevin Betsy and composed himself beautifully before coolly slotting the ball under Gueret for his second goal of the game and his fourth in a week.
With news filtering through that most of Wycombe’s relegation rivals were winning, it seemed crucial that the Blues held onto their lead this time, and when they conceded a penalty ten minutes later you could have heard a pin drop in the stunned away end.
In another cruel twist of fate, the silence turned to cheers when Tom Heaton saved Baldock’s spot-kick, only for the roar to be instantly stifled when Wilbraham followed-up to score from the rebound.
It was time to throw caution to the wind. Matt Phillips had already replaced Jon-Paul Pittman and with ten minutes remaining manager Gary Waddock introduced Stuart Beavon in place of Lewis Montrose as Wycombe went all out for the winning goal they desperately needed.
It looked like it was going to be another one of those days when Phillips took one touch too many and had a great chance blocked, Beavon fired a shot narrowly wide, and Phillips went on a superb jinking run only for his cut-back to be missed by a throng of Blue shirts inside the six yard box.
But with four minutes of stoppage-time played, the Chairboys finally got what they deserved when the under-seige home defence eventually cracked and Kevin Betsy’s deflected shot hit the net to send the travelling support wild.
Results elsewhere mean that Wycombe have only closed the gap by a single point and are still 5 points adrift of safety, but if they keep fighting like they did today, you never know!
Everyone played their part in a gutsy team-performance and it’s impossible not to wonder where we’d be now if they had shown this much spirit and determination a little earlier in the season.
Man Of the Match
Alex Revell – Goals and 100% effort
Heaton, Mousinho, Hunt, Westwood, Woodman, Ainsworth, Bloomfield, Montrose (Beavon 81), Betsy, Pittman (Phillips 65), Revell
Unused Subs: Arnold, Oliver, Keates, McLeod, Harrold