Cambridge United 1-3 Wycombe Wanderers
Two stunners from Eberechi Eze and a late goal from Josh Umerah secured a fourth win in a row for Wycombe and sent them up to fourth in the league.
Eze’s first was a goal of the season contender, and his second was arguably better. Despite a Medy Elito penalty, a Leon Legge red card helped Wanderers see it out before a Josh Umerah goal secured it.
Gareth Ainsworth made one change to the side that beat Barnet last week. Sido Jombati replaced Michael Harriman who broke his leg this week in training. This is a big loss for the Blues, as Harriman is having an excellent season so far.
The hosts started the game positively, Anthony Stewart heading away an early corner.
Cambridge continued to create chances with Piero Mingoia firing wide. Wycombe then grew into the game, and with just under 20 minutes on the clock Nathan Tyson cut in from the right and saw his shot blocked but went down in the process.
Referee Gavin Ward stopped play, and after some treatment Tyson was stretched off covered in a blanket. It looked serious and is another real shame after his recent form.
The game was then an even affair. Adebayo Akinfenwa was unable to lay it off to Craig Mackail-Smith and George Maris fired over for the hosts.
The visitors then had a little spell. Sam Saunders curled one towards the top corner but Cambridge keeper David Forde tipped it round the post. From the resulting corner, the ball was headed wide.
Josh Umerah, who had come on for Tyson, then fired wide after good play from Akinfenwa.
The best chance of the half fell for the hosts. A Wycombe corner was cleared and Sido Jombati had it on the half way line. He inexplicably tried to Cruyff turn his man but lost the ball and Elito broke clear. Marcus Bean did well to track him back but Scott Brown came to the rescue saving the one on one effort.
Five minutes of stoppage were added after the Tyson injury and in those five a free-kick found Anthony Stewart who volleyed goalwards but it was saved by Forde.
This was the last action of a goalless but entertaining first half.
The second half began, and Wanderers came out firing. Akinfenwa laid it off to Eze 20 yards out, he flicked the ball up and volleyed into the top corner with his right foot. The keeper didn’t move.
It was a real team celebration too, as they picked up Saunders and rocked him like a baby, to celebrate his partner giving birth to their first child this week.
It was a goal that made you think the goal of the season competition was over, but not long after Eze decided he would create his own competition.
The home side tried to react, but Mackail-Smith did well in the box, and when he was tackled the ball fell to Eze who this time curled one into the top corner with his left foot from virtually the same position. They were two goals that would grace any game.
This goal seemed to rock Cambridge, and neat link up play between Umerah and Mackail-Smith led to the latter having a shot blocked.
Leon Legge headed wide for the U’s moments after being booked.
Not long after, the hosts did have a path back into the game. Uche Ikpeazu burst into the box, and the faintest of tugs by Marcus Bean led to the big striker going down and winning a penalty. It was very very soft.
Medy Elito stepped up and sent Brown the wrong way and it was game on.
Wanderers now looked to kill the game off. Eze twisted and turned past his man before firing at goal but Forde saved well. Akinfenwa glanced the resulting corner wide.
Mackail-Smith then had a shot saved, but neither he or Akinfenwa followed in when Umerah cut the rebound back.
Then with just over ten minutes remaining Cambridge were reduced to ten men. Mackail-Smith knocked the ball past Legge who blocked the run of the forward and was shown a second yellow card.
Despite the man advantage, Ainsworth showed he was learning from his mistakes as he introduced Dan Scarr in place of hero Eze. Nick Freeman came on for Mackail-Smith shortly after.
Cambridge were trying their best to draw themselves level but the Blues seemed in control, with Forde denying Umerah.
However, the Charlton loanee didn’t have long to wait for his second career goal. Akinfenwa held it up and it fell kindly for Umerah who slotted underneath Forde to secure the three points.
There was still time for Brown to save well from Ikpeazu but the full-time whistle confirmed the fourth win in a row and sent Wycombe up to fourth in the table.
Next up is the visit of league leaders Exeter City, in what is looking to be quite a big game.
Brown 7 – Couple of big saves
Jombati 6 – Solid but so nearly cost a goal at 0-0.
Stewart 7 – Kept Ibhere and Ikpeazu quiet.
El-Abd 7 – Did very well.
Jacobson 7 – Another good game to add to a great season so far.
Bean 6 – Another good game.
Saunders 7 – Excellent shift.
Eze 9 – Wow. Exciting on the ball and the 2 goals would grace any game.
Mackail-Smith 7 – Workhorse and showed his experience for the red card.
Akinfenwa 7 – Massive influence again.
Tyson N/A – Such a shame as he seemed to hit some fitness and form. Started today well too.
Umerah 6 – A handful but not brilliant, yet still had the composure to finish it off.
Scarr 6 – Helped see it out.
Freeman 6 – Deserves more game time but good again.
Eze brace as Wycombe make it 4 wins in a row
Cambridge United 1-3 Wycombe Wanderers