Accrington Stanley 1 Wycombe Wanderers 1
A stoppage time equaliser from Peter Murphy saw Stanley snatch a 1-1 draw, the late strike making Wycombe pay for failing to clear their lines and not taking a number of presentable chances.
Gareth Ainsworth shuffled his pack with Marvin McCoy, Sam Wood, Matt McClure and Dean Morgan replacing Nick Arnold, Billy Knott, Jo Kuffour and the suspended Matt Bloomfield.
The game started scrappily and as the weather became increasingly windy amidst heavy rain, Wood shot high over the bar and Scowen could only turn a close range effort wide after a surging run from Cowan-Hall.
Cowan-Hall looked Wycombe’s most dangerous outlet this afternoon, and after his low shot was spilled by Stanley keeper Bettinelli, the stopper was lucky to see penalty appeals waved away as McClure prodded the ball past him and went down in a heap.
After Scowen picked up his fifth yellow of the season for blocking off Naismith, McClure was given a golden chance to give the Chairboys the lead on 22 minutes but after finding space in the centre of the penalty area he could only fire over the bar with the goal at his mercy.
On the half hour mark the best effort of the opening period arrived as Stuart Lewis sent in a long range thunderbolt that was spectacularly tipped away by Bettinelli.
Stanley barely threatened in the opening period but the Wanderers were fortunate to see James Gray fail to get enough purchase on his header from Nicky Hunt’s cross after 39 minutes.
Five minutes after the interval another chance arrived for Wycombe, this time at the feet of Morgan on the edge of the box following a lapse in concentration from the hosts, but again the shot was high and off target.
On 56 minutes, Morgan latched on to a dangerous Cowan-Hall through ball and rounded Bettinelli but could only send his effort into the side netting from a tight angle.
After 65 minutes James Gray broke clear after a slip from Stewart, but in a rare opening he was denied by a fine save from Ingram. Soon after it was back down the other end and you would have been forgiven for thinking it wouldn’t be Wycombe’s day as McCoy`s curling effort was stopped and McClure was also denied on the rebound.
However, the visitors finally got the breakthrough that they deserved from the resulting corner. It was taken by Scowen and Stewart pounced at the back post to clinically fire home from close range.
The Chairboys had a chance to put the game to bed on 86 minutes, but after Lewis` cross was cleverly dummied by substitute Steven Craig, Morgan’s shot was deflected just wide. From the resultant corner Hause`s effort was inches too high after guiding the ball back across the goal.
Wycombe had a glut of options on the bench today, and Pittman followed Craig and Kretzschmar off the bench as injury time approached, when the experienced head of Gary Doherty to help out the young defensive line may have been a better option.
Football can be a cruel beast, and Stanley snatched a share of the spoils out of nothing with virtually the last kick of the game. After Kretzschmar failed to clear his lines, Hunt sent the ball back into the danger area and an unmarked Murphy stabbed home from close range. It may have been undeserved on the balance of play, but if you fail to clear your lines and don’t take your chances, you can have few complaints.
Ratings: Ingram 6, McCoy 6, Stewart 7*, Hause 6, Dunne 5, Cowan-Hall 7 (Kretzschmar 81), Lewis 7, Scowen 6, Wood 5, McClure 6 (Craig 85), Morgan 6 (Pittman 89)
Attendance: 1,268 (156 Wycombe)