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Wycombe Wanderers 1 Leicester City 2
Tuesday 6th August 2013
Football League Cup 1st Round
Wanderers conceeded a heartbreaking stoppage time goal to go down 1-0 at home to Championship Leicester City in the First Round of the Football League Cup at Adams Park. David Nugent had give the visitors the lead from the spot on 14 minutes but Jo Kuffour equalised with a stunning strike seven minutes later. Wycombe more than held their own for the remainder of the tie and extra-time looked on the cards until Sean St Ledger snatched it in the fifth minute of added time.
Team news saw Gareth Ainsworth make four changes to the side that had beaten Morecambe the previous Saturday in League Two - bringing in Kortney Hause, Matt Spring, Jo Kuffour and debutant Steven Craig in place of Leon Johnson, Sam Wood, Paris Cowan-Hall and Jon-Paul Pittman. Meanwhile, with pre-match talk suggesting The Foxes wouldn't be taking the game seriously, Leicester boss Nigel Pearson made just four changes himself to the starting line-up that had beaten Middlesbrough the previous weekend, including a return for 2012/13 top scorer David Nugent.
After an even opening, it was Leicester who broke the deadlock on 14 minutes when Stuart Lewis upended King in the box and Nugent converted past Matt Ingram in the Wycombe goal. However, thoughts of an easy ride for the Championship side were snuffed seven minutes later. Ainsworth had apparently used Wanderers famous FA Cup victory over The Foxes in March 2001 to help inspire his side and part of the reward was Kuffour's goal who picked the ball up inside the 'D 'of the penalty area before turning and striking the ball past Kasper Schmeichel and into the top-left-hand corner of the Valley End net. The goal spurred Wanderers on and they went on to finish the half on comfortable level terms with their opponents and earned a standing ovation from the Wycombe support at the break.
The visitors came out strong in the second period but found Ingram in top form again as the Wycombe 'keeper got down well to save from Neil Danns on 50 minutes and five minutes later denied Lloyd Dyer. Dean Morgan saw a goalbound effort blocked on 62 minutes as Leicester took the option to make changes in an attempt to win the tie. But Wycombe responded with both Josh Scowen and Dean Morgan seeing efforts blocked from close range following a cross from Marvim McCoy.
Leicester substitute Jeffrey Schlupp saw an effort disallowed for an early foul, while Dyer hit the side netting as the game entered the final 20 minutes of normal time. Wanderers came closest to winning the tie when Anthony Stewart headed narrowly over with just a few minutes left on the clock. The tie then looked set for extra-time and possible penalties as game edged just past the indicated four minutes of stoppage time. A Leicester corner from the right saw Ingram claw away a effort from but the ball fell kindly to St.Ledger who smashed to deny Wanderers the chance of a further upset against a side two divisions higher. Seconds later the Leicester players and fans could celebrate their victory, while the Wanderers following gave another ovation for a performance that will give confidence for season ahead.
Full-time - Wycombe 1 Leicester 2
Post match reaction:
Speaking to the media after the game, Wanderers boss Gareth Ainsworth said, "I feel like a winner tonight. The way we performed, the way we approached the game and the way we've stood up to a Premiership contending team was outstanding. Every supporter who sang their hearts out tonight should go home proud because I am certainly going to go home proud. Every one of those players are going to need lifting but they gave me everything they had, and some. Performance is more important than results. Results will come with performance. If we keep performing the way we are doing, results will take care of themselves. I thought we got back in the game really well and for the want of 30 seconds we'd still be out there now."
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