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Carlisle United 2
Wycombe Wanderers 3
Saturday 21st February 2015
Football League Two
Wanderers survived a late scare as they returned to winning ways with a 3-2 victory at 19th placed Carlisle United. Wycombe led 3-0 with 25 minutes remaining but then conceeded two goals to set-up a tense finish.
Wycombe's 9th League win on the road this season came after Gareth Ainsworth made two changes to the side that had lost to Newport the previous week - Paul Hayes returning to the starting XI in place of Steven Craig and Matt Bloomfield favoured ahead of Peter Murphy in midfield.
Wycombe had a bright start and opened the scoring on 27 minutes when a long ball into the United box saw the ball hooked across from the left for Aaron Pierre to plant a downward header into the back of the net after beating home debutant 'keeper Raphael Spiegel to the loose ball.
Wycombe's dominance continued into the second period when Fred Onyedinma cut in from the left on 61 minutes, beating two defenders, before curling a right footed shot into the opposite far corner of the goal. It was 3-0 on 66 minutes when Matt McClure finished in style from the left of the box after chesting down Bloomfield's ball into the box. That looked curtains for the home side but two minutes later they were given a lifeline when a short corner saw Kyle Dempsey send a curling cross to the far post that eluded everybody and end up in the back of the Wanderers net.
It was a soft penalty on 82 minutes that gave the home side even greater hope of a comeback. Alfie Mawson nudged Charlie Wyke in the back on the left side of the box and to Wanderers horror, referee Darren Handley pointed to the spot. Danny Grainger sent Matt Ingram the wrong way from the resulting penalty and it was 'game on'. However, it was Wanderers who kept their cool better to take the points. United substitute Beck will want to forget his day after being sent-off within a minute of coming on in the 85th minute following a lunge at Sido Jombati close to the half-way line. In the six minutes of stoppage time added United had the ball in the net but the celebrations of the home fans were cut short as the officials pulled the game back for a foul on Jombati. Breath again time for the Wycombe fans.
The only cloud on the day for Wanderers was Pierre's tenth yellow card of the season that will see him miss the next two games. Wanderers remain 3rd in table but are now two points behind Shrewsbury who lost 2-1 at lowly Tranmere. 4th placed Luton are also four points behind Wanderers after they lost 3-2 at Wimbledon. Leaders Burton came from behind to win 3-1 at Dagenham.
Full-time - Carlisle 2 Wycombe 3
Post match reaction:
Commenting after the game, Gareth Ainsworth said: "The referee made it interesting and it was one of the softest penalties I have seen for a while. It was great for the game but not for my nerves" He added: "We had a ten-and-a-half hour journey up to Carlisle with a blow out on the motorway so our preparation didn't go well at all. But the players performed really well and it's a great three points to get us back on track. I want to chase this promotion dream we are having because we are good enough. We played really well and we could have been out of sight before half-time. I want to chase this promotion dream we are having because we are good enough. We played really well and we could have been out of sight before half-time. Matt [McClure] took his chance really well and it was a great goal. He is a clinical finisher and it's important to show faith with people. He is young and has a lot on his shoulders, but plays well with [Paul Hayes]."
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