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Carlisle United 1
Wycombe Wanderers 1
Saturday 19th March 2016
Football League Two
Wanderers missed a penalty and had Marcus Bean red-carded as they ground out their second-successive 1-1 draw from their four day jaunt to the north-west - this time a stalemate at Carlisle United. Sam Wood had headed Wycombe into a 12th minute lead but the home side levelled on 26 minutes through a Charlie Wyke tap-in and it prompted United's best spell of the game. However, Wycombe missed the chance to take the lead against the run of play on 41 minutes when Joe Jacobson saw a penalty saved following a foul on Gary Thompson. Bean's red-card came eleven minutes remaining and following a reckless challenge on Mark Ellis.
The draw sees Wanderers drop a point out of the play-off places but they are still well in contention with meetings with Mansfield and Notts County to come over the Easter holidays.
The result came after Gareth Ainsworth made four changes from the side that had drew at Accrington the previous Wednesday - McGinn, Bean, Wood and Ugwu coming in for Harriman, Bloomfield, Thompson and Liburd. New loanee 'keeper Siegrist was on the bench having joined from Aston Villa until the end of the 2015/16 season.
The returning Wood saw a shot saved on 3 minutes after Jacobson's misdirected effort. Grainger went close for the home side on 9 minutes, sliding in to direct the ball past the far post following a corner from the right. Wanderers took the lead on 13 minutes when Jacobson cut inside his man on the left before curling in a left footed cross that Wood headed home unmarked from around the penalty spot mark.
Carlisle levelled on 26 minutes when Hallum Hope controlled Alex Gilliead's cross from the right before setting up Wyke for a tap-in from around six yards. It prompted a spell of pressure from the home side and Wycombe had Ryan Allsop to thank for denying both Jason Kennedy and Hope in quick succession on the half-hour mark. Hope then missed a golden chance when he stretched to head over from inside the six yard box from Wyke's nod back across the face of the goal.
Wanderers spurned a chance to take the lead four minutes before the break when they awarded a penalty. The chance came when Wanderers broke from defence with McCarthy and Wood exchanging down the right channel before Bean's header to the right of the box ended with Thompson being clattered to the ground by the United 'keeper. Jacobson stroked the resulting spot-kick left footed to the left of goal but his effort was superbly saved by Gillespie in the home goal.
Wycombe were forced to defend resolutely during large spells of the second-half - made more difficult by a series of long throws plus what appeared on first sight an extremely harsh decision to red-card Bean. The Wycombe midfielder slid into a 50/50 challenge just inside the Carlisle half on Ellis. Referee Tim Robinson was less than 20 yards from the incident and had a perfect view of the tackle, so perhaps it's a case of accepting the decision and just getting on with it.
Full-time - Carlisle 1 Wycombe 1
Speaking after the game, Wanderers Manager Gareth Ainsworth told the press: "We know what we want to do against teams, but I didnít expect us to finish the game with 10 men. I am not going to get into any trouble or hot water with the FA or Football League because the referees have a tough job to do. But wow, that is one of the softest red cards I have ever seen if it is even red. We will have a look at that and see if we can appeal, but the referee has a tough job to do."
Commenting on the missed penalty from Joe Jacobson, he added: "I looked at it and thought about the last penalty we had against Aston Villa and he put it in exactly the same place, has that had a hand in the save? I am not about to criticise someone like Joe Jacobson and he has been phenomenal for this club. He is a fantastic and we all have our off days. I missed one for QPR and never took one again after that, but I am sure Joe Jacobson will step up again."
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