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Swansea City 2
Wycombe Wanderers 3
Tuesday 22nd August 2006
Football League Cup 1st Round
Mike Williamson scored a dramatic extra-time winner for Wanderers in their Football League First Round tie at Swansea City after his own-goal had helped the home side come back from 2-0 down. Second half goals from Jermaine Easter and Stefan Oakes had put Paul Lambert's side into the driving seat but a freak own-goal from Williamson on 72 minutes gave the Welsh side a lifeline. Darren Pratley equalised nine minutes later and a betting man would have then favoured the 'League One' side to go on and claim victory. But Wanderers had other ideas and with penalties looming, Williamson bundled the ball home after Chris Palmer's free-kick had been too hot to handle for Swansea 'keeper Willly Gueret. Wycombe will now travel to Fulham in the Second Round.
The victory in Wanderers' first ever visit to Swansea's Liberty Stadium, came after Swansea fielded a near full-strength side, while Wycombe rested skipper Tommy Mooney and gave a debut to goalkeeper Jamie Young. Wanderers also finished the game with youngsters Steven Gregory and Ikechi Anya on the field.
It was Cardiff born Easter who did much of the damage against The Bluebird's bitterest of rivals. Easter, who scored a hat-trick in the previous Saturday's 3-0 win over Bury, endured jeers from the home support but went close twice during the first-half, while Gueret also needed to be alert to tip away Kevin Betsy's cross into the danger zone.
Wycombe's first-half dominance prompted City boss Kenny Jackett to introduce the bulky Adebayo Akinfenwa as a third forward at the half-time interval but Lambert soon recognised the danger and switched from his original back three, with Sam Stockley as sweeper, to a more regular four-man defence.
It was Easter who fired Wanderers into the lead on 50 minutes when he got the better of Kevin Austin before drilling the ball home inside the left-hand upright from 25 yards. Easter's measured response was to run over towards the Swansea fans in the East Stand and perform the head slapping 'Ayatollah' celebration made famous by Cardiff City fans. The locals were not amused!
On 64 minutes it got worse for the Welsh side when Easter won a free-kick and Chris Palmer's quick take saw Oakes blast the ball past a stunned Gueret from some 30 yards. That should have been 'game over' but with just under 20 minutes remaining Williamson sliced Kristian O’Leary’s harmless looking effort at goal into his own net past Young.
Panic and frustration briefly affected Wycombe. There were calls from Wycombe for a red card for Kevin Amankwaah after his mad lunge ended Easter's contribution to the evening. Moments later it was Amankwaah's long throw that was only cleared as far as Pratley on the edge of the box, who then blasted the ball past Young to level the scores at 2-2.
But Wanderers re-grouped and took the tie the home side during the 30 minutes of extra-time. It was Easter's replacement, Jonny Dixon, that had the better chances, seeing Guerat save withe his knees from one effort before scooping an even better chance wide from 10 yards moments later. But Wycombe were not to be denied their deserved winner when Williamson forced the ball in with seven minutes of the extra-time remaining.
This time Wycombe held on to the lead and celebrated victory at the final whistle with the 178 travelling fans who had made the journey down the M4.
Final Score - Swansea 2 Wycombe 3 (After Extra Time)
Williamson commented too on his mixed emotion evening: "“I was just glad to get the chance to make up for my error. I was gutted when I sliced it into the back of the net but I knew I couldn’t let it get to me and had to get it out of my head. It was a real roller-coaster. One minute I was down and the next I was up again. We didn’t want it to go to penalties and it had to be me that got the winner. Although the other lads would never say it, I knew my own goal led to Swansea coming back and I felt personally responsible and it was nice to have the chance to put it right."
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