Wanderers crashed out of the FA Cup at Eastwood in what will be seen as Wycombe's biggest FA disaster since losing to Basingstoke back in the 1997/98 season. The 2-0 defeat at Eastwood came after Peter Taylor's side failed to come to terms with the conditions and opposition far more up for it than the 'League Two' leaders. Missing Mike Williamson through flu and loanees Franck Moussa and Angelo Balanta not able to play, Wycombe could have been behind inside two minutes when Russell Cooke clipped a header against the Wycombe crossbar. Lewis Spence crashed a long range shot against the crossbar on 16 minutes but the home side took the lead on 34 minutes when Lindon Meikle curled in a shot from the right channel that left Scott Shearer stunned as the ball went inside his right hand upright.
Wanderers, kicking down the slope in the second-half, inevitably put Eastwood under pressure but the closest they came to an equaliser was on 72 minutes when substutute Tommy Doherty bounced in a shot from the edge of the box that Mark Hume managed to clear off the line with his head. With Eastwood's floodlights struggling to keep things fully illuminated through the fog, Wanderers FA Cup lights for the season were firmly put out in the final minute of normal time when Andy Todd intercepted David McCracken's clearance, and then set up Peter Knox to knock the ball into an empty net. The final whistle just moments later prompted scenes of joy for the home team and its followers. Meanwhile, Wycombe were left to reflect on a humiliating defeat to a side playing three levels below them.
Final Score - Eastwood 2 Wycombe 0
Speaking after the game Wanderers Manager Peter Taylor commented, "I think the result could prove to be a good reality check for the fans and for the players as well. To me we played the game as if we were going to just win the game and that isn't the case. The FA Cup is the best competition in the world, it's hurt me a couple of times now but that's the beauty of it."
One of Taylor's previous FA Cup disaster's had been as Leicester City Manager when The Foxes lost to Wycombe in a now famous 6th Round tie at Filbert Street in March 2001. And speaking of the defeat to Eastwood, Taylor added, "I didn't think we were anywhere near what we normally are, whether that's to do with the place but that's no excuse. I felt it meant 100% to them and some of our challenges were 90%, so for me that is frustrating and disappointing. Eastwood Town were slightly more honest than us."
And the Wycombe boss wouldn't be drawn in to blaming the conditions for the result, saying, "We approached the game in the same way as we did for AFC Wimbledon, the pitch wasn't as good today as it was in the last round but I don't want to make excuses. Eastwood have beaten us and I hope they go and get Man Utd away, they played exceptionally well and we can play a lot better." Taylor also said "I'm very disappointed, there were too many performances that weren't right today and that's a shame as a club that we couldn't make the 3rd round."
Meanwhile, Eastwood Town Manager Paul Cox told BBC Radio Nottingham, ""We worked hard and we're just over the moon at the minute with the result. We played some really good football and I think we thoroughly deserved it. We've done something the club's never done before, so we're going to enjoy the next round."
And Town's owner Robert Yong was also delighted with the result and dedicated the victory to their former Chairman Keith Smith who died of cancer in December 2007 aged just 53. Yong said, "We have come such a long way in a short time and I'd like to dedicate this win to the late chairman, who played such a big part in getting the club to where it is today." Yong watched the first half from the home terrace and added, "When the first goal went in I jumped over the boards on to the pitch to get the fans going. I wasn't so confident, even though the manager thought we could do it. But the supporters were the twelfth man and they made sure the players kept going. It was a deserved win. We could have got the second goal a bit earlier but we killed the game off in the end." Yong felt Wycombe took it too easy against his Eastwood side, saying, "When I saw them come out in the second half with nothing to throw at us I started to believe we could do it, but you never let yourself think it's all over. I think clubs underestimate the quality of players we have got. Wrexham did it (in the final qualifying round) and Wycombe did too. I don't think they can have any complaints about it. We could have won by more than 2-0. I have to take my hat off to the manager and his staff, the players and above all our fantastic supporters. I am very proud."
Daily Telegraph - match report
The Independent - match report
theFA.com - match reaction and video highlights
itv.com - match report
All there is to say and know about Wycombe Wanderers on the Internet