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Swindon Town 2
Wycombe Wanderers 1
Tuesday 12th November 2013
Football League Trophy - Southern Area Q-Final
Wanderers' conceeded another late goal as they went down 2-1 at Swindon Town in the Southern Area Quarter-Final of Football League Trophy. Matt McClure had gived the Wanderers the lead against the run of play on 37 minutes but it wasn't until the 77th minute when The Robins equalised through a deflected free-kick that Nick Ajose claimed the get the last touch. The tie then looked to be heading for penalties when Ajose grabbed the winner in the fourth minute of stoppage time.
Team news had seen Gareth Ainsworth made five changes to the side had drew in the FA Cup with Crewe the previous weekend - Steven Craig, Gary Doherty, Max Kretzschmar, Josh Scowen and Jo Kuffour returning to the starting XI in favour of Anthony Stewart, Billy Knott, Matt Spring, Dean Morgan and Paris Cowan-Hall. It was Craig's first start since his appearance at Plymouth back in September, following a spell out with a virus.
The tie saw Wanderers take a pounding for the majority of the first half but for all their pressure, the nearest The Robins came to breaking the deadlock came on 37 minutes when Pritchard drove an effort past Ingram but the upright came to Wycombe's rescue. Despite the pressure from the home side, Wycombe took the lead on the stroke of the half-time when Matt McClure fired low past the keeper but injured himself in the process and played no further part in the tie. Wanderers then went close to doubling the lead three minutes into the second period when Steven Craig saw a header saved by Belford. However, the home side continued to press and eventually equalised with a scrappy goal on 77 minutes when Ajose was credited in getting the final touch on a deflected free-kick. With a couple of minutes of normal time remaining Wycombe were left fuming when a Max Kretzschmar 'goal' was ruled out for offside despite not being the player in the offside position. To rub salt in Wanderers' wounds, four minutes into the alloted five minutes of stoppage time and with an immediate penalty shoot-out looming at the end of the 90 minutes, Ajose was on hand again to convert from another set-piece and send the home fans wild.
Full-time - Swindon 2 Wycombe 1
Post match reaction:
Commenting after the game, Gareth Ainsworth said, "It's heartbreak because the lads have given everything tonight, and I believe at this moment in time we should be looking at some penalties being taken. I'm absolutely devastated. Everything went to plan, it's just that 90th minute winner for them. The performance was hard working, the tactics worked. We stifled Swindon. For all their possession, they didn't have many shots on goal. For want of a bit of luck we might be through. You can see they can play and going toe to toe would be difficult. We stifled them, we got them on the break and it was great to see. We took a bit of pressure second half. There weren't many shots on Matty [Ingram]'s goal. We performed well tonight. We've got a big game against Cheltenham now and I want everyone to get up - all the fans, all the players, get with me and let's go against Cheltenham." However, the Wycombe boss was also upset about Max Kretzschmar 'goal' being ruled out, saying "This offside rule, there's got to be some clarification on this because it's second phase and third phase and it's really confusing sometimes. From my opinion - which is only my opinion - I thought it was a genuine, perfect goal. I didn't see why it was disallowed at all. I have spoken to the referee after the game, and that will stay private between me and the referee. I don't want to get in trouble with that. I really believe we should have gone 2-1 up in this game. I'll have a look at the video but I can't believe anyone's interfered with Max's shot. We can't keep blaming these and it will even itself up - hopefully in March or April when we need it." He added, "They have scored from a deflection and a real scramble at the end. People are going to question us seeing games out - and I will - because we did it fantastically last year. It has happened before. To see the game out is something we were very good at last year. We ran the clock down very well - nothing untoward, we made the right decisions on the ball. Hopefully we can get that back into our game because the other parts of our game have progressed really well."
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