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Mansfield Town 1
Wycombe Wanderers 2
Tuesday 24th January 2017
Football League Trophy 4th Round
Wanderers came from 1-0 down with just over 15 minutes remaining to beat Mansfield Town 2-1 and reach the last four of the Football League Trophy for only the second-time and for the first time since 1994.
A Wycombe starting XI with six changes from the side that had drew with Luton the previous weekend fell behind to 34th minute penalty converted by Green after Joe Jacobson had handled. A key moment in the tie came with a double substitution by Gareth Ainsworth, Scott Kashket and Adebayo Akinfenwa being introduced on 66 minutes for Paris Cowan-Hall and Garry Thompson.
It took Kashket seven minutes to add to his goal tally when he snapped up a shot spilled by the Mansfield 'keeper. The winner came on 81 minute when Akinfenwa turned and shot home inside the box. Jamal Blackman made a late save to ensure Wanderers went into the Semi-Final draw where they were subsequently paired away to Leagone strugglers Coventry City, in a tie set for Tuesday 7th February. Wanderers will receive £50,000 for the victory at Mansfield.
Full-time - Mansfield 1 Wycombe 2
Speaking after the game, Wanderers Manager Gareth Ainsworth told the press: "This is absolutely huge for a club like Wycombe Wanderers. I am very, very, very proud. This is one of the proudest moments of my managerial career. To be in a semi is just awesome for Wycombe. They did it in the FA Cup before and the League Cup in days when they had huge resources. The spirit when we are such a small club is just amazing. This side doesn’t know when they are beat – and I mean that. This is no co-incidence now, coming back from a goal down.
"They know how to be resilient, they know how to win games when they are in front, they know how to come back when they are behind and it’s a great place to be at the moment. We’ve got a great squad with a good set of lads.“We played a lot of the lads who’ve not been playing and I thought they were outstanding.
"The experience that came onto the pitch helped us win the game, but it was a real squad effort and I am really pleased to be in the semi-finals which, for Wycombe Wanderers to be able to say something like is amazing.
"People will say it’s the double substitution but it wasn’t. Thompson and Cowan-Hall had run the Mansfield back four into the ground. So when Akinfenwa and Kashket came on they had an easier job than normal. Their lads were tired and now they had a different problem with a big man who is going to win every header and someone who gambles and times his runs to perfection. We just needed that at the right time, it doesn’t always work, but it was fantastic they both got the goals to get us through to the semis."
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