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Before the game Lawrie Sanchez said it could be a day for heroes and it will be the unlikely name of Roy Essandoh that will go down into FA Cup folklore on this occasion. The triallist who only came to the Club ten days ago and had been given "the benefit of the doubt" by the Wycombe boss, stuck his head onto Jamie Bates knock back in the 93rd minute and the rest is history.
The script writers were working overtime for the replay at Selhurst Park and they were at it again at Filbert Street. Wycombe went into the game with all six strikers injured and as expected Keith Ryan played up front with on loan striker George Clegg. Also as expected, it was five at the back but this was no rearguard display from Wycombe. Right from the off Wycombe made their intentions known as they were roared on by the 3,000 plus travelling support.
Wycombe had already created two half-chances before Dean Sturridge forced Martin Taylor to save from a narrow angle. Wycombe countered again, winning a corner on the right on ten minutes after excellent work from Ben Townsend. A minute later Michael Simpson's free-kick from the left was headed on and Jason Cousins nearly cashed in at the far post.
City looked slick coming forward and Andrew Impey's 21st minute cross from the right saw Taylor tested by a flick header from Robbie Savage. Five minutes later former Wanderers hero Steve Guppy saw a shot shut out by Paul McCarthy and Muzzy Izzet's 25 yard shot on the run was held by Taylor. Thoughts of the Premiership side taking control were dismissed in the 28th minute when Dannie Bulman's 25 yard left foot strike almost caught Simon Royce out in the City goal and a minute later Bulman's cross from the right flank was headed over by Clegg.
The predictable battle between Steve Brown and Robbie Savage fired up in the 31st minute when 'Brownie' clattered in a picked up a yellow card. Savage wasn't happy and eight minutes later he took revenge and his name was in the book.
A monumental challenge by McCarthy on Savage in the 41st minute denied the City star a clear strike at goal from 12 yards and 'Macca' was there again moments later to clear a corner.
It was Brown who nearly gave Wycombe the lead in the second minute of stoppage time when his half-volley from just outside the City penalty area saw Royce clawing the ball away for a corner just as the shot looked like creeping in.
The second-half began under torrential rain but it didn't dampen Wycombe's determination. Three minutes after the re-start Simpson's cross from the left was glanced just wide by Ryan but two minutes later the Wycombe fans were celebrating. Simpson's battling on the opposite flank brought a free-kick
and when Brown curled in the deadball it was McCarthy who dived bravely in at the edge of the six yard box to steer home a header.
Once the celebrating had died down, thoughts of reaching the semi-final began to take hold. Could the dream actually come true? A massive scramble in Wycombe penalty in the 56th minute had the hearts fluttering eventually until Martin Taylor eventually claimed. Two minutes later Taylor saved a far post header from Ade Akinbiyi.
Brown saw a powerful header from the edge of the box saved by Royce on 62 minutes but a rare lack of concentration in the Wycombe defence gifted the home side a goal six minutes later. Gerry Taggart set Darren Eadie free on the left and his low ball in found Izzet in space and he flicked the ball over Taylor from close range. Wycombe's world then nearly fell apart as the ball was lost in midfield seconds after the re-start and it was only an excellent save from Taylor that thwarted Akinbiyi as the City player ran into the Wycombe penalty area just left of centre.
A goal against Wycombe then would have been cruel but it was another positive substitution from Lawrie Sanchez that gave The Wanderers that extra kick. On came Stewart Castledine and Roy Essandoh for the tired legs of Ryan and Clegg and as the rain ceased and the sun came out controversy struck in the 80th minute. Brown sent in a cross from the right that was met by rising arm of Stefan Oakes just inside the City penalty area. It looked like a blatant penalty but the officials bottled out of making a decision and Brown and Sanchez were not happy. The Wycombe Manager ventured 50 yards outside of his technical area to show his displeasure and was eventually shown down the tunnel by referee Steve Bennett.
More fresh legs were introduced with midfielder Martyn Lee replacing defender Chris Vinnicombe - Wycombe were still going for it but City still looked dangerous. An evil inswinging corner from Guppy in the 89th minute was punched over by Taylor and in the dying seconds of normal time Taggart went close at the far post with a header.
The game was in it's third minute of stoppage time when history was made. Good work by Lee and Simpson on the left wing and right in front of most of the Wycombe fans brought a free-kick. 'Simo' swung the ball in but Royce punched clear. It then fell to Bulman who delivered to the far edge of the six yard box. Jamie Bates got above Taggart to head back and Essandoh rose to head home into the top corner. Elation, mass celebration amongst the Wycombe players and fans. Inside the ground Lawrie Sanchez shows his emotions as he sees the pictures via a TV monitor and then back on the pitch Steve Brown is shown a red card for removing his shirt during the manic celebrations. 95 minutes have now gone and Terry Gibson holds up his stopwatch to the match officials, City have a chance that goes high of Martin Taylor's crossbar and seconds later the final whistle goes and the celebrations begin... and the dream continues. Bring on Liverpool.
Final Score Leicester City 1 Wycombe Wanderers 2
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