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Nationwide League Division Two Cardiff City v WYCOMBE
Friday 3rd March
Division Two
Wycombe were one minute from completing their second league double of the season when they visited South Wales on Friday evening to play relegation threatened Cardiff City. Wycombe beat The Bluebirds 3-1 at Adams Park back in September but a last minute goal from City substitute Josh Low meant that this game ended 2-2. Most Wycombe fans would have settled for a point before the game but after leading for so long it was yet another late goal that subdued the noisy travelling fans at the final whistle.
Before the game there was the news that Wycombe would be without Paul McCarthy in defence after he was injured in midweek training. Lawrie Sanchez was forced to drop Dave Carroll into the left back role - with Jason Cousins playing in the centre of defence alongside Mark Rogers.
The reshuffled Wycombe line-up fell behind in the fifth minute when Matthew Brazier was allowed space on the right and his low cross was turned home with ease by Kevin Nugent. However, a resolute Wycombe side pressed the suspect City defence. Two minutes after falling behind Mo Harkin saw a effort blocked from eight yards by Jon Hallworth in the City goal then on 12 minutes Jermaine McSporran was presented with a glorious opening when he left City Captain Mike Ford for dead but the Wycombe player blasted over with the goal at his mercy. It was a sweeping move in 18th minute move that brought the equaliser. Michael Simpson sprayed the ball across the park to Sean Devine and his bye-line cross from the left was headed home at the near post by Jermaine McSporran. The remainder of the half was a very open affair. Martin Taylor held a Richard Carpenter shot in the 22nd minute before a farcical incident in the 26th minute that saw Chris Vinnicombe poll-axed in his own post and then McSporran felled at the other end of the pitch. Play was allowed to continue with Wycombe down to nine men before Simpson headed the ball away for a corner. City's Robert Earnshaw attempted an overhead kick on 33 minutes from Scott Young's cross but his effort was not quite on par Rivaldo's. A rare Wycombe attack on 36 minute saw Devine cut in from the left but he shot straight at the 'keeper. Taylor was called into action again a minute later when he did well to claw away a Brazier chip from underneath his own cross-bar. Wycombe survived and finished the half on top. Three minutes before the break Harkin weaved through to the edge of the City penalty area but was eventually shut-out, then on the stroke of half-time Keith Ryan saw a header cleared off the line.
Half-time 1-1
There was a shock for Wycombe fans when Keith Ryan didn't show for the second-half - Lee Holsgrove filling in for the Wycombe Captain. However, the injury problems were forgotten on 56 minutes when Wycombe took the lead through a Sean Devine penalty. Devine was bundled over by City's long throw expert Andy Legg and Devine made no mistake from the spot - sending the ball the opposite way to his effort against Bury the previous Saturday.  City, without a win this year, were thrown out of their stride by the goal and hardly troubled Taylor for the remainder of the game. Meanwhile, Wycombe failed to produce another shot at goal. Then with twelve minutes remaining there was yet another injury set-back for Wycombe when Devine was forced off with what looked to be a groin strain. The two benches came fairly animated in the dying moments as City became frustrated with Wycombe's time wasting tactics .The game had entered the final minute when Legg took a quick throw on the left from what looked to be yards from where the ball had originally gone out. The ball was centered into the Wycombe area and after Taylor had blocked a potential own-goal from Vinnicombe, City substitute Josh Low was in the right place to fire the ball in.
Final Score Cardiff 2 Wycombe 2
Wycombe Team:
Taylor, Ryan (sub HT Holsgrove), Rogers, Vinnicombe, Cousins, McSporran, Carroll, Simpson, Brown (sub 82 Bulman), Harkin, Devine (sub 78 Senda) subs not used Thompson, Brady Att: 5,011

OPTA stats Cardiff v Wycombe - preview by OPTA
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