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Sanchez made one change to the side that drew 0-0 at Oxford the previous Saturday - bringing in Paul Emblen for Andy Baird. Chris Vinnicombe returned on the bench and his influence proved critical later on. Wycombe, defending The Valley End, came under severe pressure in the opening exchanges and it wasn't until Dave Carroll fired in a cross that Steve Brown was short of with an attempted diving header, that Wycombe broke out of their own half. It was a rare attack, however, as on 9 minutes the alarm bells were ringing when Jason Bowen broke down the Cardiff left before seeing his shot come back off Martin Taylor's left hand post. Three minutes later Bowen opened the scoring when he tucked the ball in at the near post after a ball in from the left. Paul Emblen picked up a booking for a clumsy challenge after 15 minutes as the afternoon looked to be turning sour for Wycombe. Wycombe's lifeline came on 18 minutes when an exquisite left wing chipped cross from Sean Devine was met by Matt Lawrence who volleyed home with the style of a forward. Wycombe knew they had got out of jail and going in level at half-time was a real bonus.
Sanchez played his first trump card when he replaced Alan Beeton with Chris Vinnicombe at the interval. Vinnicombe added a new dimension to the left back position as Cardiff were run ragged in the Adams Park heat. Within three minutes of the start Wycombe had created an opening but Carroll delayed too long on the right before Lawrence blasted the loose ball wide. On 57 minutes Carroll's low free-kick from the left, after McSporran had been fouled, was nearly turned in at the near post. Wycombe continued to press with McSporran seeing a 25 yarder held at the second attempt by Cardiff 'keeper Jon Hallworth on the hour mark. Minutes later a Wycombe corner ended with Jamie Bates returning the ball from the left only for Emblen to shoot wide. A rare attack for Cardiff saw Brazier test Taylor with an overhead kick on 67 minutes but after Simpson had replaced Brown, Wycombe took the lead. On 76 minutes McSporran picked the ball up in his own half and headed off on a run down the Wycombe left before cutting inside, making space and then flashing a low drive past the despairing dive of the Hallworth. The goal was simply sensational and easily on par with the classic he scored against Lincoln last season at Adams Park. Andy Baird was introduced for Paul Emblen at the restart and within two minutes he had scored as he renewed his successful partnership with Sean Devine. Devine powered in from the right before firing in an angled drive that may have crept in anyway but Baird stuck in his foot to seal victory for Wycombe - cue massive celebrations for the Wycombe fans and a scramble for the exits for the now muted following from Cardiff.
Final Score Wycombe 3 Cardiff City 1
WYCOMBE TEAM:: Taylor, Lawrence, Beeton (sub HT Vinnicombe), McCarthy, Bates, Brown (sub 70 Simpson), Carroll, Ryan, McSporran, Devine, Emblen (sub 77 Baird). Att:4,982
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