As has been said a million times…
you play a below strength side, you get a below strength performance. We started with an eleven unfamiliar with playing which each other and too much callow youth stroke inexperience in too many positions. In the first half at least not many of our players enhanced their reputations, a few did a lot worse than that. Onomah, Sissoko, NKoudou, Wimmer, Davies, you could throw in Vorm too, will all feel unhappy that they didn’t show their best. Or I hope it wasn’t their best anyway.
We looked vulnerable at the back from the off, in fact we should’ve been a goal down inside the first minute. Things didn’t improve and it was only a matter of time before disaster struck and strike it did, twice unfortunately. We had chances to get back into it but without a focal point up front and no-one to help Son, our most likely source of recovery, we failed to make any impact.
Wycombe were physical from front to back, speedy in attack and prepared to run their socks off in the middle. In contrast we looked uncertain and unprepared.
Goodbye NKoudou, hello Vincent Janssen.
Cue halftime and a change though perhaps not the expected one. Things perked up a tad and Son kept a shot down for a change to bring it back to 2-1. Janssen then won and scored from a pen to make it all square. Huzzah!
With half an hour left Poch prepared two more subs, Dembélé and Alli and it looked like there would be only one winner as the body language of the League two side gave away their collective despair at having been pulled back.
Trippier went down after an innocuous challenge and had to go off and the character of the game changed once again. Our ten men were more cautious for obvious reasons. Sissoko sort of took over from Trippier but we never sorted out the defence properly after the injury and it was from a beautifully flighted cross (NKoudou take note) from one sub who’d got free down the left, that another sub, who’d got free in the middle, put Wycombe back in front and apparently through with only seven minutes remaining.
And if they could defend then they probably would’ve made it through, but firstly a poor clearance was nodded into Alli’s path by Dembélé and Dele finished superbly and then in the last minutes of injury time (there was oodles of it due to Wycombe’s time-wasting, the subs and Trippier’s injury) Son played a one two in the box and a defender sliced his close range effort into the roof of the net.
Huge scenes of celebration…and relief.
So what have we learnt…
This was a game where Josh Onomah had a chance to show what he’s about in his favoured (so we’re led to believe) number ten role, all it will have done though is increase puzzlement as to the origins of his stellar, but falling, reputation. NKoudou has excelled in several cameos, here he was unable to beat his full back and could not lift in a cross. Carter-Vickers was manful against the lump Akinfenwa and will have learnt a great deal, overall though the biggest lesson was that our thrown together reserve side just isn’t good enough to take on any other side that is enjoying a run of form or has a bit about them whether they be from Monaco or Buckinghamshire.
It was a cracking game, a great bonus when these ties often just drift. I wonder who we’ll draw on Monday?
Have something to tell us about this article?