Micky Mellon’s ‘super whites’ are into the second round of the FA Cup after a wonderful closely contested display against Gareth Ainsworth’s ‘Chairboys’, with the use of extra time.
Similar to many previous fixtures this season, Tranmere started with an attacking intent. Kieron Morris delivering a free kick into the box, a few minutes into the tie. However, the free kick could only find the head of a Wycombe defender. Conor Jennings was the next Tranmere forward to create a goal-bound attempt, the forwards cross was met by the head of striker Stefan Payne but the ball was cleared away from danger.
Although the visitors started with the better attacking attempts, it was the hosts that came closest to opening the scoring. Veteran striker Adebayo Akinfenwa’s header from outside the six yard box landing inches past Scott Davies’ post.
It was a cagey start to the game, with both sides performing with an intent to attack. Wycombe’s forwards delivering a series of crosses into the Tranmere box, centre half George Ray clearing the last cross for a corner. Again, Wycombe came the closest to opening the scoring as forward Scott Kashket curled a shot agonisingly wide of Davies’ right hand post from the edge of the box.
A short period of time later, Akinfenwa rose to meet the ball in the air. The downward header was comfortably gathered by the Tranmere goalkeeper.
Although the Buckinghamshire side had already came close twice to opening the scoreline, Ainsworth’s forward Jack Grimmer was awarded with the best chance of the game so far. This came after the Scotsman ghosted into the six yard box but he was unable to fire into the Tranmere net.
On the stroke of half time, Tranmere’s poor disciplinary record was shown again as loanee full-back Kane Wilson was awarded with a red card after a late tackle.
Straight after, Gareth Ainsworth’s ‘Chairboys’ found themselves ahead as Anthony Stewart fired past Davies from inside the box.
At the break, Ray was replaced for Cameron Borthwick-Jackson as Mellon was in the need for an attacking full-back to replace the sent off Wilson.
The hosts came agonisingly close to doubling the scoreline, Giles Phillips shot rebounding off the bar from the edge of the area.
With some fortune, Morgan Ferrier fired past Wycombe goalkeeper Ryan Allsop to level the scoreline. The clinical forward getting in behind the Wycombe defence and smashing into the roof of the net.
The hosts created many chances throughout the 60th to 70th minutes, Paul Smyth heading over the bar from a few yards out for Wycombe before firing past Davies from a rebound to put the hosts in front … fortunately for the visitors the move was ruled out for offside. Forward Kashket again came close to firing past Davies yet the goalkeeper managed to deny the ball access from the net with a great save, before palming the ball out and away from danger.
Tranmere’s poor disciplinary record was added to again when defender Manny Monthe was booked for a lunging tackle.
Micky Mellon used his second substitution to replace Payne for loanee striker Rushian Hepburn-Murphy as greater energy was needed to get past the Wycombe defence, midway through the second half.
The Buckinghamshire outfit came close to firing past Davies again, the visiting captain pulling off a brilliant save from Alex Pattisons fierce shot after playing a short corner.
Tranmere’s final substitution of the game came when goal-scoring Ferrier was replaced by pacey winger Corey Blackett-Taylor.
After the full course of ninety minutes, extra time was needed to separate both sides.
After the starting whistle to extra time, Tranmere’s defence faced a spell of pressure. However, nothing came of it and substituted forward Blackett-Taylor did well to carry the ball forward and away from danger. Blackett-Taylor managed to do well again when he found space inside the box and forced ‘Chairboys’ goalkeeper Allsop into a save.
The Tranmere goalkeeper, Scott Davies, managed to keep the visitors in the tie with three wonderful saves through the latter stage of the first half of extra time. An excellent save down to his right, an excellent save from Josh Parker’s powerful header before a wonderful flying save from the forwards free kick.
Against the run of play, Kieron Morris sent the away stand that held 200 visiting supporters into a state of pandemonium. The forward beating Allsop from the edge of the box, his third FA Cup goal of the season setting up a second round home tie with Non-league Chichester City.
Full time – Wycombe Wanderers 1 Tranmere Rovers 2
Wycombe Wanderers – Allsop, Mascoll, Phillips, Stewart, Grimmer, Freeman, Gape, Thompson, Kashket, Akinfenwa, Smyth.
Used substitutions – Wheeler, Pattison, Samuel, Parker (accesing the fourth allowed substitution in extra time).
Tranmere Rovers – Davies, Wilson, Monthe, Nelson, Ray, Caprice, Potter, Jennings, Morris, Payne, Ferrier.
Used substitutions – Hepburn-Murphy, Blackett-Taylor, Borthwick-Jackson.