Magnificent Marcus Bean gave ten-man Wycombe Wanderers a quite amazing 4-3 victory over Carlisle United on an incredible afternoon at Adams Park.
Bean scored with virtually the last kick of the game, smashing home a brilliant volley past Carlisle keeper Jack Bonham to send the Wycombe faithful into a frenzy.
Just two minutes earlier, Paris Cowan-Hall equalised with an excellent header in second half injury time after a brilliant cross from Craig Mackail-Smith.
It had all looked so good for Wanderers early on when they scored two goals in three second half minutes thanks to Matt Bloomfield and Luke O’Nien to take full control.
However, O’Nien was sent off after 90 seconds of the second half after handballing on the line and from their the visitors made it count with three goals in response from Danny Grainger, Jamie Devitt and Cole Stockton.
With Wycombe leading 2-1, they had a golden opportunity for a third but Joe Jacobson saw his penalty saved by Jack Bonham.
Wanderers started on the front foot and Adevayo Akinfenwa had two half-chances in the second minute, firstly when his shot was blocked by Gary Liddle and then heading wide from Cowan-Hall’s cross.
Carlisle, themselves, started in solid fashion and they carved out a chance on 10 minutes when Kris Twardek’s low cross found Stockton, who shot wide from 10 yards.
The visitors almost took the lead on 13 minutes when Twardek got away from Dan Scarr and his shot dribbled past Scott Brown but Dominic Gape cleared off the line.
The game was fairly even between the sides and the next opportunity went Wycombe’s way as O’Nien’s rasping drive on 20 minutes went just over Bonham’s crossbar.
Wycombe started to get a grip on proceedings and we rewarded with the lead on 27 minutes when some superb play from Akinfenwa put Bloomfield in on goal and he poked the ball past Bonham from six yards.
And just two minutes later, Wanderers doubled their advantage when Cowan-Hall’s fierce strike was parried by Bonham straight to O’Nien, who lashed home into the roof of the net four yards out.
Akinfenwa was posing Carlisle plenty of problems and saw his header on 32 minutes easily held by Bonham.
The Chairboys were looking very comfortable with a two-goal cushion in their favour, knocking the ball around with confidence.
Wycombe had one final sniff before the break when Cowan-Hall met Jacobson’s free kick with a header which Bonham dealt with.
However, just 90 seconds the game turned on its head in the second half when O’Nien was adjudged to have handled Twardek’s goal-bound shot on the line and was sent off.
Grainger duly sent Brown the wrong way from the spot and Carlisle were right back in the game.
The visitors were buoyed by that goal and Devitt missed a sitter on 50 minutes from six yards when he volleyed over the bar after an excellent cross by James Brown.
Brown made an excellent double save on 58 minutes when Devitt’s effort was palmed out to Twardek and the Wycombe stopper then saved brilliantly with his legs to deny the Carlisle forward.
However, the Blues were awarded a lifeline of their own when Cowan-Hall’s delightful through ball on the hour mark found Nathan Tyson, who skipped past Bonham and was then tripped by the United keeper.
Bonham received a booking for his troubles but Joe Jacobson saw his penalty excellent stopped by the former Watford goalie.
Wanderers still looked for a third despite being down to ten men and Scarr headed Jacobson’s great free kick just wide on 67 minutes.
Unfortunately, a minute later, Devitt headed into the corner from eight yards after a lovely cross by the dangerous Brown.
Carlisle were getting back on top and Cole Stockton scored a thumping header on 70 minutes to knock the stuffing out of Gareth Ainsworth’s side after another wonderful ball in by Brown.
Wanderers were huffing and puffing for an equaliser and Akinfenwa saw his firm strike from 20 yards parried away by Bonham on 85 minutes.
Keith Curle’s men almost made the game completely safe on 89 minutes when Jamal Campbell-Ryce’s piledriver was smartly saved by Brown.
However, Wanderers never know when they are beaten and Cowan-Hall and, incredibly, Bean gave the Blues a victory that won’t be forgotten in a hurry.
WYCOMBE WANDERERS: Brown, Gape (sub: Mackail-Smith, 81), Scarr, El-Abd, Jacobson (sub: McGinley, 81), Bean, O’Nien, Bloomfield, Cowan-Hall, Akinfenwa, Tyson (sub: Kashket, 73). Subs: Ma-Kalambay, De Havilland, Thompson, Freeman,
CARLISLE UNITED: Bonham, Grainger, Joyce (sub: Etuhu, 34), Liddle, Parkes, Jones, Devitt, Brown, Stockton, Twardek (sub: Hope, 78), Hill (sub: Campbell-Ryce, 46). Subs: Gray, Bennett, Lambe, Nadesan.
REFEREE: Carl Boyeson
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