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REPORT: Wycombe 3-3 Cheltenham

28 October 2017

Striker Brian Graham headed home a dramatic last minute equaliser as Cheltenham Town showed great spirit to battle back and claim a point in a six-goal thriller at Adams Park.

Scottish striker Graham - who had earlier opened the scoring with a steered finish - grabbed a point with his late intervention. 

Mo Eisa had swung over the deep cross and Graham beat his man in the air to place the ball in the far corner and spark wild celebrations from the traveling fans.

Cheltenham had been forced to battle back from 3-1 down after second half goals from Adebayo Akinfenwa (2) and Eberechi Eze.

But Carl Winchester's low strike gave the Robins hope before Graham arrived in the dying seconds to claim a deserved point.

It was the second season that the teams had played out a 3-3 draw at Adams Park - and this was another game that will live long in the memory.

Manager Gary Johnson retained the same line-up that played Lincoln, with fit-again midfielder Harry Pell among the substitutes.

Wycombe posed Cheltenham's defence questions in the opening minutes as several huge kicks from Scott Brown rained down on Will Boyle and captain Grimes.

The Robins were also showing plenty of early bite in midfield with Kevin Dawson rattling into a tackle to win the ball back and feed Danny Wright.

It was the always busy Dawson that fashioned the first chance of the game when he crossed to Graham but, central and 15 yards out, the striker failed to make a clean connection.

The home side posed a first real threat when Joe Morrell was adjudged to have fouled Sam Saunders on the edge of the box. The resulting free kick from Joe Jacobson, though, was brilliantly turned aside by Flinders as he flung himself low to his left. 

Nick Freeman then saw a low shot blocked by Boyle, after Akinfenwa headed into his path, and the rebound was toed over the bar by Jacobson.

Just as the home side looked increasingly threatening, the Robins struck with a fine goal straight from the training ground to stun Adams Park into near silence.

Jordan Cranston floated over a long free kick and Grimes arrived at the back post unmarked to turn it back for Graham to steer home from six yards.

Five minutes before the break Cheltenham then had a huge chance to double the lead.

Dawson did well to get in down the left and his low cross found Wright who shrugged off the defender but was denied at point blank range by Brown.

Wycombe made it count two minutes after the interval after Eze was allowed to run deep into the Cheltenham half. 

The midfielder passed wide to Saunders before ghosting into the box and turning home the cross first time.

Moments later, Freeman weaved his way into the box and his shot hit the bottom of the left hand post before falling to Akinfenwa who turned it home for the lead.

The Robins needed a quick response and almost had it as Graham saw a thunderous shot delect wide. 

Dawson then sparked a break from inside his own half, as he brushed past two men but, as he pulled the trigger, a block took the sting out of the hit.

Cheltenham were making a real fist of it, as Eisa broke past two men and then tumbled in the box with nothing given by referee Lee Collins.

On 62 minutes it looked like a mountain to climb when the ball was held up by Mackail-Smith and he rolled it to Akinfenwa who saw his deflected shot fly into the corner of the net.

Manager Johnson made a triple change, with Pell, Storer and Sellars on for Morrell, Dawson and Wright to try and kick-start a comeback.

Immediately the Robins struck, Sellars rolling the ball infield to Winchester who cracked a low shot into the corner.

Wycombe still posed a threat, Saunders nearly wrapping up the points with a winding run before Freeman was again denied by a strong hand from Flinders.

And then, just seconds from the end, the late drama arrived as Eisa produced a peach of a cross and Graham nodded home in front of the travelling army.

CHELTENHAM TOWN: Flinders; Cranston, Grimes, Boyle, Moore, Winchester, Morrell (Pell 68), Dawson (Storer 68), Graham, Eisa, Wright (Sellars 68). Subs not used: Flatt (Gk), O'Shaughnessy, Hinds, Davey.

WYCOMBE WANDERERS: Brown, Gape, Jacobson, De Havilland, E;-Abd, Bean, Saunders, Eze, Freeman (Bloomfield 86), Akinfenwa, Mackail-Smith (Cowan-Hall 71). Subs not used: Ma-Kalambay (Gk), Southwell, O’Nien

REFEREE: Lee Collins


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