Stanley earn point against table toppers Wycombe
8:47am 22nd December 2014
Sean Maguire’s goal gave Accrington Stanley a 1-1 draw against League Two table-toppers Wycombe Wanderers.
Paris Cowan-Hall’s stunning strike from 20 yards was enough for the Chairboys to take a lead into the interval but they were stopped from taking all three points back to Buckinghamshire by Maguire’s glancing header shortly after the break.
John Coleman made five changes from the 2-0 FA Cup replay defeat to Yeovil Town with Jack Rose, Michael Liddle, Piero Mingoia, Marcus Carver and Matt Crooks replaced by Luke Simpson, Nicky Hunt, John O’Sullivan, Sean Maguire and Kal Naismith.
Matt McClure headed over from an early corner; Sam Wood fired erratically over the bar from 40 yards and former Stanley man Joe Jacobson struck a vicious free-kick from distance that hit a Stanley defender and bounced clear as the visitors enjoyed a strong opening to the game.
The recalled Naismith replicated Jacobson’s free-kick at the other end as a Wycombe defender blocked his goalbound effort but the league leaders showed their quality and struck a telling blow with a devastating finish from Cowan-Hall.
The winger looked to be offside as he received the ball but he curled superbly across Simpson and into the top corner from the edge of the penalty area to give the Chairboys a ninth-minute lead.
He missed a great opportunity to double his tally for the day as Aaron Pierre’s header from a corner found the winger six yards out but he could only blaze the ball over the bar with the goal at his mercy.
Stanley threatened an equaliser when Tom Aldred, who had earlier hit 8,000 consecutive minutes of football for the Reds, turned sharply in the area and got a left-footed shot away but it whistled past Matt Ingram’s upright by a matter of inches.
A quick Wycombe counter-attack led to McClure flicking wide Wood’s cross whilst a quickly-taken free-kick by O’Sullivan could not catch out Ingram in the visiting goal.
An enterprising run from O’Sullivan at the start of the second half drew a foul from Jacobson, who was booked for his troubles, and Stanley levelled from the free-kick.
Naismith whipped the ball into the area with terrific pace and Sean Maguire, one of the smallest players on the pitch, rose highest to flash a header past Ingram and into the roof of the net.
Stung by the goal, Wycombe immediately went on the offensive with striker Paul Hayes sending a looping header wide from Jacobson’s cross
Stanley began to turn the screw, and had chances to take the lead, but found Ingram in inspired form. The goalkeeper had to be at his best to deny a flicked header from another inswinging Naismith free-kick and O’Sullivan’s close-range effort.
Wycombe’s goalscorer Cowan-Hall brought a good save out of Simpson with a surging run into the area and a shot across the face of goal that had to be put behind by the goalkeeper’s fingertips.
As the conditions worsened with driving rain lashing the players, the quality of football on show decreased and the game became a war of attrition.
Rob Atkinson’s header from yet another terrific Naismith delivery was the closest either side came to grabbing a winning goal, but it sailed wide as both sides settled for a share of the spoils ahead of Christmas.
Share This StoryTweet
Burnley's Michael Keane earns himself an England call up
Michael Keane has been rewarded for his excellent start to the season with a debut call-up to the England squad.
Accy Stanley fail to turn pressure into points
The Reds suffered the defeat at the Wham Stadium
Police hunting for man who held up woman in Burnley
Local News: He pointed an imitation gun at his victim in the town
Hearn still holding talks over AJ opponent
Sport: Promoter Eddie Hearn has revealed that talks are ongoing "with a number of fighters" as he edges closer to confirming a challenger for Anthony Joshua.
Strokes guitarist Nick Valensi out of the shadows with New Skin
Showbiz: The Strokes guitarist Nick Valensi has become a frontman for a new band called CRX, but says at first he "struggled to write lyrics".
Racial bias in police stop and search increases
National News: Black people are more than six times likelier than white people to be stopped and searched by police - with the gap widening over the past 12 months.
First Lady Michelle Obama joins Hillary Clinton at rally for first time
World News: Michelle Obama is joining Hillary Clinton on stage for the first time in the presidential campaign at a rally in North Carolina.
RIP Vine: Why is Twitter dumping video sharing app?
Business News: If you wanted further proof that Twitter is getting down to the grim and boring business of running a profitable company, killing Vine is it.
Chorley A&E campaigners take message to Trust
Local News: They campaigned outside the LTHT's annual general meeting last night
Giant cyclist set to be around for the entire weekend
Local News: The giant artwork on Pendle Hill is in celebration of the Tour of Britain