Penalty shootout heartbreak in Round Two of the Carabao Cup…
Second half goals from Elliott List and Jamie Reid were seconds away from sending Stevenage into Round Three of the League Cup for the first time in the Club’s history, but it would be spot kick agony as Wycombe progressed at The Lamex Stadium.
Alex Revell named three changes to his starting eleven for the second game in a row, following the draw with Port Vale at home on Saturday.
Arthur Read, Ross Marshall and Jack Smith came into the side, starting their first games of the 2021/22 season. Luke Norris and Terence Vancooten dropped to the bench, while Elliot Osborne missed out completely.
Stevenage got off to a positive start with two chances within the first five minutes, as Ross Marshall headed wide from a corner before Jamie Reid’s effort deflected inside the area for Wycombe’s Adam Przybek to collect easily.
Anis Mehmeti almost put the visitors ahead on ten minutes after working the ball into the box but was halted by the last-ditch Stevenage defending. Alex Samuel also had the chance to put Wycombe ahead against his former club, but Joseph Anang stood in his way.
Midway through the first half Jamie Reid had another opportunity to take aim at goal, but after good work to make space for himself, the forward sliced his half-volley wide of the near post.
Stevenage were made to rue missed chances soon after, as Adebayo Akinfenwa fired the visitors in front. A low drilled Joe Jacobson cross took multiple deflections on its way towards goal, only to land at the feet of the Wycombe number twenty to place past Joseph Anang. Stevenage would feel hard done by but still with plenty of the game to play.
After the goal, Alex Revell’s men restarted on the front foot. Arthur Read had a long distance effort deflected behind for a corner, while Elliott List almost got on the end of the former’s cross but could not get bast Ryan Tafazolli.
With ten minutes to go of the first period, Joseph Anang’s quick long kick found the counter attacking Jamie Reid who then cut the ball back for Jake Reeves to curl one staright at Adam Przybek in goal.
Half-time came and Alex Revell’s men would feel slightly unlucky to be behind, and needed a big second half to get back into this game.
Within five minutes of the restart, Stevenage had the leveller! A short corner was played to the edge of the box to Jake Reeves, who clipped the ball towards the back post. The ball found the towering Luke Prosser and reached with his foot to play the ball back into the danger area, for Elliott List to tap home fundamentally on the line. Back on level terms and back in the game, Stevenage had Wycombe with backs against the wall in the opening stages of the second period.
Following the goal, Jack Smith and Jamie Reid both had chances to put Boro ahead, before James Daly and Luke Norris were introduced with twenty minutes to play.
As the game progressed, Stevenage looked all the more likely to be the team to score next and get ahead in the game. Jamie Reid had a chance saved off the line, Ross Marshall headed straight at Przybek and James Daly could only fire his header over the bar.
With fifteen minutes remaining, Stevenage got their well-deserved lead. A scramble in the the box as Wycombe failed to clear their lines, before Luke Norris found Jamie Reid in space. The forward did not need to be asked twice before slotting the ball past Przybek and into the far corner, to send The Lamex Stadium into raptures as a Round Three first beckoned.
It took the Reid goal for Wycombe to apply any real threat on the Stevenage defence in the second half, but the deputising Luke Prosser and Ross Marshall were dealing with any cross or shot to safety.
Jake Reeves had a chance to double Stevenage’s lead and put the game beyond doubt with five minutes to play, before the fourth official indicated a questionable seven minutes of additional time.
As The Lamex Stadium gasped at the excessive time to be played, Wycombe continued to come at Boro and attack their travelling support. Deep into stoppage time, Wycombe’s De Barr was found inside the area to head home and send the game to penalties.
As in the previous round, the North Stand would host the shootout with the visitors taking first. After Joe Jacobson, Luke Norris and Daryl Horgan converted their penalties, it would be Luther James-Wildin’s misfortune to ultimately send the visitors into the Second Round with his shot over the bar. Oliver Pendlebury, Jake Reeves, Anis Mehmeti, Ben Coker and Tjay De Barr would all convert their subsequent spot kicks, but it would be Gareth Ainsworth’s Chairboys in Round Three of the Carabao Cup.
Focus now moves to Walsall away on Saturday, as Alex Revell’s men will aim to pick themselves up and dust themselves down with a positive result at the Banks’s Stadium.