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Jacobson penalty earns Wycombe FA Cup replay against Villa

| 10.01.2016

Matt Haynes | January 9, 2016

Wycombe Wanderers 1-1 Aston Villa

  • Micah Richards gives Villa lead
  • Joe Jacobson strikes level from the spot
  • Villa couldn’t make possession count

Cagey start

Cynics may say that the only bright thing about this FA Cup third round tie was Aston Villa’s luminous yellow kit, though on closer inspection League Two outfit Wycombe Wanderers offered plenty of promise.

Aston Villa manager Remy Garde was left out of Arsenal’s winning squad in 1998 so this match quite possibly had sentiment surrounding it for the former Gunner.

Wycombe Wanderers v Aston Villa - Emirates FA Cup - Third Round - Adams Park

Following a 20 minute arm wrestle in which the hosts made it hard for Villa to break them down, Garde’s side began to get a foothold in the tie.

First goal

When Carles Gil received out wide, with Villa pushing their opponents back, Micah Richards pulled away in the penalty area, with Wycombe’s rearguard standing off. Receiving square from Gil, he struck first time with the inside of his right foot, for the ball to squeeze through an array of shirts and nestle into the far corner.

Wycombe Wanderers v Aston Villa - Emirates FA Cup - Third Round - Adams Park

Wycombe threat from corners

While the hosts could have gone level following the goal, Sam Wood ended up striking over the bar after a great cross from Matt Bloomfield, though under pressure from Idrissa Gueye, he couldn’t compose himself enough to hit the target.

Twice, though, Wycombe, 5/1 with Coral to be promoted from League Two, showed that their biggest strength could be from set pieces. Midway through the half, they went direct, with Mark Bunn only just parrying a wicked Joe Jacobson delivery, while minutes before half time centre back Aaron Pierre powered a header narrowly over the bar.

Wondrous Wycombe start second-half well

After the interval, the hosts having maybe showed their visitors too much respect in the first period, came flying out of the blocks following the break.

While Wood had a great chance to equalise almost immediately, seconds later, Wycombe won a penalty when Ashley Westwood was adjudged to have struck Matt Bloomfield in the arm.

Up stepped left back Jacobson and the 29-year-old, whose left boot had caused enough trouble for Villa and struck past Bunn with a very assured finish to draw level.

Wycombe Wanderers v Aston Villa - Emirates FA Cup - Third Round - Adams Park

Full of confidence, the hosts then mounted a daring all-out attack at their Premier League visitors, a free-flowing move almost catching them off-guard as a looping Garry Thompson delivery from the right found Wood at the back post who struck first-time on the volley, only for a back-tracking Jores Okore to clear.

Villa wasteful in possession

As expected, it was the Premier League outfit who went on to have the majority of possession, however they could not make it count.

Substitute Jordan Ayew crafted a great opening, though dragged his shot wide, while Rudy Gestede’s deflected effort clipped the top of the bar, however, Wycombe defended resolutely and thoroughly deserve a replay at Villa Park.


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Matt Haynes

A long-suffering Leeds fan, Matt studied Sports Journalism at university, and has a plethora of multi-industry experience. Having worked on behalf of multiple hedge funds and top-tier investment banks in executive search, he has also had a stint with the BBC and the Press Association. Outside of work, he pursues entrepreneurial activities and likes to keep fit.
Although he has interviewed current England manager Roy Hodgson as well as Rafa Benitez and a number of other names, he is honoured to have spent time in the company of Gordon Banks. Matt enjoys cultivating long-lasting professional and personal relationships, is solution orientated, and supports Coral’s sports content provision.