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Wycombe edge past Oxford to secure historic promotion to Championship

Wycombe edge past Oxford to secure historic promotion to Championship

Captain Matt Bloomfield and manager Gareth Ainsworth celebrate Wycombe's promotion to the Championship - six years after they escaped relegation from League Two with the ChairboysWycombe Wanderers will play in the second tier of English football for the first time next season after edging past Oxford United in the League One play-off final at Wembley.A tense and tight contest was settled by a Joe Jacobson penalty with just over 10 minutes to play after Fred Onyedinma was fouled by Oxford goalkeeper Simon Eastwood.Wycombe had taken an early lead when centre-back Anthony Stewart headed in a dangerous Jacobson corner via a deflection off Eastwood.
Oxford found a second-half equaliser when Mark Sykes lobbed Ryan Allsop with what appeared to be a mishit cross, but the U's could not capitalise further during what was their best spell of the game.
Relive how Wycombe won the League One play-off final
Quiz: Test your knowledge of previous third-tier finals
Wycombe's victory capped off an incredible season for the Buckinghamshire club, who almost dropped out of the English Football League in 2014 and arguably started this campaign as relegation candidates based on their bottom-six finish the previous season.Added to that, when the regular season was suspended in March because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Chairboys were outside the play-off places in the third tier.But when the final league standings were determined on an unweighted points-per-game basis, Gareth Ainsworth's side leapt up to third to book their shot at promotion.After seeing off Fleetwood Town in their play-off semi-final, they got the better of their neighbours from just up the M40 in what was a pulsating affair.
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Wycombe boss Gareth Ainsworth is the longest-serving manager in the top four divisions of English football
Chairboys make fast start
Wycombe took the lead from their first corner of the game as left-back Jacobson caused panic in the Oxford defence, his left-footed inswinger catching out goalkeeper Eastwood who was unable to punch it clear.Stewart was on the end of it at the back post to head towards goal and the final touch into the net came off Eastwood's leg.Stewart found himself in the thick of Oxford's best chance to equalise, making a brilliant interception to deny Matty Taylor a simple finish.Moments earlier, Sam Long had fired a shot across goal inches wide after linking up well with Sykes down the right wing.
U's show fight with Sykes' surprise strike
Oxford came out with the more attacking intent after the break and despite their continued pressure, their equaliser came relatively out of the blue.Sykes once more found space down the right wing and as he seemed set to send in a cross, he actually managed to find the far corner after lobbing the ball over an outstretched Allsop.Whether or not it was an intentional finish seemed to matter little as Oxford continued to force the game.Another timely last-ditch Stewart interception prevented Taylor from tapping into an empty net, while Rob Dickie had powerful headers from two successive set-pieces parried away by the Wycombe goalkeeper.
Jacobson the coolest customer on sticky Wembley stage
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Wycombe left-back Joe Jacobson's 12th goal of the season secured victory in the League One play-off finalUltimately, they would prove to be chances that Oxford spurned while on top as Wycombe's patience was rewarded when they forced the mistake that led to the match-winning penalty.A long ball over the top caused confusion in Oxford's back line as at first Eastwood stayed on his line, and then came out too late to get to the ball first.Wycombe forward Onyedinma had got just enough of a touch on the ball before he was flattened in the area and referee Rob Jones had no hesitation awarding a spot-kick, which Jacobson fired home down the middle.That would prove to be the winning moment as Allsop kept his cool at the other end to gather a couple more headers on goal from Taylor and Dickie, and that meant the Wycombe celebrations were loud and proud come full-time.
Promotion to Championship 'just surreal' - reaction to Wycombe's win
Wycombe manager Gareth Ainsworth: "It's an amazing feeling. To take this club into the Championship is just surreal, it's beyond my wildest dreams."Today is just the culmination of all the desire and heart of all those boys out there on the pitch. They absolutely delivered and then some."It wasn't the greatest game we've played in the world. This was always going to be cagey. My goalkeeper has made two world-class saves, they really came at us and are a good side."But that was destined today. There are 25 individual stories that have ended in the Championship and I'm so proud of the boys. They've been amazing."Oxford manager Karl Robinson: "We've been done early on by a goal that you'd expect to come from the opposition."The longer the game went on, I thought we played wonderfully well and we missed some key chances as important stages in the game."All of the things that were out of our control didn't fall for us. We've probed and just not taken our chance. The mistakes that we made were small errors and unfortunately it's cost us."
Line-ups
Match Stats
Live Text
Line-ups
Oxford Utd
1Eastwood
12LongSubstituted forFordeat 80'minutes
4Dickie
5Moore
3Ruffels
18Sykes
6GorrinBooked at 27mins[/i]Substituted forKellyat 45'minutes
8Brannagan
17HenrySubstituted forAgyeiat 80'minutes
9Taylor
30BrowneSubstituted forWoodburnat 89'minutes
Substitutes
10Woodburn
13Stevens
14Forde
15Mousinho
19Mackie
20Hanson
23Agyei
26Atkinson
28Kelly
Wycombe
1Allsop
19Grimmer
5Stewart
21Charles
3Jacobson
7Wheeler
4Gape
28OfoborhSubstituted forThompsonat 62'minutesBooked at 71mins[/i]
10BloomfieldSubstituted forPattisonat 45'minutes
25SamuelSubstituted forAkinfenwaat 62'minutes
23OnyedinmaSubstituted forFreemanat 90+3'minutes
Substitutes
2Coelho Jombati
8Pattison
11Kashket
16Phillips
18Thompson
20Akinfenwa
22Freeman
27Parker
31Stockdale
Referee:Robert Jones
Match Stats
Home TeamOxford UtdAway TeamWycombePossessionHome76%Away24%ShotsHome13Away5Shots on TargetHome5Away4CornersHome8Away2FoulsHome15Away16
Live Text
Posted at
Match ends, Oxford United 1, Wycombe Wanderers 2.
Full Time
Posted at 90'+6' Second Half ends, Oxford United 1, Wycombe Wanderers 2.Posted at 90'+6' Attempt saved. David Wheeler (Wycombe Wanderers) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.Posted at 90'+4' Foul by Matty Taylor (Oxford United).Posted at 90'+4' Anthony Stewart (Wycombe Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution
Posted at 90'+3' Substitution, Wycombe Wanderers. Nick Freeman replaces Fred Onyedinma.Posted at 90'+2' Anthony Forde (Oxford United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.Posted at 90'+2' Foul by David Wheeler (Wycombe Wanderers).Posted at 90'+1' Elliott Moore (Oxford United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.Posted at 90'+1' Foul by Adebayo Akinfenwa (Wycombe Wanderers).Posted at 90' Anthony Forde (Oxford United) wins a free kick on the left wing.Posted at 90' Foul by Jack Grimmer (Wycombe Wanderers).
Substitution
Posted at 89' Substitution, Oxford United. Ben Woodburn replaces Marcus Browne.Posted at 88' Attempt saved. Robert Dickie (Oxford United) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Marcus Browne with a cross.Posted at 88' Attempt blocked. Elliott Moore (Oxford United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Liam Kelly with a cross.Posted at 88' Corner, Oxford United. Conceded by Anthony Stewart.Posted at 87' Attempt saved. Matty Taylor (Oxford United) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Anthony Forde with a cross.Posted at 86' Attempt blocked. Mark Sykes (Oxford United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Cameron Brannagan.
Substitution
Posted at 80' Substitution, Oxford United. Daniel Agyei replaces James Henry.
Substitution
Posted at 80' Substitution, Oxford United. Anthony Forde replaces Sam Long.Posted at 79' Goal! Oxford United 1, Wycombe Wanderers 2. Joe Jacobson (Wycombe Wanderers) converts the penalty with a left footed shot to the centre of the goal.Posted at 77' Penalty conceded by Simon Eastwood (Oxford United) after a foul in the penalty area.Posted at 77' Penalty Wycombe Wanderers. Fred Onyedinma draws a foul in the penalty area.Posted at 76' Foul by Sam Long (Oxford United).Posted at 76' Adebayo Akinfenwa (Wycombe Wanderers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Booking
Posted at 71' Curtis Thompson (Wycombe Wanderers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.Posted at 71' Liam Kelly (Oxford United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.Posted at 71' Foul by Curtis Thompson (Wycombe Wanderers).Posted at 68' Mark Sykes (Oxford United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.Posted at 68' Foul by Curtis Thompson (Wycombe Wanderers).Posted at 67' Foul by Marcus Browne (Oxford United).Posted at 67' Fred Onyedinma (Wycombe Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.Posted at 67' Corner, Oxford United. Conceded by Joe Jacobson.Posted at 67' Attempt saved. Robert Dickie (Oxford United) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Liam Kelly with a cross.Posted at 66' Corner, Oxford United. Conceded by Ryan Allsop.Posted at 66' Attempt saved. Robert Dickie (Oxford United) header from the left side of the six yard box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by James Henry with a cross.Posted at 65' Mark Sykes (Oxford United) wins a free kick on the right wing.Posted at 65' Foul by Fred Onyedinma (Wycombe Wanderers).
Substitution
Posted at 62' Substitution, Wycombe Wanderers. Curtis Thompson replaces Nnamdi Ofoborh.
Substitution
Posted at 62' Substitution, Wycombe Wanderers. Adebayo Akinfenwa replaces Alex Samuel.
goal
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