Another draw but possibly a turning point for Chairboys

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It goes down as another draw but a topsy-turvy game saw Wycombe Wanderers steal a point after late drama at Adams Park. 

It looked like all was lost to league leaders Shrewsbury when Lionel Ainsworth rifled in to complete the Shrews comeback, but with the last kick of the game Lewis Montrose levelled from distance to send the home fans into mild rapture. 

Gary Waddock fielded the same XI who failed to hit the target last week and the nervous home side were on the back foot from the off. The team looking to break a two-game goal drought were in trouble early when Matt Harrold struck the post with a downward header inside two minutes, firing a warning shot to his ex-employers. 

All football fans fear the curse of the former player returning to stick the boot in, and the wounds of Harrold’s exit in the summer, the player deemed surplus to requirements by manager Waddock, had barely healed when he struck the post. 

This was an early let off for the draw specialists, but it became a pattern as the half progressed, with Shrewsbury looking every bit the comfortable league leaders. Wanderers had their chances through Bloomfield and Strevens, but as so often in recent weeks, failed to convert them. 

The tension from the stands filtered onto the pitch as Shrewsbury attacked. Kevin McIntyre forced a fine save from Nikki Bull before the away side hit the woodwork for a second time as Ian Sharps header came back off the crossbar. 

As the half time whistle blew the Wycombe players left the field 225 minutes without scoring a goal from open play. 

A revitalised Wanderers emerged for the second half, and Andy Sandell gave the crowd a taste of what was to come, when he fired a free kick into the arms of Shrewsbury keeper Chris Neal minutes after the restart. 

The wait for a goal was not a long one, as Sandell was handed another opportunity on the edge of the box in the 63rd minute, and this time he made no mistake, blasting the effort into the top corner to give Wycombe the lead and break their goal duck. 

The double substitution that would change the game emerged on 74 minutes as Tom Bradshaw and Ainsworth took to the field for Shrewsbury. Within two minutes of the change the scores were level, as Bradshaw rose to power a close range header past Bull. 

With Wycombe wounded the Shrews looked to capitalise, and with just three minutes left, Ainsworth gave them the lead with a driving effort.

Wanderers’ fans would be excused for cursing their luck, but in injury time Lewis Montrose got sight of goal from 25 yards, and scored his first goal for the club; pinching a deserved point. 

Manager Gary Waddock believes the late fight back could be a morale booster. He said: "That goal might be the turning point for us. Moments like that can change the course of a season." 

Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.

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League Two
Wycombe Wanderers

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