WANDERERS WIN AMAZING CUP CLASH
By planetfootball.com staff
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Lawrie Sanchez returned to his former club and saw his side pull off one of the most remarkable results on a night of high drama, which included a red card and a missed penalty in injury time to hold The Dons 1-1 after 90 minutes.
It took 20 penalties to finally separate these two battlers in a dramatic shoot-out. But when Wimbledon's Mark Williams sent his spot-kick over the bar, it was the signal for Wycombe to celebrate.
Wycombe came back from an early goal down, were reduced to 10 men after 70 minutes, and survived a missed penalty in injury time, before somehow finally winning on penalties.
Gareth Ainsworth set the Dons on their way with a breakaway goal after 11 minutes. But, just as they came back on Saturday, Wycombe drew level through Dave Carroll after 31 minutes.
The men from Adams Park lost Michael Simpson after 69 minutes for a second bookable offence and then looked to be heading out of the competition when Paul McCarthy conceded a penalty for handball, three minutes into stoppage time.
But Martin Taylor saved Neal Ardley's spot-kick to send the tie into extra time. Wycombe's reprieve lasted just 34 seconds, however, as substitute Wayne Gray drove home the winning goal to seal a night of high drama.
Ainsworth put Wimbledon in control with a breakaway goal after just 11 minutes.
Wycombe had forced the game's first corner but were naively caught on the counter-attack.
Jason Euell cleared the ball to the halfway line where Ainsworth picked it up before racing 40 yards and then slotting it past helpless goalkeeper Taylor.
The visitors were boosted by the fact that more than half the crowd of 9,494 were Wycombe fans, and they suddenly turned the tie on its head again when Carroll equalised after 31 minutes.
Dannie Bulman - one of two changes to Saturday's team - made a good run and unleashed a fierce shot from the edge of the box. The ball was charged down by Mark Williams and fell nicely for Andy Rammell who saw his effort blocked by Davis.
However, Davis could not hold Rammell's powerful drive and Carroll reacted first by racing to the six yard line to slide home the loose ball, much to the delight of those travelling fans.
Wycombe suffered a double injury blow in the space of four minutes. First, Rammell hobbled off injured after 38 minutes to be replaced by Andrew Baird.
But Baird lasted just four minutes as he was clattered by Williams and he had to be carried off on a stretcher, and was replaced by Sam Parkin.
There had been little for either goalkeeper to do as the match was played out mainly in the middle third.
But the game exploded in controversial fashion after 69 minutes with a red card for Michael Simpson to reduce Wycombe to 10 men.
After being booked for a foul on Ainsworth in the 54th minute, he halted another Ainsworth run down the right with a shoulder barge, and referee Eddie Wolstenholme produced a second yellow card and the inevitable red.
It was certainly a foul, but another card looked harsh, and the Dons had 20 minutes in which to make the extra man count. It had not been a particularly nasty game even though there were five players cautioned from Wycombe and one from Wimbledon.
It was backs-to-the-wall stuff for the team managed by former Dons hero Lawrie Sanchez, but they held out bravely as the game headed towards extra time.
But then there was incredible drama three minutes into injury time when McCarthy used his arm to clear a left wing cross from substitute Marcus Gayle, and referee Wolstenholme awarded Wimbledon a penalty.
Neal Ardley drove the ball to the left, but Taylor went the right way and pulled off a great save to send the tie into extra time.
Sadly for Wycombe, their reprieve lasted just 34 seconds as Gray spun on a low cross from the right and drove home the winner.
It would have been impossible to make up a better script than this, as McCarthy popped up in the box in the final minute and drove home the most dramatic of equalisers to send the tie into a penalty shoot-out.
Both skippers - Kenny Cunningham and Keith Ryan - missed their penalties to take it into sudden death.
With Wycombe taking first, Jamie Bates and Peter Hawkins both had their kicks saved.
But, with the score at 8-7, Mark Williams sent his penalty over the bar to give Wycombe a sensational victory after 20 spot-kicks.