Aug 11 2012 By Jon Batham
Watford 1-0 Wycombe AET (0-0 after 90 mins)
CHRIS Iwelumo broke Wycombe hearts on a day when a serious looking injury to Marvin McCoy hung over their League Cup exit.
The giant Hornets’ striker came off the bench in extra-time to finally pierce the excellent visitors’ rear-guard, an effort all the more worthy given the early loss of McCoy (pictured) to an ankle injury which saw him lie motionless on the pitch for several minutes.
Wycombe should have been behind inside three minutes when Matej Vydra’s cross from the left found Jonathan Hogg closing in but he headed off target.
However, scare survived the Chairboys came close themselves as play switched immediately to the other end, where Manuel Almunia could only parry a shot from the edge and Richard Logan’s sweetly struck follow-up effort deflected off the Spanish keeper and drifted agonizingly wide.
Wycombe settled well, but were disrupted on 18 minutes when McCoy went down after clearing the ball and received lengthy treatment before leaving the action on a stretcher. Leon Johnson came on at centre-back with Anthony Stewart moving to right-back in the reshuffle.
They coped well with the adjustment as the first half ended goalless.
The hosts started strongly after the restart and it needed a great block from Johnson to deny Joe Garner, before Yeates curled in a shot from the left which just cleared the far post with Nikki Bull scrambling.
But on 73 minutes it was the visitors who were presented with a golden chance.
Stuart Lewis played the ball over the top of a static Hornet’s defence and with no flag for offside Logan sprinted clear, but a poor touch saw him lash the ball wide with only Almunia to beat.
Almen Abdi flashed a header wide for the hosts with 11 minutes to play, while Lewis went close with a 25-yard thumper at the other end as both sides looked for the one goal which would surely win the game.
Johnson headed over his own crossbar from Watford substitute Craig Forsyth’s cross and former Hornet Matt Spring forced Almunia to tip over a looping effort as the clock ticked down.
Yeates’ free-kick deflected wide in stoppage-time with Bull kicking clear the resulting corner to send us into extra-time.
Iwelumo was thrown into the action but scuffed wide late in a first period where Gary Waddock threw on fresh legs as Grant Basey and Lee Angol replaced the excellent Charles Dunne and midfield man Matt Bloomfield.
Five minutes into the second period Watford struck the decisive blow as Vydra, now on the right, escaped his marker and when the cross eluded Bull, Iwelumo stabbed the ball into an empty net.
Wycombe’s last hope vanished when appeals for a penalty for handball were waved away and they must turn their attention to the start of the league campaign at York next Saturday.