THE EMIRATES FA CUP FOURTH ROUND
SATURDAY 28th JANUARY, 2017
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 4(0) WYCOMBE WANDERERS 3(2)
Son, 60, 90 (+7)
Janssen (pen), 64
Hayes 23, 36(pen)
Referee:- Roger East
Assistants:- Michael McDonough & Ian Cooper
Fourth official:- Darren Deadman
Spurs (4-2-3-1):- Vorm; Trippier, Carter-Vickers, Wimmer (sub Dembele, 60), Davies; Dier (Capt.), Winks; Sissoko, Onomah (sub Alli, 60), Nkoudou (sub Janssen, 46), Son
Subs not used:- Pau Lopez; Walker, Walker-Peters; Wanyama
Booked:- Winks (un-sporting conduct), Janssen (tackle from behind)
Wycombe (4-2-3-1):- Blackman; Jombati, Stewart, Pierre, Jacobson; Gape, Hayes (Capt.) (sub Thompson, 76); Kashket (sub Saunders, 77), O'Nien, Wood; Akinfenwa (sub Weston, 68)
(Armband to Jacobson)
Subs not used:- Richardson; De Havilland, Harriman; Bean
Booked:- Jombati (foul on Nkoudou), O'Nien (foul on Winks), Gape (foul on Alli), Jacobson (foul on Sissoko), Stewart (foul on Alli)
To Wycombe the glory. To Spurs - a late, late victory.
At half-time, it looked like being Spurs' most ignominious FA Cup defeat. Never before have Spurs been knocked out of what was once "their cup" by a team from the fourth tier, but it looked like happening today. Even after Spurs had clawed themselves back to 2-2, Wanderers' substitute Garry Thompson put the visitors back in the lead to put their travelling army of fans into supreme ecstasy. Only in the 89th minute did substitute Dele Alli equalise, and then in almost the last second of 6 minutes of added time Son Heung-min scored his second goal and a Spurs winner. The very least Gareth Ainsworth's heroic team deserved was a replay back at Adams Park.
Mauricio Pochettino's team selection and the performance of his second string team demonstrated several things. Firstly, like Liverpool earlier in the day (they lost to Wolves), Spurs, or at least their manager, do not value the FA Cup. Secondly, those who represented us today, until the arrival of Dembele and Alli on the hour, were simply not good enough to warrant selection above those who had been rested.
This game was the chance for all those who started to prove their worth against League Two Wycombe. Without exception, to be frank, they failed miserably. Spurs desperately missed a playmaker. Winks tried hard, but he is not that man. Both Nkoudou and Sissoko failed to impress. Nkoudou was replaced at half-time and Sissoko improved as time went on. Despite his two goals (and I believe both were deflected into the net), Son failed repeatedly to hit the target when given the opportunity.
At the back, 16 1/2 stone striker Adebayo Akinfenwa proved too much of a handful for both Cameron Carter-Vickers and Kevin Wimmer, at least until Akinfenwa finally flaked out and had to be replaced, as was inevitable. Ben Davies did not look like an international defender, and Kieran Trippier did not make the sort of ground down the right as does Kyle Walker.
Wycombe threatened right from the start, after Spurs had kicked off and decided to play towards the Paxton Stand. Jombati crossed from the right; Akinfenwa won the header and skipper Paul Hayes actually headed the ball onto the top of the bar, with Vorm challenging but not winning the ball. The alarm bells had been rung early, and it was Wycombe who had the early chances. Vorm did hold an Akinfenwa header after a free kick, but all Spurs could claim was a corner won by Nkoudou.
After 8 minutes, Wycombe had another chance after a cross from the right. Carter-Vickers did beat Akinfenwa to this header, but in came a shot from the left of the area by O'Nien, which passed over the bar. Wycombe broke forward after a failed Spurs free kick and Wood hit a shot across goal wide of Vorm's left post.
Dier managed to thread a ball from the right for Son, but Wycombe's goalie Jamal Blackman was there first. Son had a chance after Blackman failed to punch clear, but Son put his shot wide across the goal from right to left.
Vorm held a header by Aaron Pierre after a Wycombe free kick from the right. The best Spurs could do was break back and win a corner.
Nkoudou had a chance when he operated from the right side after switching with Sissoko. Georges-Kevin hit his left foot shot outside Blackman's right post. After that Wycombe broke forward and Hayes hit a long shot which won him a corner after a possible fingertip touch by Vorm. After a Wycombe corner from the right, Spurs only half-cleared the ball to the feet of Hayes, who fired home from the far side of the box with a left foot shot, in front of those travelling fans.
Josh Onomah was making a rare start, and didn't have the best of days, but he did force Blackman to make a save at the second attempt after a right footed shot was deflected. Blackman also failed to hold an Nkoudou cross and there were half-chances for both Son and Sissoko, which were cleared. Subsequently, Sissoko got the ball to Son in the right, but Blackman saved from Son.
Son won a corner, taken by Davies, which led to a chance for Trippier at the back of the box, but this was hit well over the target. Carter-Vickers got forward and hit a good powerful pass to Son, who failed yet again. Cameron-Vickers' worst nightmare cane at the other end when referee Roger East pointed to the spot when he tried to take the ball off Wood. Hayes stepped up to fire home confidently to the right of Vorm.
Spurs desperately need a goal before the break, but it didn't come. Dier hit a ball to Trippier, who crossed hard and low, but in front of Sissoko.
Spurs also desperately needed to score early in the second half, but that didn't happen either. Janssen replaced Nkoudou and Son moved to the left. It was Son who was presented with another opportunity, this time by Sissoko, but he fired well over. Janssen went down under a challenge from Pierre, but the referee was having none of that. Wimmer fed Son but the goalkeeper pushed his shot out for a corner.
Harry Winks and O'Nien were booked in a midfield contretemps. Trippier hit a good ball down the line for Sissoko, who crossed but in front of Janssen. Onomah had a shot blocked after Winks's pass.
At last Spurs did equalise. It came after a corner and the ball reached Son on the left side of the area. His shot was surely deflected into the net, but at least Spurs were back in the game. Both Mousa Dembele and Dele Alli were thrown into the mix immediately after the goal, but Wycombe attacked and Vorm had to save low from Jombati's shot.
Spurs got back on level terms after Janssen won a penalty when Pierre fouled. Mr East pointed unerringly to the spot and Janssen unerringly fired home his fourth Spurs goal - all of which have been from the spot.
So now all Spurs had to do was assert their alleged superiority, but it didn't work out that way. Sam Wood had a chance for the visitors. Hayes moved up front when Akinfenwa was replaced by Weston. Spurs had to play with ten men for the last 20 minutes of the game after Kieran Trippier had to give up to what looked like a thigh or hip injury. Sissoko covered that side, but also attacked the right flank. To their credit, Spurs did not play like a 10-man team.
Spurs were dominating possession and Wycombe started to try and stop them by fair and foul means including shirt-tugging. Both Gape and Stewart went into the referee's book for fouls on Dele Alli in the latter stages. Jacobson saw yellow for stopping Sissoko's advance. Sub Thompson had already had one header go wide from a Jacobson cross and in the 84th minute from Weston's cross from the left, the 36 year old forward headed powerfully home. It looked as if we would not be hampered by a midweek trip to Adams Park after all.
Son passed inside to Dele from the left, and Dele teed up Harry Winks, whose left foot shot was not far wide. Dele was the hero with one minute of normal time remaining. Mousa Dembele had control of the ball in the middle. He had spotted he couldn't pass to Janssen who was in an offside position, but he did pass cleverly to Alli, who just as cleverly, hoodwinked his opponent and made plenty of space to shoot into the open side of Blackman's goal.
6 minutes of added time were indicated, and that midweek replay was on the cards again. Not ma ny were leaving, but those who did missed the most dramatic of endings. With two of those 6 minutes gone, Sissoko crossed and Janssen's close range header was tipped over. The referee must have found a few extra seconds beyond the 6 minutes, because the official time for his winner was 90 (+7). Son had the ball on the left and hit a one-two with Janssen before hitting a shot that took a massive deflection (and may go down as an own goal) into the net to send the visiting team and their fans into despair. Wycombe players lay prone on the ground at the realisation of defeat.
Both sets of fans applauded the visiting team at the end of the game, and that is the very least their quite heroic performance deserved. It was certainly a day for the "Chairboys" to remember, but it is Spurs who go into the fifth round draw, which will incude non-league Lincoln, who beat Brighton today to continue their marvellous run. There is magic in the cup, but I just wish our team could apply themselves more fully to it!
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