Twenty-four seconds from glory
Wanderers lose on penalties in play-off final
(From top) Wycombe fans hold up cards at Wembley; families enjoy the carnival atmosphere; Michael Butcher, Kevin, Peter Butcher and Danielle Durrant outside the stadium; fans were full of belief as the match got under way; fans keep their memorabilia handy. (Clockwise from right) Cian, four, before the match; a fan flies the flag for the Wanderers; a fan meets Wycombe Wanderers’ club mascot Bodger; Fazaan, eight; and fans get clap happy BATTLING Wycombe Wanderers came within seconds of promotion before suffering heartbreak in the playoff final at Wembley.
Daniel Bentley’s own goal gave the Chairboys t the e lead ead in extra-timee tat e after a goalless 90 minutes, leaving the Buckinghamshire side moments away from glory.
But Joe Piggot’s injury time leveller forced penalties on a dramatic Saturday evening under the arch at the home of football.
It was a cruel blblow blow ffor for W Wycombeb as they saw v victory snatched away with just 24 seconds of the m match remaining under the famous arch.
Rookie Chairboys keeper A Alex Lynch gave his side theth advantage in th the shoot-outh t t whenh h he saved from Ben Coker, but it was not to be Wycombe’s day.
Southend shot-stopper Bentley then went from zero to hero by saving from Matt Bloomfield a and Sam Wood to send h his team into League O One.
Bloomfield is known as Mr Wycombe, having spent more than a decade at Adams Park and, along with Wood, was consoled by his Chairboys team-mates in the centre c circle.
Ultimately it meant t that more than 15,000 Wanderers fans wearing the light and dark blue quarters went home disappointed after a memorable day out – their first at Wembley s since 1994.
Matt Bloomfield is distraught after missing his penalty; (inset) Sam Wood also suffered in the shoot-out