BIG BAYO’S THE HERO FOR GAZ
WYCOMBE manager Gareth Ainsworth praised his side for avoiding a Stourbridgeshapped banana skin and seeing off the lowest-ranked team in the competition.
This was a thrilling, fullthrottle FA Cup tie and Stourbridge, who play in the Northern Premier League, the seventh tier of English football, more than held their own in front of over 2,000 travelling supporters.
But just when they thought they had bridged 74 league places and earned a replay, up popped Adebayo Akinfenwa – aka ‘The Beast’ – with seven minutes left to send Wycombe into round four for the first time since their run to the semi-finals in 2001.
Ainsworth said: “Stourbridge came with the expectancy of an upset and every single one of their players gave everything they had, and you could see why Gary Hackett has been in charge for 14 years.
“They’ve got a couple of decent players as well who could play higher, so it was a potential banana skin. But the big story is we’ve managed to avoid that and Wycombe is in the fourth round.
“Hopefully the draw will be kind to us because we’ve worked so hard this season with two cups still and we’re doing well in the league.”
Scott Kashket put Wycombe’s first clear chance wide, but Stourbridge were providing plenty of menace, with Jamal Blackman forced to push away a fine effort from Dan Scarr.
The hosts were looking a little rattled and probably pleased to get into half-time goalless, even more so when they scrambled an opener just after the restart.
Stourbridge goalkeeper Matt Gould beat away Luke O’Nien's powerful effort, with Sam Wood turning the ball in from close range after Dominic Gape pulled it back across.
STAR MAN DAN SCARR Stourbridge Stourbridge players thank travelling fans TAKING A BEASTING: Adebayo Akinfenwa celebrates