Chair­boys give it their all but are beaten at death

The Football League Paper - - FA CUP FOURTH ROUND - By Sean Davies

ONCE Gareth Ainsworth had caught his breath, the Wy­combe Wanderers man­ager de­clared him­self im­mensely proud of his men that pushed eight-time FA Cup win­ners Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur all the way at White Hart Lane.

Hav­ing led 2-0 at the in­ter­val, the Chair­boys were pegged back by the Premier League ti­tle-chal­lengers, only for sub­sti­tute Garry Thompson to head Wy­combe back in front on 83 min­utes.

Spurs lev­elled a pul­sat­ing cup tie through Dele Alli be­fore He­ung-Min Son broke the vis­i­tors’ hearts when he pounced in the sev­enth minute of in­jury time.

Ainsworth’s ini­tial emo­tion was that of de­fla­tion, but he was keen to dwell on the pos­i­tives as his in-form side stood toe-to-toe with mighty Spurs.

“The re­sult is frus­trat­ing, there were a cou­ple of in­ci­dents in the game which didn’t go our way,” said Ainsworth.

“It was a very soft penalty, the win­ning goal seems to have come in over­time of over­time, but I don’t want to go neg­a­tive, I want to be pos­i­tive and say as a man­ager you can’t ask for any­thing more from your play­ers.

“They have done the whole town proud, me proud, and them­selves proud.

“I was gut­ted at the end, but the over­rid­ing emo­tion now is how proud we are of what we have achieved and how far we have come as a club.”

The Chair­boys, un­beaten in League Two since Oc­to­ber, al­most took the lead in the first minute when Paul Hayes struck the cross­bar, set­ting the tone for the af­ter­noon to come.

Aaron Pierre stopped Ge­orgeKevin Nk­oudou open­ing the scor­ing be­fore Ade­bayo Ak­in­fenwa and Sam Wood both fluffed half-chances and Son missed an al­most open goal.

But Wy­combe were play­ing with con­fi­dence and Hayes opened the scor­ing on 23 min­utes with a su­perb left-footed vol­ley.

A cor­ner was poorly headed away by Josh Onomah and Hayes made no mis­take find­ing the net, adding White Hart Lane to his hit list af­ter scor­ing at Stam­ford Bridge and the Eti­had Sta­dium in his ca­reer.

Hayes made it two as he dis­patched a spot-kick past Vorm with ease on 36 min­utes af­ter Wood was fouled by Cameron Carter-Vick­ers.

Spurs were stunned but did not sub­mit and started the sec­ond half de­ter­mined to find a way back into the tie.

Son did just that in the 59th minute as his de­flected ef­fort beat Ja­mal Black­man at his near post and half-time sub­sti­tute Vin­cent Janssen made it 2-2, earn­ing and then con­vert­ing a penalty af­ter draw­ing a foul from Aaron Pierre.

Kieran Trip­per was forced off through in­jury with 15 min­utes to play, leav­ing Tot­ten­ham a man down hav­ing used their full com­ple­ment of sub­sti­tutes. And 36-year-old striker Thompson, on for Hayes, took ad­van­tage, scor­ing a trade­mark header.

Alli made it 3-3 as he latched onto Mousa Dem­bele’s header be­fore Son won the game in the clos­ing sec­onds af­ter play­ing a one-two with Janssen.

“In the first half they were bet­ter than us,” con­ceded Spurs man­ager Mauricio Pochettino. “We are a team in­volved in dif­fer­ent com­pe­ti­tions, so we look to play other play­ers in this kind of game, but full credit must go to Wy­combe.

“From day one ev­ery­one told me the FA Cup was mag­i­cal but now I re­alise this is the most spe­cial com­pe­ti­tion in the world be­cause in Italy, France or Spain, you can­not repli­cate the pas­sion on the pitch of a side like Wy­combe with play­ers com­ing from League Two, who be­lieve they can beat us here.

“The at­mos­phere and feel­ing the FA Cup cre­ates is fan­tas­tic and is the beauty of the FA Cup.”

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

EC­STASY TO AGONY: Garry Thompson cel­e­brates scor­ing Wy­combe’s third goal. In­set: The Chair­boys are de­jected at full-time

HEART­BREAKER: Tot­ten­ham’s He­ung-Min Son scores the win­ner

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