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Wycombe Wanderers 3 Rovers 2

12 January 2019

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Rovers' winning streak was halted at Wycombe Wanderers as the home side staged a stunning late comeback.

Goals from John Marquis and Tommy Rowe had put Rovers ahead at Adams Park, but Paris Cowan-Hall and Curtis Thompson struck in the closing stages to claim all three points for the Chairboys.

Grant McCann made one change to the side that had beaten Preston North End 3-1 in the Emirates FA Cup the weekend before with Alfie May dropping to the bench in favour of James Coppinger. There were also some changes on the bench, with new loan signing Tyler Smith among the substitutes and Niall Mason returning from injury.

The Chairboys had not played a match since New Year's Day and Gareth Ainsworth opted to make four changes to the team which suffered that home defeat to Coventry. Skipper Adam El-abd, Joe Jacobson, Matt Bloomfield, and Cowan-Hall all returned to the starting line-up .

That rest appeared to have done the home side good and they opened the match well, without really testing Ian Lawlor in the Rovers goal. While the Rovers defenders had to be alert to a few good runs from Cowan-Hall and Nathan Tyson and Anderson and Blair were both called upon to make important blocks, Lawlor's first save did not come until the 16th minute when Cowan-Hall's cross almost dipped under the crossbar.

At the other end of the pitch, Rovers were growing into the game. Danny Andrew and Herbie Kane both nearly found the runs of John Marquis, with a great opportunity coming after 17 minutes with a counter-attack from Lawlor's stop.

The Irish keeper released the ball quickly and Matty Blair sprinted away from defender Joe Jacobson, a brilliant recovery tackle just as the No.17 was getting his shot away denied the right-back as the ball rolled just wide of a post.

That was the start of a flurry of chances for Rovers, with a crucial intercepting header by Sido Jombati the only thing that stopped Ben Whiteman's sublime cross from finding Marquis unmarked at the back post. Kane's follow-up volley demonstrated excellent technique and was on target, but home keeper Ryan Allsop was well placed to pluck the ball out of the air.

Marquis and Crawford both saw efforts go over the crossbar late in the half while Wycombe's best chance came from a corner which was headed wide by El-Abd.

There were no changes from either side at the break, and the second half got off to a blistering start for Rovers. They fired their first warning shot after 46 minutes when a smart save from Allsop was required to deny Mallik Wilks.

Moments later Coppinger went close and Rovers created an excellent opportunity soon after with Marquis pouncing on a Wycombe error. Sky Bet League One's top scorer unselfishly squared the ball to Wilks on the penalty spot, but the Leeds loanee got the ball caught under his feet and pulled the shot wide.

The sustained pressure was rewarded with a goal on the hour mark, which almost inevitably came from John Marquis. He timed his strike perfectly to turn in a cross from Coppinger and give his side a deserved lead.

Rovers doubled their advantage 10 minutes later through Rowe, who scored with his first touch after coming off the bench. Marquis was involved again, he was tenacious in chasing a ball everyone else had given up on.

He managed to keep the ball in play, drawing Allsop out of position and his squared pass found Rowe who fired the ball into an empty net.

The visitors were good value for their lead, having created the best chances and imposed themselves in midfield, but the home side gave themselves a lifeline after 77 minutes when a driven snapshot from Cowan-Hall beat Lawlor.

That goal came out of nowhere, but gave Gareth Ainsworth's side real belief they could get something out of the game. And they drew level in the final minute of normal time, with Thompson this time the man who tried his luck from distance and pulling off a great effort which nestled in the back of the net.

Rovers pushed to get back into the lead in stoppage time, but Cowan-Hall had other ideas as he claimed his second of the match to cap a remarkable turnaround.

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