Wycombe Wanderers gave their automatic promotion hopes a boost as they secured an important win over Harry Kewell’s Crawley at the Checkatrade.com Stadium.
The visitors took the lead midway through the first half as veteran striker Nathan Tyson capitalized on a scramble in the box to direct Joe Jacobson’s cross into the net. However Crawley put themselves back on level terms just 10 minutes later as loanee Karlan Ahearne-Grant connected with Jimmy Smith’s knock down to hit a brilliant effort past Chairboys goalkeeper Scott Brown. The 20-year-old, who is on loan from Charlton Athletic, has been in inspired form since arriving at the West Sussex club, netting seven goals in eight league appearances.
Wycombe restored their lead a few minutes before the half time interval as striker Adebayo Akinfenwa did well to power through the Crawley defense and met Tyson’s cross to head the ball past a helpless Brown. The goal was Akinfenwa’s 18th of the campaign, in what has been a prolific season for the 35-year-old striker.
Gareth Ainsworth’s side opened up a two goal cushion with half an hour left to play as defender Sido Jombati connected with an Akinfenwa cross to net his first goal for the Chairboys. The 30-year-old Portuguese right-back joined Wycombe from Cheltenham Town in 2014.
With seven minutes remaining Crawley ensured the away side would have to endure a nervy end to the game as they halved the deficit through Panutche Camara. The forward from Guinea-Bissau drove into the box to power home a Jordan Robert’s cross.
The Reds however failed to grab an equalizer and ended the game with ten men after defender Mark Connolly was sent off after receiving a second yellow card in injury time.
Following the final whistle Ainsworth told the club’s official website,”This is a huge win.
“People around the country would have be wanting Wycombe to get beaten tonight, especially the teams at the top but to be honest I think 3-1 would have be fairer for us.
Victory sees Wycombe leapfrog Kevin Nolan’s Notts County to move into the League Two automatic promotion places. Meanwhile Crawley stay in 12th position, eight points adrift of the play off positions.