Fleetwood Town suffered a cruel end in a well-contested Sky Bet League One clash against Wycombe Wanderers as they narrowly lost 1-0 at Adams Park on Tuesday evening.
Both sides created good chances throughout the game, with Dan Butterworth and Cian Hayes being a bright spark in Town’s attacking line, but neither were able to find that finishing touch until Jason McCarthy found the back of the net with seconds to go.
It was Fleetwood who had the first chance of the game just three minutes in as Dan Butterworth started his driving run from deep in our own half, taking on a few men on his way before forcing David Stockdale into a diving save.
The early pressure carried on as Carl Johnston played a one-two with Dylan Boyle before lofting the ball long in search of Butterworth up top, but Ryan Tafazolli did enough to ease off the forward and clear.
Another chance soon followed as Boyle and Cian Hayes worked well to get the ball to Paddy Lane on the right-wing. He then cut inside full-back Joe Jacobson and struck the ball towards the top-left corner, but Stockdale just about kept it out.
12 minutes in, Butterworth was on the attack again as he pushed the ball onto his left foot and tried to aim his effort towards the bottom corner on the far side, but the ball went the wrong side of the post.
Wycombe started to come into the game four minutes later as the ball was played into the middle where Sam Vokes showed his strength over Boyle and fired a half-volley towards Kieran O’Hara’s goal, but it went well over. Then Anis Mehmeti had a chance from range which went high and wide.
It was end-to-end at this point as Lewis Wing tried to lob O’Hara from the edge of the box, after having a yard free, but it landed on the roof of the goal. Almost straight after, Butterworth had the ball down the other end and shot just over.
It was brilliant defending from Johnston in the 25th minute as he managed to get in the way of Mehmeti’s strike from six yards before calmly taking the second ball down for the goalkeeper to collect.
Just before the half-hour mark, O’Hara was called into action once again as he had to be quick on his feet to deny Garath McCleary, who was free one-on-one, as he saved his low effort. Daryl Horgan had a chance just after, which flew over the crossbar from 18-yards.
It was positive play from Fleetwood ahead of the half-time break as Cian Hayes showed his pace as he burst past McCleary on the left before making the goalkeeper put it out for a corner. That set-piece led to another which, in turn, saw Harrison Biggins rifle a volley over Stockdale’s bar.
Butterworth was at the heart of the attack once again a couple of minutes later as he drove down the right before finding Biggins on the edge of the area, whose shot had to be blocked. Controversy struck seconds later as the midfielder was seemingly bundled to the ground, but the referee waved play on.
The hosts had a couple of chances just before the whistle as Tafazolli headed over from six yards and Mehmeti produced a brilliant touch before firing across the face of goal, with Vokes unable to get a touch.
A quick start to the second half was on the cards as Biggins drove forwards into some space 25-yards out and decided to try his luck, but the effort was blocked. Down the other end, Mehmeti delivered a cross, which deflects out to the edge of the box with Wing hitting it just off target.
Young winger Hayes started a counter attack after a brilliant first touch from O’Hara’s kick to take it between two players. He picked out Paddy Lane on the left, who passed the ball to Butterworth, whose strike needed to be saved by Stockdale.
The game started to be a bit more cagey towards the end as both sides looked to find a way through before the final whistle. Mehmeti fired over from the edge of the Town area – not troubling O’Hara – with Barry Baggley showing his class at both ends by stalling a quick attack.
With eight minutes to go, the hosts came close as Jacobson picked out Tafazolli from a free-kick, but his side-footed effort went wide of the post. Just after, substitute Brandon Hanlan had the last chance of the game as he took the ball around O'Hara, but shot over his bar.
The hosts nicked a winner with seconds to go as O'Hara is seemingly fouled, but play carried on as McCarthy struck home.
Town XI: O'Hara (GK), Jules, Butterworth (J.Garner 63’), C.Johnson, Biggins (C), Baggley, Lane, Nsiala, Boyle, Johnston (Thiam 90+3'), Hayes.
Unused subs: Cairns (GK), Donaghy (GK), G.Garner, Bird.
Wycombe XI: Stockdale (GK), Jacobson (C), Stewart, Tafazolli, Vokes, Wing (Young 71’), McCleary, Horgan (Hanlan 67’), Mehmeti (Akinfenwa 78’), McCarthy, Scowen.
Unused subs: Dickinson (GK), Grimmer, Wheeler, Forino.