Goals from Randell Williams and Paris Cowan-Hall weren’t enough to extend Wycombe Wanderers’ unbeaten run as they succumbed to a third league defeat of the season against Charlton. Once again the Chairboys didn’t make the most of long periods of dominance and the Addicks punished them with two goals in a spell of fifteen minutes on top.
Wanderers made one change to the eleven that drew with Luton last week, as Curtis Thompson replaced Matt Bloomfield, who had to sit the game out after going off with a head injury against the Hatters. Adebayo Akinfenwa still kept his place despite Wycombe having played considerably better this season with the Beast coming off the bench and Craig Mackail-Smith being utilised effectively as the central striker. The back four all kept their place as did Randell Williams in the front three despite various other striking options including Scott Kashket and Fred Onyedinma. Nick Freeman and Alex Samuel weren’t even good enough for a place on the bench according to Ainsworth.
Charlton made three changes from their 2-1 win at Southend with Jed Steer, Naby Sarr and Joe Aribo coming in for Dillon Phillips, Krystian Bielik and Josh Cullen. The West Ham loanee was away on international duty with Republic of Ireland U21s, as was Jamie Ward with the Northern Ireland men’s side. Bielik missed out with a calf injury.
The Chairboys started on the front foot and they made it pay almost immediately when Randell Williams cut inside and let fly with a powerful shot into the bottom corner from 20 yards out for his second league goal for Wycombe and a 1-0 lead. The Watford loanee had the next chance when he headed straight at Jed Steer from a Joe Jacobson cross, before Bryn Morris had his shot blocked when set up by Curtis Thompson. The half-hour mark passed without Charlton having any attempts on goal barring a sliced effort from Lewis Page. However, the Addicks would undeservedly get back on level terms when Page crossed dangerously and Sido Jombati could only find the back of his own net. The goal sparked the home side into life and Karlan Grant found himself in on goal but Ryan Allsop did well to stop the shot and clear. Lyle Taylor almost scored one of the goals of the season just before the break but his overhead kick not dissimilar from Gareth Bale’s in the Champions League final just whistled over the bar.
HALF-TIME: Charlton Athletic 1-1 Wycombe Wanderers
The first real opportunity of the second period came on 58 minutes as Fred Onyedinma’s first involvement in the game was to head towards goal from a Jacobson corner, only for it to be cleared off the line. Another fairly clear chance then fell for Bryn Morris on the edge of the box after a pull-back from Williams, but the Shrewsbury loanee completely miscued his effort after the 1058-strong away end held its breath. Charlton started to come back into the game as it went into the final quarter, and a long kick from Steer found Lyle Taylor who ended up on the floor after a collision with Ryan Allsop when trying to lob it over him. The former Wimbledon man made amends though almost immediately when a free-kick to the back post was played back across goal for Taylor to bundle home. The game was all but over ten minutes later when another cross into the box wasn’t cleared well enough by Wanderers and Naby Sarr stabbed in. Paris Cowan-Hall’s introduction sparked some life back into the Chairboys as he had a couple of efforts narrowly miss. The substitute would get one back though as his near-post header found the net after a corner.
FULL-TIME: Charlton Athletic 3-2 Wycombe Wanderers
The five added minutes passed without incident, meaning that Wycombe dropped to 18th in the league, a position which is perhaps unfair given their performances so far. This will become 19th whatever the result in Sunday’s game between Oxford and Coventry, and it is the U’s who the Chairboys are up against next weekend as they look to win for just the second time in League One since promotion last season.