Exeter City took a hard-earned, battling point from Adams Park by getting a 1-1 draw from Wycombe Wanderers.
The Chairboys took the lead early in the first half, as Josh Scowen’s effort deflected off the back of Steven Craig and into the back of the net.
But Alan Gow
’s goal ten minutes from time earned City a richly deserved point, whilst both sides had opportunities to get all three points in the final exchanges.
City threatened in the opening exchanges and Wheeler almost picked a ball for John O’Flynn
, only for the ball to be intercepted. Alan Gow
also whipped over a dangerous cross after finding space down the left, which needed heading behind with O’Flynn again needed to save.
So it felt particularly cruel to see the Grecians trailing with less than nine minutes played. Scowen stepped inside from the right, shot goalwards, and a heavy deflection off the back of Craig left Artur Krysiak
flat-footed as it nestled inside the net.
City reacted well to the set-back, though the Chairboys were wasteful with efforts through Dean Morgan and Billy Knott – the former clearing the bar and the latter firing one that Krysiak plucked out the air confidently.
And after surviving a scare down in their own box, the Grecians countered quickly as Craig Woodman
released Wheeler with a lovely strafing ball. The winger got to the byline and pulled back low for O’Flynn, who couldn’t apply a finish with a defender in tow.
But for an incredible save by Krysiak, the hosts could have doubled their lead in almost identical fashion to the first. Captain Stuart Lewis pulled the trigger from outside the area and a heavy deflection needed the City stopper to readjust and claw the ball behind for a corner.
It looked as though tempers might have spilled over when Anthony Stewart dumped Liam Sercombe
into the away dugout as the City midfielder was breaking down the flank. The game was brought to a halt for a few minutes while the Exeter man received treatment and while views were exchanged on the sidelines.
Sercombe returned to action with a renewed sense of vigour and was unlucky to not be able to eke out a shot after skipping around a couple of challenges in the inside-right channel.
Half-time: Wycombe Wanderers 1 Exeter City 0
City started the second half in the same lively fashion that they finished the first and could have pegged the scores back to level early on. Gow received a quick free-kick and delivered a cross into the centre – Matt Gill
collected the clearance but ballooned his volley over the bar.
Scowen could count himself a tad fortunate to stay on the field when he came straight through Sercombe to win the ball. Yellow the verdict.
City were doing well to turn around the opposition defence with some balls into dangerous areas. And when Exeter pressed well and stopped Wycombe from clearing their lines time and again, they managed to carve an opening as the ball was fed to Scot Bennett
on the right, who drilled powerfully but into Ingram’s arms.
was introduced for O’Flynn after the hour-mark, with the intention of providing a bigger threat on the direct ball. Almost instantly he combined with Wheeler, and the duo were just denied by a saving tackle on the break.
And Wheeler hit a stinging volley which took the slightest of deflections wide, following a deft Gow header into his path.
Davies’ introduction for Wheeler with 15 minutes remaining allowed Bennett to push on and join the attack. That move almost paid instant dividends when Woodman whipped over a great ball, which was only just dealt with.
City’s long-awaited equaliser finally came with ten minutes remaining, as Gill’s long throw caused havoc in the Wycombe box. Bennett’s header made life difficult and Gow picked up a scramble, turned on a sixpence, and found the bottom corner.
And just as soon Gow almost had the Grecians ahead. His deflected shot from a tight angle saw the ball squirm a matter of inches over the crossbar.
Davies, lively off the bench, worked a nice opening down the left and crossed into the box. Bennett fluffed his lines with a miskick on his left boot as the chance went begging.
The tide was flowing towards the Wycombe goal, but at the other end Krysiak had to save well twice from Matt Bloomfield.
And Max Kretzschmar, off the bench, squandered a chance for the hosts to win it by firing wide from a tight angle.
Full-time: Wycombe Wanderers 1 Exeter City 1
Wycombe Wanderers: Ingram; McCoy, Wood, Doherty, Stewart; Scowen (Kretzschmar 71), Bloomfield, Lewis, Knott; Morgan (McClure 75), Craig (Cowan-Hall 79).
Subs: Horlock, Dunne, Johnson, Morais.
Goal: Craig (9).
Exeter City: Krysiak; Butterfield, Bennett, Coles, Woodman; Wheeler (Davies 75), Sercombe, Gill, Grimes; Gow; O’Flynn (Parkin 66).
Subs: Pym, Baldwin, Doherty, Nichols, Keohane.
Goal: Gow (81).
Referee: J. Linington