An unlikely Liam Kelly double helped guide City to a dramatic 2-1 win over Wycombe at Adams Park.
The City skipper found the net twice in the first-half, with City withstanding a late rally from the home side, following a second-half penalty for the Chairboys. A last-minute goal for Wycombe’s Scott Kashket was also ruled offside as City tested their nerve to make it 7 league games unbeaten.
Mark Robins made two changes for the trip to Adams Park with Ben Sheaf replacing Gus Hamer in midfield and Jordan Shipley making his 100th start for the Sky Blues, in place of Max Biamou.
The game began with City the sharper of the two teams, their sharp passing in midfield threatening to play Tyler Walker in behind the Wycombe defence.
However, it was the home side who had the first real sight of goal, backed by 2,000 fans returning to Adams Park, as former Sky Blues defender Jack Grimmer’s low cross eventually found its way to Matt Bloomfield before the Chairboys skipper looped his volley over the bar.
Wycombe continued to threaten Ben Wilson’s goal from set pieces when a corner was met by striker Alex Samuel but was blocked by Leo Ostigard, inside the opening 15 minutes.
City began to break out of a sustained of Wycombe possession through Callum O’Hare. The winger turned his marker inside-out before calmly laying the ball off to Liam Kelly. Despite having only one previous goal for the Sky Blues, his shot from outside the box rolled narrowly past the far post.
Moments later, Kelly fired from outside the box again to break the deadlock on 34 minutes to give City a surprise lead. From a carbon-copy position, the City captain found himself in space, 25 yards from goal, and fired past Wycombe ‘keeper Ryan Allsop with a stinging drive, low into the corner.
In a miraculous sequence of events, Liam Kelly succeeded in doubling City’s advantage with close to the last kick of the first-half. Despite carrying a clear injury towards the end of the 45 minutes, having already handed the armband to Kyle McFadzean, the skipper was determined to see half-time in his 100th league appearance for the club – and was rewarded with a brace.
From a free-kick on the right flank, Gus Hamer delivered a deep, searching cross towards Leo Ostigard. The centre-half headed the ball back across goal to find Kelly just yards from goal, who duly obliged to head the ball home for both his and the Sky Blues’ second of the game.
HALF-TIME: WYCOMBE WANDERERS 0-2 SKY BLUES
City started the second-half brightly, with several long-field balls seeking to find Amadou Bakayoko in behind the Wycombe defence as the home side pushed forwards.
Despite a strong start after the interval, Wycombe responded with a triple substitution and were handed a penalty on 61 minutes after Ben Sheaf was judged to have pushed David Wheeler from behind. Joe Jacobson slotted the ball past Wilson from the spot to halve the Sky Blues’ lead.
Following some heated exchanges after the penalty, the temper of the crowd began to rise as they roused Wycombe to hunt for the equaliser, leaving gaps for City to exploit.
A minute after Jacobson’s goal, Callum O’Hare twisted and turned on the edge of the box before his shot was blocked and found the ‘keeper’s gloves. In response, Fred Onyedinma went clear of City’s defence before blazing his one-on-shot over the bar.
Having already helped create the Sky Blues’ second of the game, Hamer almost restored the side’s two-goal lead with an audacious attempt from the halfway line. Spotting Allsop off his line, his lob struck the post as the ‘keeper scrambled back to his line.
Continually lifted and spurred on by the crowd, Wycombe persisted in coming forward for the final 15 minutes, creating a nervy end to the game for the Sky Blues. Firstly, Onyedinma his attempt from outside the box was deflected over the bar, before Jacobson almost grabbed his second direct from a corner, but for a last-ditch City clearance.
The pressure in the Sky Blues’ half was seemingly relentless as the game neared the final whistle. Though, as the ball rolled wide from a Scott Kashket flick, following a dangerous run and low cross from Garath McCleary on 89 minutes, it seemed the Sky Blues had sealed the victory.
Scott Kashket had the ball in the net in the final minute of the game, but his effort was ruled offside by the assistant referee, encapsulating what was a dramatic win for the Sky Blues.
FULL-TIME: WYCOMBE WANDERERS 1-2 SKY BLUES
Goals: Kelly 34’, Kelly 45+’, Jacobson 61’
Yellows: Ben Wilson, Garath McCleary, Ben Sheaf, Fankaty Dabo, Max Biamou
Sky Blues XI: Ben Wilson (GK), Fankaty Dabo, Leo Ostigard, Kyle McFadzean, Dom Hyam, Sam McCallum, Liam Kelly (C) (Bakayoko, 45’), Ben Sheaf, Jordan Shipley (Hamer, 30’), Callum O’Hare, Tyler Walker (Biamou, 89’)
Unused Subs: Lee Camp (GK), Julien Dacosta, Josh Pask, Ryan Giles, Jamie Allen, Gervane Kastaneer
Wycombe Wanderers XI: Ryan Allsop, Jack Grimmer, Jason McCarthy, Josh Knight, Joe Jacobson, Dominic Gape, Alex Pattison (Kashket, 73’), Matt Bloomfield (C) (Wheeler, 58’), Daryl Horgan (McCleary, 58’), Fred Onyedinma, Alex Samuel (Akinfenwa, 58’)
Unused Subs: David Stockdale (C), Darius Charles, Nick Freeman, Anis Mehmeti, Josh Parker