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Wycombe draw with Watford to pick up first Championship point

Wycombe Wanderers v Watford – Sky Bet Championship – Adams Park
(Image credit: Adam Davy)

Wycombe secured their first Sky Bet Championship point of the season with a 1-1 draw at home to Watford, but Gareth Ainsworth’s side could easily have claimed all three.

The hosts missed a series of first-half chances, with man-of-the-match Ben Foster saving from Scott Kashket, and talismanic Adebayo Akinfenwa guilty of a glaring miss from close range.

Watford punished last season’s League One play-off winners, with Ismaila Sarr heading home early in the second half, but the Chairboys struck back through a header of their own with Anthony Stewart striking just 15 minutes later.

Wycombe were denied a winner as the clock ticked into stoppage time, with the ball in the net only for referee John Brooks to rule it out for a foul on Foster, as the hosts were made to settle for a point.

The 38-year-old Akinfenwa captained Wycombe on his first start of the season and was tasked with helping break down a Watford side that had conceded just three goals all season.

Foster played in every single match of Watford’s last two campaigns in the Premier League and was called upon several times in the first half to keep out the home side.

He first got down low to keep out Kashket from 10 yards, after Akinfenwa controlled the ball and showed great intuition to find his strike partner in a congested penalty area.

Foster was then alert to keep out Akinfenwa’s curling shot during Wycombe’s best spell of the half, but the hosts kept coming and a penetrating run from Kashket split the Watford defence, before he unselfishly placed the ball into the path of Akinfenwa who spooned the ball over the bar.

Watford had enjoyed almost 65 per cent possession in the first half but the better opportunities had gone the way of Wycombe, and they continued to add to their chances with Foster called upon again to keep out David Wheeler’s volley.

However, Wycombe were stung on the counter for the opening goal. Kiko Femenia had looked lively all night down the right, and his pinpoint cross was met by Sarr, who rose highest to place the ball into the back of the net for his first goal of the season.

But Watford’s lead lasted barely quarter-of-an-hour. The Chairboys’ promotion to the Championship was built on goals from set-pieces, and the equaliser was a carbon copy of Stewart’s play-off final goal just over three months ago, with the 28-year-old nodding home from a Joe Jacobson corner.

Kashket was again kept out by Foster in the late stages and it seemed as though Wycombe were on course for three points when the ball went into the net from a Jacobson corner at the death, but the Adams Park outfit were ultimately made to settle for a share of the spoils.