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Paddy Madden sees red as Wycombe thrash Fleetwood in play-off semis

Joey Barton’s side have a mountain to climb following 4-1 home defeat.

One foot in the final: Alex Samuel leads the Wycombe celebrations.
One foot in the final: Alex Samuel leads the Wycombe celebrations.

Fleetwood Town 1-4 Wycombe Wanderers

PADDY MADDEN WAS sent off for dissent as Wycombe took control of their League One play-off semi-final with a thumping 4-1 victory over Fleetwood Town.

Wycombe, who finished the truncated campaign in third place on points per game, were terrific value for their victory as they abruptly ended the hosts’ 12-match unbeaten run.

Fleetwood now have a huge mountain to climb if they are to have any chance of reaching the Wembley final in Monday’s second leg at Adams Park.

Their disastrous evening was complete six minutes from time when Madden, the club’s leading scorer this season, was booked for diving in the Wycombe box and then sent off after being carded again for dissent.

And the hosts could be in further trouble after a red flare was thrown on to the pitch by someone inside the stadium in the 88th minute despite the game being played in front of no spectators.

There was a breathtaking start to the game with three goals scored in the opening seven minutes. Wycombe led after after only 75 seconds when a loose ball fell invitingly for Nnamdi Ofoborh, and he smashed home left-footed, low and sweet from 25 yards.

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The hosts swiftly levelled from the spot when Ched Evans converted after Lewis Gibson was clumsily bundled over by Wycombe goalkeeper Ryan Allsop.

It was Fleetwood goalkeeper Alex Cairns who then handed Wycombe the lead in the seventh minute when he could only parry Joe Jacobson’s inswinging corner into his own net.

The drama returned just past the half-hour mark when the hosts were reduced to 10 men. Lewie Coyle was shown a straight red card following a high tackle on Jacobson in the hosts’ box, but then Cairns redeemed himself by superbly saving Jacobson’s penalty.

Wycombe then got themselves a third goal deep into first-half stoppage-time. After Fred Onyedinma made room for himself in the box, his strike was blocked, only for David Wheeler to pounce on the loose ball and he tucked home smartly from 10 yards.

It had been a frantic opening 45 minutes, before another goalkeeping howler from Cairns gifted Wycombe a fourth goal in the 57th minute. The Fleetwood goalkeeper spilled Allsop’s hopeful ball forward as he went up with Harry Souttar, with the ball then falling invitingly for Alex Samuel, who lashed home comfortably from 15 yards.

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