Relegated Blues snatch defeat from jaws of victory
Wycombe Wanderers 3 Notts County 4
It was a game they had to win, but despite taking the lead three times and staying in front until the 89th minute, Wycombe were incapable of holding on and conceded two late goals to forfeit their league one status.
Matt Bloomfield gave the Blues a dream start when he cut in from the right and rifled home the opener with only a minute on the clock.
The Adams Park crowd erupted, but their joy was short-lived as County hit back two minutes later when Kieron Freeman ran at the Wycombe defence, Dele Adebola had a shot blocked and Daniel Bogdanovic slotted the ball home to level the score.
The Blues were back in front after 16 minutes when Stuart Beavon was upended in the box and Grant Basey stepped up to convert the penalty kick.
With five minutes of the first half remaining, the Blues were pegged back again when Alan Judge rifled an angled shot past Nikki Bull from distance.
Apart from the goals, Strevens, Beavon and Bloomfield were all thwarted by County keeper Stuart Nelson, while at the other end Marvin McCoy headed the ball off the line to deny Damion Stewart.
County looked fired-up at the start of the second half and Adebola's downward header forced Bull into a fine goalline save.
Bull made further saves from Judge and Sheehan before Beavon scored against the run of play after 68 minutes to restore Wycombe's lead.
Grant and Bloomfield combined to play the ball into Beavon's path and the little striker made light of a tight angle and curled the ball home with aplomb.
County substitute Lee Hughes had a goal disallowed for offside five minutes later, and Bull was back in action shortly afterwards to keep out a fierce drive from Jeff Hughes.
With other results going their way, things were looking up for the Blues, but as full time approached a voice in the crowd could be heard saying: "they'll screw it up, they always screw it up," and he was right.
In the 89th minute Adebola headed home the equaliser and the final nail was hammered into Wycombe's coffin just moments later when Judge lashed home the winner from 20 yards.
As Nikki Bull picked the ball out of the back of the net for the 99th time this season, he knew, we knew, and everyone else knew, it was finally all over.
For manager Gary Waddock it's a second relegation in just under two years. In May 2010 his side went down with 45 points. This time they'll finish with only 43 unless they pull off an unlikely upset at Hillsborough next week.
With uncertainty off the field and relegation on it, this has been a truly dismal season for the Chairboys.
Line up & ratings
Bull (6), McCoy (6), Doherty (6), Johnson (6), Basey (6), Bloomfield (8), Eastmond (8), Lewis (8), Strevens (n/a) (Ainsworth 27 (5)), Grant (6) (Dunne 84 (n/a)), Beavon (8)
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