Wycombe Wanders 1-1 Aston Villa: Garde still winless after suspect PK

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  • League Two side earns replay
  • Richards scores for Villa
  • Ayew, Veretout sub on late

With 20 minutes to go, the fans at Adams Park launched into a chorus of boos as Aston Villa boss Remi Garde went to his subs bench for answers in the form of Jordan Ayew and Jordan Veretout.

All the Jordans. Surely, this is not how Garde planned his FA Cup match against Wycombe Wanderers would go, as the League Two’s Chairboys held their Premier League foes in a 1-1 draw on Saturday.

[ FA CUP: Exeter City holds youth-heavy Liverpool 2-2 ]

Micah Richards scored a first-half goal into the side netting, but Wycombe won and converted a PK early in the second half to earn a replay at Villa Park. Villa will regret the replay’s congestion of its Premier League survival slate nearly as much as the draw.

The first of the day’s FA Cup third round matches, the penalty was soft and Villa was right to feel toyed with by referee Michael Oliver. Ashley Westwood left his feet to charge into Matt Bloomfield as the Wycombe man headed a ball inside the 18. Bloomfield headed the ball and Westwood’s trailing arm made contact with his opponent.

Penalty given, and Joe Jacobson beat Villa back-up backstop Mark Bunn, who was playing in place of USMNT keeper Brad Guzan.

Villa had the better of the play all match long, showing the speed gap between PL players and three divisions down, and Ayew came close to giving his team a 2-1 lead in 80th minute. Exeter City drawing a team of Liverpool reserves was one thing. Villa had a team that should’ve easily handled its business.

Monitoring the match online, I let our dogs out into the backyard early in the second half. While thinking of how I’d frame this post  — “Can being on the winning end of a match jumpstart Villa?” — I returned to the TV to see that Wycombe had scored.

Suspect penalty or not, Saturday did very little to inspire confidence that Villa can summit their massive mountain to climb in the Premier League.