Livescore Thursday, April 25
Newsletter
[gtranslate]

It is 43 years since the Football League Group Cup became part of the English game’s annual calendar.

A cup competition for the third and fourth divisions, it has had countless name changes since then.

This year’s final pits Peterborough United, the winners in 2014, against Wycombe Wanderers.

And whatever the name, it is a great occasion for the fans involved and for the players, a winners’ medal at Wembley is always special.

Peterborough and Wycombe’s record in the competition

It is exactly 10 years since Darren Ferguson – then in the second of his four spells as manager – guided Peterborough to victory over Chesterfield in the EFL Trophy final.

Josh McQuoid and Shaun Brisley put Posh two up at half-time and although Chesterfield pulled one back, Britt Assombalonga’s 78th-minute penalty sealed a 3-1 victory.

It completed a notable double for Ferguson, who had scored in the 2005 final at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, when Wrexham defeated Southend United 2-0.

Although Wycombe have had success at Wembley in play-off finals, this is the first time they have reached the national stadium in the third-fourth tier cup competition.

Their best previous run came in 2016-17 when Gareth Ainsworth’s side reached the semi-finals before losing 2-1 to eventual winners Coventry City despite a second-half goal by Adebayo Akinfenwa.

What is the head-to-head record?

Peterborough and Wycombe have only met once previously in the EFL Trophy, a group game in last season’s competition which the Chairboys won 4-3 on penalties after the game ended in a 1-1 draw.

They have also had the edge in recent league meetings, winning three of the last four, including both League One matches this season.

The game at Peterborough in October was drawn 2-2, a match notable for Ephron Mason-Clark scoring for both teams – his 61st-minute own goal allowing Wycombe to go home with a point.

There was plenty of goal action in the second half in the return game at Adams Park last month after Kane Vincent-Young and Jack Grimmer scored before the interval for Wycombe.

Posh pulled it back to 2-2 before Sam Vokes restored the lead and David Wheeler and Beryly Lubala added stoppage-time goals to give Matt Bloomfield’s side a 5-2 win, their biggest of the season in League One.

What were the clubs’ route to the final?

Wycombe have a 100% record in this season’s competition, having won all three of their group games before victories over the Under-21 sides of Fulham, West Ham and Brighton carried them through to the semi-finals.

They had to travel to League Two side Bradford City in the last four, but despite being outplayed for much of the game, the Chairboys won through 1-0, thanks to substitute Matt Butcher’s stoppage-time strike.

Peterborough also finished top of their group despite losing 1-0 to Colchester United in their last match and after beating Arsenal’s Under-21s 3-0, despatched two more League Two sides, Crawley and AFC Wimbledon.

A trip to Blackpool, winners in 2002 and 2004, in the semi-finals looked a tough task for Posh, but they avenged a 2-1 defeat by the Seasiders just three days earlier with a convincing 3-0 win at Bloomfield Road.

Malik Mothersille put them in front and Harrison Burrows scored twice late on to seal their place at Wembley.

Posh and the Chairboys at Wembley

Apart from the 2014 final, Peterborough have played at the national stadium on two other occasions.

In 1992, they beat Stockport County 2-1 thanks to a double by Ken Charlery, and in 2000 a single goal by Andy Clarke was enough to give them victory over Darlington, both play-off finals.

You have to go all the way back to 1957 for Wycombe’s first Wembley appearance, losing 3-1 to Bishop Auckland in the FA Amateur Cup final.

They won the FA Trophy twice in three seasons before securing a place in the EFL and beating Preston North End 4-2 in front of a 40,000 crowd in 1994 to win promotion to the third tier.

In 2015, they lost 7-6 on penalties following a 1-1 draw with Southend United in the League Two play-off final.

Four years ago, Joe Jacobson’s penalty in a 2-1 win over Oxford saw them reach the Championship for the first time, but in 2022, they could not produce a repeat as they went down 2-0 against Sunderland, with 72,332 in attendance.

Ticket allocation – How many fans will be there?

Both teams were given an initial allocation of 25,000 tickets – Peterborough’s for the East Stand and Wycombe’s for the West.

Analysis

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire sports editor Peter Swan

Darren Ferguson’s youthful Peterborough side have exceeded all expectations so far this season.

Despite several key players leaving London Road last summer, Posh remain in the thick of the League One promotion picture heading into the final weeks of the campaign.

Not only have they been winning matches, but they’ve been winning games in style.

Ferguson’s men have spent much of the season as the league’s top scorers, even though two-time League One golden boot winner Jonson Clarke-Harris has largely been used from the bench over recent months.

BBC Three Counties Radio’s Wycombe commentator Sam Avery

Wycombe have endured a transitional campaign in what’s been a first full season in charge for Matt Bloomfield and their EFL Trophy run has been without doubt the pinnacle.

The Chairboys have had the tendency to raise their game in this competition this season and it was the one beacon of light during a 12-match winless run in the league before the new year.

Wycombe have a good recent record against the Posh, with a real focus this season on not going into games of this nature with an ‘inferiority complex.’

But will it be another attack-minded approach against Peterborough under the Wembley arch?

Read the full article here

Leave A Reply