The FA Cup
WycombeWycombe Wanderers1Aston VillaAston Villa1

Wycombe Wanderers 1-1 Aston Villa

By Phil McNultyChief football writer at Adams Park

Aston Villa's winless run extended to 16 games as the Premier League's bottom club were held to a draw by League Two Wycombe Wanderers in the FA Cup third round.

Remi Garde looks certain to preside over Villa's relegation to the Championship - and both the manager and his players felt the fury of many travelling supporters at the final whistle, with captain Micah Richards involved in heated exchanges with fans at the end.

Richards gave Villa the lead after 22 minutes with a low right-foot shot but Wycombe, sixth in League Two and FA Cup semi-finalists in 2001, were level five minutes after half-time through Joe Jacobson's penalty.

Villa were furious referee Michael Oliver punished Ashley Westwood for his clash with Matt Bloomfield - and their frustration increased when Rudy Gestede's deflected late shot bounced off the bar.

Reaction to Saturday's FA Cup third-round games

Garde's wait goes on

Remi Garde
Garde's side are seven points adrift at the bottom of the Premier League and 11 points from safety

Garde avoided the humiliation of defeat by League Two opposition - but he is still without a win 10 games after succeeding Tim Sherwood.

There will be an element of relief but also frustration that a decent first-half display did not bring more reward than Richards' goal.

It gave Wycombe hope and they cashed in with a contentious penalty from Jacobson - although the flailing arm of Westwood was asking for trouble.

Villa's failure to win simply confirms the deeper malaise at Villa Park, and the fact Garde has inherited a desperately poor squad that does not look like it has what it takes to mount the sort of miracle recovery they will need to stay in the Premier League.

Garde must now try to work the markets in January to put together an unlikely escape plan, but the fact not too many would have regarded a Wycombe win as a huge shock tells you just how dismal this Villa squad is.

Aston Villa

Wycombe enter FA Cup spirit

This was a day that had all the ingredients that make up a classic FA Cup cocktail - a Premier League side in crisis, a club 54 places below them on the ladder and a biblical storm hitting the ground before kick-off just to make conditions even more hazardous.

The League Two side were perfect hosts as the media descended on Buckinghamshire - in search of a shock, it must be admitted - as Adams Park was packed to its 9,000 capacity - one man interrupting walking his dog for a full 20 minutes during the first half to take in the action on a hill high behind one end of the ground.

As Wycombe's fans made their way around the steep hills and into the stadium, there was an anticipation that made this day the epitome of what still makes the FA Cup special.

The home side did not get the win they would have craved but they still earned a lucrative replay with a spirited second-half display and did themselves proud on and off the field.

Gareth Ainsworth celebrates
Gareth Ainsworth finished his playing career at Wycombe and became their manager in 2012

Villa fans' mixed emotions

The 2,500 Villa fans who made the short journey down the M40 seem resigned to relegation this season as they are cut off at the bottom of the Premier League - but they retain some dark humour.

There was anger among their number as they sang "We want our Villa back" moments into the game, understandable with owner Randy Lerner having failed to sell the club and presided over a decline that looks certain to end in the Championship.

Chants of "You don't know what you're doing" came when Garde put Jordan Veretout on for Carles Gil after 71 minutes.

And there was hostility at the final whistle when fans sang "You're not fit to wear the shirt" in the direction of Villa's players as they trooped off.

There was also the sight of captain and goalscorer Richards in heated debate with disappointed fans at the final whistle. Villa is a club in freefall.

But there was humour, too, to sustain Villa's followers.

When a group of flag-bearing children walked behind the goal where Villa's supporters were gathered, they were greeted by chants of "Sign them up, sign them up" before breaking into an chorus of "We're down and we know we are".

Richards lifted the spirits with a first-half strike and, amid the celebrations, they sang "We've scored a goal" before taunting Wycombe fans for supporting a team actually losing to Villa.

In their defence, Villa's fans gave tremendous support to a team that is so clearly short of any serious quality, although a few expressed their hostility at the failure to beat lowly Wycombe when the final whistle sounded.

It appears they have decided it is better to laugh than cry at their plight.

Wycombe v Aston Villa
Aston Villa dominated possession at Adams Park but were unable to build on Micah Richards' opening goal

Man of the match - Aaron Pierre (Wycombe)

Aaron Pierre and Gareth Ainsworth
Aaron Pierre made a game high 13 clearances for Wycombe against Aston Villa

Manager reaction

Wycombe manager Gareth Ainsworth: "There's a couple of things that this draw will do.

"I look at the finances of this club, I'm well clued-up on that as everyone knows. I'm involved in everything, right to the selling of the kiosks at the club shop.

"I know the finances to the penny, so I know what this means for us and how much this will go to paying our debt off.

"But I know what it's going to mean to some of my players too, boys who weren't told they were good enough at times, free transfers and this group of never-say-die Wycombe Wanderers players."

Aston Villa boss Remi Garde: "I understand that the fans could be angry. We have to accept that, as a player, a manager, everybody at the club has to accept that criticism, because we are not winning - that's football.

"The situation with Aston Villa is very difficult and makes some silly things happen sometimes.

"Everybody has to keep calm, face their responsibilities, look in the mirror and ask themselves what they can do to get out of this difficult situation."



Formation 4-4-2

  • 21Lynch
  • 22McCarthy
  • 5Stewart
  • 6Pierre
  • 3Jacobson
  • 19HarrimanBooked at 90mins
  • 10BloomfieldSubstituted forMcGinnat 82'minutes
  • 20O'Nien
  • 11Wood
  • 7Thompson
  • 16HollowayBooked at 52minsSubstituted forUgwuat 70'minutes


  • 2Jombati
  • 4McGinn
  • 13Richardson
  • 17Kretzschmar
  • 18Rowe
  • 23Ugwu
  • 25Udumaga

Aston Villa

Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 31Bunn
  • 4RichardsSubstituted forLydenat 83'minutes
  • 5Okore
  • 6Clark
  • 18Richardson
  • 7Bacuna
  • 8Gueye
  • 15WestwoodBooked at 49mins
  • 9SinclairSubstituted forJ Ayewat 71'minutes
  • 25GilSubstituted forVeretoutat 71'minutes
  • 39Gestede


  • 1Guzan
  • 16Lescott
  • 17Veretout
  • 19J Ayew
  • 27Kozák
  • 38Lyden
  • 43Cissokho
Michael Oliver

Match Stats

Home TeamWycombeAway TeamAston Villa
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Wycombe Wanderers 1, Aston Villa 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Wycombe Wanderers 1, Aston Villa 1.

  3. Post update

    Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Anthony Stewart.

  4. Booking

    Michael Harriman (Wycombe Wanderers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  5. Post update

    Kieran Richardson (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Michael Harriman (Wycombe Wanderers).

  7. Post update

    Attempt missed. Sam Wood (Wycombe Wanderers) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

  8. Post update

    Leandro Bacuna (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Gozie Ugwu (Wycombe Wanderers).

  10. Post update

    Jordan Lyden (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Stephen McGinn (Wycombe Wanderers).

  12. Post update

    Attempt saved. Idrissa Gueye (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Rudy Gestede.

  13. Post update

    Offside, Wycombe Wanderers. Michael Harriman tries a through ball, but Garry Thompson is caught offside.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Aston Villa. Jordan Lyden replaces Micah Richards because of an injury.

  15. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jordan Ayew (Aston Villa) header from the right side of the six yard box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Jordan Veretout with a cross following a corner.

  16. Post update

    Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Jason McCarthy.

  17. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Rudy Gestede (Aston Villa) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jordan Veretout with a cross.

  18. Post update

    Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Anthony Stewart.

  19. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Rudy Gestede (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Kieran Richardson.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Wycombe Wanderers. Stephen McGinn replaces Matt Bloomfield.