Sky Bet League Two



AFTER watching his son Charlie Cooper dealt a straight red card for stamping, Forest Green boss Mark Cooper was sent to the stands in an extraordinary New Year’s Day flashpoint.

And Cooper senior was outraged when Cooper junior was given his marching orders on 39 minutes in a touchline clash with Wycombe’s Luke O’Nien, and in the ensuing melee, Rovers’ boss followed his son as referee Anthony Coggins sent the embattled Rovers’ supremo to the stands. The card count did not stop, Wycombe’s Sam Saunders picking up a yellow card for his part in the heated on-pitch debate.

Wycombe nosed ahead on 26 minutes. Matt Bloomfield picking out Nick Freeman for a routine finish.

Veteran Wycombe striker Craig Mackail-Smith made it 2-0 three minutes before the break, touching in from a Joe Jacobson corner.

Brittle Rovers, sitting at the foot of League Two, opened on the front foot – striker Christian Doidge glancing on for Scott Laird to draw a clearance from Mackail-Smith, and then Wycombe keeper Scott Brown did well to parry a Dan Wishart stinger.

Looking for hope on the counter,  Matt Bloomfield’s strike was gloved away by Rovers keeper Brad Collins as Wycombe found their feet. Brad Collins was alert to finger a  Sam Saunders stinger wide of the goal.

Gareth Ainsworth’s side should have been ahead, but man mountain Adebayo Akinfenwa shooed one over when picked out by Mackail-Smith.

Rovers went into  their shell as Wycombe upped the ante.

Nick Freeman touched a Bloomfield cross onto the bar. However, Bloomfield found his range  when Freeman repaid the compliment to pick  him out in the box for a simple 26th minute opener.

The touch paper was lit on 39 minutes with Charlie Cooper handed a straight red for a  touchline stamp on Luke O’Nien after reacting to an outstretched arm from his opponent following his initial foul. Boss Mark Cooper soon followed as referee Antony Coggins sent him to the stands.

The dust did not settle for Rovers as Mackail-Smith made it 2-0 two minutes later.

Callum Evans was removed after the goal, with Keanu Marsh-Brown arriving, and Rovers immediately moved up a gear.

Rovers had a mountain to climb after the break as Gareth Ainsworth’s Wycombe drew the sting out of the game.

Ten-man Rovers were calling for blood when Will De Havilland went into the book for a crude foul on Doidge.

And they were thrown a lifeline with 20 minutes to go. Substitute Jack Fitzwater planted a sumptuous strike beyond the sprawling Scott Brown from the edge of the box.

Tails up, Rovers were mounting a comeback. Teenager Jordan Stevens spanked one wide.

However, Adebayo Akinfenwa  was denied by goalkeeper Brad Collins in the dying embers of the game

Fitzwater nearly banked parity with four minutes to go, but his fizzer flew over the bar as Rovers fell to their fifth-straight league defeat.