Wycombe Wanderers duo Joe Jacobson and Scott Kashket admitted to feeling a mixture of pride and disappointment after they suffered a heart-breaking last minute FA Cup defeat against Tottenham Hotspur.
The pair played the full 90 minutes for the League Two side at White Hart Lane, who having taken a 2-0 half-time lead, were then minutes away from claiming the biggest upset of the competition this season, finding themselves 3-2 ahead with 89 minutes on the clock, only to concede two late goals – including a 97th minute winner – as they lost the fourth round tie 4-3.
Jacobson said: “We felt we could – and should – have won the game. Even in the first half when we went 2-0 up, we weren’t finding ourselves up against that much pressure that we thought any second they’re going to turn it around and beat us. Even though we were under a bit of pressure here and there, we thought we were comfortable and deserved the lead at half-time. We knew in the second half they’d come out strong and try and get an early goal, they got a lucky goal with the deflection, but even when it went 2-2 and 3-2, we thought we could hold on, were still pressing strong and were trying to get forward when possible. In the end, their quality probably told – but it took them 97 minutes to get the winner and it just wasn’t meant to be. But for the occasion for everyone that was there, they’ll tell you how it was a great game and to be part of that was something special.”
Happy with his own performance, he said: “I thought I did ok. My current form in the League has been pretty decent and I probably wasn’t as good as I have been, but you’re playing a different game, it’s a lot more mentally and physically draining, you always have to look out for their movement, I thought as a defensive unit we did alright. Obviously conceding four goals wasn’t great and I probably could have done a little bit on the last goal, I like to think maybe I could have stopped it going into the net, but after 97 minutes of a tense cup game, but I’m just proud of being involved in such a great occasion and it was a proud thing for me for all my friends and family to witness it.”
Even prouder of how the team played, he said: “We’ve come back with such huge credit from around the country, messages from all over the place saying how well we did, but you still look back and think if we’d done one or two other things a little bit better, then we probably should have got the win at the end, especially having come so close. For the club to take a team, who on form are one of the best clubs in Europe at the minute, all the way – I know they changed a lot of players but they’re still got a lot of quality there – and to get them to have to bring on two of their best players – shows that we should get a lot of credit.”
Kashket admitted he felt they were going to cause the upset, saying: “Until the third goal went in, I thought we were going to win, it was just a mistake from which we got punished from, and that’s what happens when you play the top teams.
“We went into the game, wanting to give it everything and didn’t expect to be so close to winning, seeing them equalise was probably worse than seeing the winning goal go in. It’s different getting the draw than to being knocked out. I don’t think the draw would have particularly helped the club out that much. Getting a replay, as nice as it would have been, given the amount of games we’ve got, wouldn’t have helped us.”
Happy with his performance, he said: “I sort of expected what was going to happen, I like to get forward and try and make things happen, but I wasn’t able to do that. I wasn’t used to not being able to get as forward as much and having to spend a lot of time tracking back and defending, to stay with my man. I felt like I did that well, but it was frustrating I couldn’t show what I can do going forward. I’m just happy with how the team played, we showed how we’re a team – and it was a team performance, rather than an individual performance.
“It was good to play against a Premier League full-back, I feel that normally if I get the chance, to run at people, I will make things happen – whoever I’m playing against – and get the better of them sometimes, so it was good to see [for me] that I can do the other side of the game as well, which I don’t often do.
Hoping to take the performance into their league campaign and bid to reach the final of the Checkatrade Trophy, Jacobson said: “We can’t just think we’ve taken a good Premier League team all the way, we need to use that now to build on our league form. These are exciting times for the club, as soon as one disappointment happens, there’s always another game waiting and next we have a cup semi-final to look forward to. That Checkatrade Trophy game is probably a bigger one for the club than the Tottenham one as it’s a chance to get to Wembley and reach a cup final, which for a team in the lower divisions is something that doesn’t happen too often. For us it’s one of the biggest games the club has ever been involved in.
Kashket added: “It will give us great confidence for the rest of the season. We ran one of the very best Premier League sides very close, but that’s now gone and we have to get back to reality. I’m sure that won’t be a problem, we don’t have any big-time Charlies here, everyone plays together as a group, we win and lose together.”