Soccer

Mark Bonner relieved to see Liam Bennett narrowly avoid a Halloween horror story

Cambridge and manager Mark Bonner had a nervy finish at Wycombe (PA)
Cambridge and manager Mark Bonner had a nervy finish at Wycombe (PA) Cambridge and manager Mark Bonner had a nervy finish at Wycombe (PA)

Cambridge manager Mark Bonner was relieved to see Liam Bennett narrowly avoid putting into his own net in extraordinary fashion in the closing stages of his side’s 0-0 Sky Bet League One draw at Wycombe.

It was almost a Halloween horror story for the defender in the 89th minute of what was largely a forgettable contest when his wayward slice 35 yards from his own goal somehow bounced over.

That late escape preserved a point for Cambridge, backing up their weekend victory over Carlisle, while it extended Wycombe’s winless run to four games.

Bonner said: “It was a real spooky moment, almost a horror show there at the end, which was always possible tonight.

“It’s a horrible moment and it would have been really unfair because it’s bounced so close to the line and then you have to clear your head really quickly and defend the corner coming in, but I thought we did that well.

“Ryan Bennett has made a brilliant block at the end, JK [Lack Lankester] has got out to block one, Sullay Kaikai has got out to block one and got fouled at the edge of the box.

“Everyone had to put the shift in to do that, so it was a horrible moment that nearly went for them, but over the balance of play a point is probably fair for both sides.

“We felt like we had a couple of good chances to take maximum points and that’s the ruthlessness we need to develop.”

Ryan Bennett produced a towering header for Cambridge, only to denied by the bar and post, while Wycombe’s Garath McCleary had an effort saved by goalkeeper Jack Stevens.

His opposite number, Max Stryjek, then made a brilliant stop to keep out Lankester before Liam Bennett was momentarily left with his heart in his mouth.

Wycombe boss Matt Bloomfield said: “It’s slow motion, isn’t it, when the ball is travelling through the air at that point? Time stops and it’s all slow motion.

“I thought the goalkeeper was going to get his foot to it, ultimately he’s missed it and I don’t really know how it’s not gone in at that point.

“I think the way the boys have played and their effort over the last 10 days, in terms of the four games that have gone, we haven’t had loads of bodies to rotate and keep ourselves fresh.

“We had to change formation as well and I’m incredibly pleased with the application of the players, in terms of how they’re trying to go and retain their identity.

“I think because of the effort we’ve put in for the last four games, us winning the game would have been justified, but we have to be pleased with the clean sheet.”