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League One

Jacobson on ‘that’ goal-saving tackle

9 May 2022

Less than 10 minutes after the restart and MK Dons were knocking on the door against Wycombe Wanderers in the second leg of the Sky Bet League One Play-Off Semi-Final.

Troy Parrott weaved his way through the blue checked shirts to get a sight of goal, when Joe Jacobson was called into action.

But just as the forward was about to pull the trigger, Chairboys skipper Jacobson intervened with a perfectly timed sliding tackle to keep the score at 1-0, with Wycombe still leading 2-1 on aggregate, which was how it finished in the end.

The left-back was the hero for Wycombe Wanderers as the Buckinghamshire side. It was a challenge as crucial as any goal.

“We’re all there to not just worry about our players but as a team we look after the runners,” he explained. “If one person’s man gets through, then the next man’s there and the next man’s there.

“Luckily, it went close enough to me that I could get a last-ditch tackle in. Sometimes it goes in off me, sometimes I bring him down and sometimes he scores a goal. That little bit of luck was what we needed.”

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The Welshman praised the role of the travelling Chairboys faithful – for whom Gareth Ainsworth’s side have been digging deep for all season.

Wanderers, who progressed through the Play-Offs to earn promotion to the Sky Bet Championship during the COVID-hit 2019/20 campaign, went a whole season without their supporters able to watch them compete in the second-tier

“I think that sums it up,” Jacobson added. “You don’t realise what missing the fans is like until you have them back and you have moments like this together. We got to Wembley and we got promoted at Wembley, but it wasn’t the same. To make thousands of people smile and bounce around like they’re doing is such a great feeling.

“You could hear them all night. They probably weren’t very comfortable watching the way we played – we didn’t play great – but they stuck with us. There was a lot more noise coming from our end. That’s credit to the thousands that travelled and the thousands that couldn’t travel back at Adams parking watching back at home. It means so much to everyone.”

The 35-year-old, who will lead Wanderers out at Wembley as Club captain, explained how he will be looking back upon his experiences in this competition to help the squad to get over the line one more time this season.

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“We talked in the first leg about how many of our players have had Play-Off campaigns compared to theirs, and there was a lot more,” he noted. “We can draw on these experiences. I’ve experienced losing in Semi-Finals, losing in Finals and winning in Finals, so I’m able to help out and keep the group calm.”

Looking ahead to the Final, the defender is relishing the thought of meeting either the Black Cats or the Owls at Wembley, with the two teams poised to go head-to-head to the second spot under the arch tonight.

But Jacobson insisted Wanderers will be using their underdog tag to their advantage as much as possible.

“For us, nobody’s going to probably fancy us like they have done this whole time,” he said. “Two weeks ago, nobody thought we’d get in the Play-Offs then nobody gave us a sniff of getting through to the Final.

“To have Sunderland or Sheffield Wednesday in League One as it is, it’s ridiculous. We’re here and we prove people wrong all the time, and we’re looking to do it again against one of the biggest Clubs in the country. We’ve got enough belief here to beat anyone.”


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