In just over one week, Wycombe have gone from the agony of losing seven successive games to the ecstasy of a three-match unbeaten run that proves they belong at Championship level.

Stung by newspaper critics who claimed they were ‘the worst team in the country’ and ‘so far out of their depth they are stinking out the second tier’, Wanderers have won seven points from the last nine available.

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The first came against Watford, a Premier League team only last season, and it would have been three but for a man-of-the-match performance by Watford’s England international goalkeeper Ben Foster.

Four days later, Wanderers defended brilliantly to record their first win and first clean sheet, beating Sheffield Wednesday 1-0.

Then came their first away win at Birmingham City on Wednesday night.

With Gareth Ainsworth still recovering from his recent back operation, assistant Richard Dobson named an unchanged team and they almost got off to a flying start.

Birmingham ‘keeper Neil Etheridge clearly pushed Wycombe striker Scott Kashket over inside the penalty area, but the foul was missed by both the referee and his assistant.

Undeterred, Wycombe came close to taking the lead when left back Joe Jacobson weaved his way through the entire Birmingham defence only to steer his shot wide.

Jacobson then forced Etheridge into a magnificent save from a trademark free kick, but it was Birmingham who opened the scoring just before half time.

There was a hint of controversy about the goal as giant defender Marc Roberts appeared to foul Wycombe’s Jack Grimmer as he rose to power home a header from a corner.

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Some teams would have crumbled from the injustice of finding themselves a goal down at half time, but this Wycombe outfit is made of sterner stuff. They came back out and bossed the second half with their best display of the season so far.

The equaliser came on 75 minutes when Kashket poked the ball home from close range after a shot by substitute Fred Onyedinma. Chairboys fans would probably have settled for a point at that stage, but Wanderers were hungry for more.

Birmingham survived another penalty appeal when Akinfenwa was hauled down inside the six-yard box, but Wanderers got the winner they deserved in stoppage time.

The home defence failed to clear a Jacobson corner and when Onyedinma challenged Kristian Pedersen in the air, the ball deflected off the defender into the net. Birmingham manager Aitor Karanka said afterwards, ‘they wanted it more than us’, and that never-say-die spirit has helped Wanderers to prove their critics wrong.