Joe Jacobson’s stoppage-time penalty ended promotion-chasing Wycombe’s worrying winless streak and downed Rochdale 2-1.
Wanderers were seven points clear at the top of League One at Christmas but Jacobson’s spot-kick earned a first win in six outings and prevented them sliding out of the automatic promotion places.
Ian Henderson’s freak opener was cancelled out by Jason McCarthy before the late drama kept Gareth Ainsworth’s side level on points with leaders Rotherham.
Wycombe found themselves behind in unfortunate circumstances as goalkeeper Ryan Allsop’s clearance struck Henderson’s back to give the visitors the lead after 18 minutes.
McCarthy, whose move from Millwall was confirmed on the morning of the match, marked the start of his third spell at the club with a goal in the 31st minute as his cross-turned-shot lobbed goalkeeper Jay Lynch.
Just before the break Nick Freeman had two chances to give the hosts the lead, firing wide and then blasting over.
Fan-favourite Adebayo Akinfenwa saw his effort scrambled off the line by Rochdale defender Paul McShane with 12 minutes to go.
But the pressure told as teenager Luke Matheson hauled down substitute Paul Smyth in the box and Jacobson made no mistake from 12 yards.