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Southend United 1
Saturday 7th May 2011
Football League 'League Two'
The teams enter the pitch prior to the matchWanderers were promoted back to 'League One' after coming from a goal down to beat Southend United 3-1 in front of an 8,500 crowd at Adams Park. Gary Waddock's side had gone into the match knowing that victory would ensure automatic promotion in third spot ahead of Shrewsbury Town. Any slip up by The Wanderers could have let in The Shrews, just a point behind Wycombe, with a superior goal difference and a home meeting with 'also rans' Oxford United to finish their season.
Wanderers own task was to overcome a Southend United side with little to play for except pride but any thoughts of an easy ride were quickly dispelled in the opening exchanges when the visitors looked the more intent side. Player of the Season Nikki Bull was forced into a finger tip save on 5 minutes from the head of Bilel Mohsni and the champagne was put on ice after former Wanderers loanee Anthony Grant had fired The Shrimpers ahead in the 15th minute.
It was a wake up call for Wanderers and urged on by the expectant crowd it was Scott Donnelly who got Wycombe back into the game five minutes later when he tucked the ball in from close range following a Wycombe break instigated by midfielder Stuart Lewis.
The dramatic turnaround was complete in the 25th minute when Ben Strevens continued his recent goalscoring form with another close range effort that found the back of the net after Shrimpers 'keeper Glenn Morris made a mess of Danny Foster's cross. Adams Park erupted and Wanderers were back on track for automatic promotion and a positive approach by the Wanderers ensure the lead was kept intack at the half-time interval.
Half-time Wycombe 2 United 1
After the break it was left for top scorer Scott Rendell to give Wanderers a two goal cushion on 53 minutes when he angled in a loose ball from the left of the box to spark joyous scenes in front of the Valley End. News filtering through of Shrewsbury beating Oxford added a little tension to proceedings but Wanderers rarely looked like losing their grip on the game as they opted to press for more goals.
Man of the Match Gareth Ainsworth was substituted to a standing ovation in the 72nd minute as he finished his what possibly could be his final appearance for the Wanderers, while Kevin Betsy and Adny Sandell both went close to extending the lead before the referee signalled full-time and the cue for the celebrations to begin.
Final Score - Wycombe 3 Southend United 1
Wanderers players celebrate promotion after victory over Southend UnitedSpeaking to the media after the game, Wanderers boss Gary Waddock said, "I'm delighted for everyone at the club. We have secured promotion with a fantastic group of players here. I am delighted for every single one of them. It shows what a group of players we have got. We went a goal down here today, they didn't panic, as we didn't last week. We hit form and gathered momentum to see us over the line. We'll go into League One looking to enjoy ourselves. We don't want the yo-yo effect, we have to make sure that we consolidate so we can build something here."
Wanderers finished the season with a points total of 80 points, their highest ever since being promoted to the Football League in 1993 - the previous best coming in 1994/95 and 2008/09 when they picked up 78 points. The record of ten away League victories is also a best for Wanderers in the Football League, beating the previous best of 9 during the 2008/09 season. The vital victories on the road came at Stevenage, Burton, Rotherham, Gillingham, Cheltenham, Lincoln, Macclefield, Barnet, Morecambe and Bury. The 2011/12 season will see Wanderers compete in the third tier of English football for the 12th season out of 19 since gaining promotion in 1993. Opponents will include Preston North End, Wanderers victims in the 1993 Play-Off Final at Wembley and Sheffield United, who will meet Wycombe for the first time ever in the Football League.
Wycombe: Bull, Foster, Winfield, Johnson, Ainsworth (sub 72 Beavon), Betsy, Lewis, Donnelly, Sandell, Rendell (sub 90 Pittman), Strevens - subs not used: Arnold, Bennett, McCoy, Westwood, Montrose
Bookings: none
Scorers: Donnelly 20, Strevens 26, Rendell 53
Southend United: Morris, Clohessy, Coughlan, Bilel, Prosser, Barker, Grant, Easton, Hall, Ferndinand (sub 82 Assante), Sturrock (sub HT Crawford) - subs not used: Evans, Gilbert, Comminges, Woodyard
Bookings: Prosser 90
Scorers: Grant 15
Referee: Mr Swarbrick Attendance: 8,567 (away 700 approx)

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