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Wycombe Wanderers 1 Morecambe 0
Saturday 3rd August 2013
Football League Two
Debutant Paris Cowan-Hall scored the only goal of the game as Wanderers got off to winning start in their 2013/14 'League Two' - defeating Morecambe 1-0 at Adams Park. The former Plymouth striker managed to get a far poster header to a 7th minute left wing cross from Dean Morgan to set-up an impressive debut on a day when Wanderers should have scored more and were eventually thankful that The Shrimpers didn't take their chances. Wycombe are now unbeaten in all eleven of their meetings to date with the Lancashire side.
Team news for the opening day fixture saw Jon-Paul Pittman as the only other summer signing in the starting line-up. Gary Doherty, Matt Bloomfield and Matt McClure remained unavailable due to injury, while Matt Spring cryed off ill on matchday.
Wycombe created chances from the off, with Josh Scowen, Morgan and Cowan-Hall all having a look at goal before the latter headed home his 6th minute effort. The visitors responded with Jack Sampsonís low shot on 10 minutes forcing a save from Matt Ingram but Wycombe saw Morgan try his luck from around 20 yards two minutes later, while it really should have been 2-0 on 25 minutes when Josh Scowen saw a shot saved by Barry Roche with Pittman to his right in an unmarked position.
Sam Wood, Marvin McCoy and new skipper Stuart Lewis all had half chances for Wycombe before Morecambe came closest to equalising with 10 minutes of the half remaining - Chris McCready seeing a header smack against the Valley End cross bar following a corner. Ingram tipped over a Padraig Amond striker shortly afterwards as the visitors threatened to get back into the game. Then in first half stoppage time Cowan-Hall was put through on goal by Wood but a soft shot saw Roche save with ease.
Wanderers remained the better side in the second period but with the score still at 1-0 there was always the danger the visitors could snatch a goal. After Morgan had fired wide, The Shrimpers saw Kevin Ellison power through the Wanderers defence, before setting up Sampson but thankfully for Wycombe his effort went wide of the target. Morgan, Leon Johnson and Cowan-Hall all had chances of putting the game to bed before Ainsworth introduced Reading loanee Nick Arnold and former Youth Teamer Max Kretzschmar for the Wycombe debut's, while an impressive late save from Ingram from Sampson's volley ensured the three points went the way of the Wanderers.
Full-time - Wycombe 1 Morecambe 0
Post match reaction:
Speaking after the game, Wanderers boss Gareth Ainsworth was full of praise for his side, picking out Dean Morgan for special mention, saying, "We all know what Dean Morgan can do and heís too good for this league. I love working day to day with Dean. Itís a challenge but itís a great challenge. When he performs like that heís unplayable. Heís a great character around the place and another one Iím really glad to have. I believe in him. I know what makes Dean Morgan tick and itís probably lucky that I do." The Wycombe boss also commented on goalkeeper Matt Ingram, adding, "For 90 minutes he didnít have much to do. One instance where he had to be called on [and he made the save], thatís the measure of the man. He is, I will say, one of the best goalkeepers in the bottom two leagues. I put my head on the line in saying that because heís an outstanding asset to have at Wycombe Wanderers."
Ainsworth also praised debutant and goalscorer Paris Cowan-Hall, saying, "Heís got everything and he has my belief. Being a winger myself, Iím going to work hard with him and I have been so far, especially on his finishing. Heíll score goals but more importantly his work rate is frightening. He defends really well and heíll find out the harder he works for me, the more chances heíll get and the more pleasure heíll get on the ball." The former Plymouth Argyle striker got in bravely to head home the winning goal with Ainsworth quipping, "The one thing I havenít worked on is his heading but he seems to have that one in the bag."
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