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Hartlepool United 1
Wycombe Wanderers 2
Saturday 7th September 2013
Football League Two
Two second-half goals from substitute Max Kretzschmar sent Wanderers on their way to a 2-1 victory at Hartlepool United on Saturday. After a goalless first half, Gareth Ainsworth threw on the former Youth Teamer in place of Nick Arnold and the 19 year old struck on 51 and 69 minutes for his first senior goals. James Poole headed in a late consolation for the hosts as they scored their first goal of the campaign. The win takes Wanderers to 8th place in the table with 10 points from their opening six games.
Team news saw Gareth Ainsworth make three changes to the side that beat Exeter City 2-0 on Tuesday in the Football League Trophy - Leon Johnson, Gary Doherty and Steven Craig all recalled to the starting line-up in place of Anthony Stewart, Max Kretzschmar and Jo Kuffour. Dean Morgan was absent due to illness while Matt Bloomfield was rested after he had complained of a tight groin following his first two appearances for the First Team in close to a year.
Wanderers started brightly against but it was the home side who went on to create the better chances in the first half - Simon Walton heading wide, before Andy Monkhouseís goalbound effort was blocked by Doherty. Jonathan Franks also wasted a golden chance when he fired wide from close-range following Matty Dolanís cross to the far post. But there was controversey in the 26th minute when Monkhouse looked certain to score from close range but Billy Knott cleared swith the home contingent claiming the ball had crossed the line.
The introduction of Kretzschmar after the break changed the game, with the former Youth Teamer drilling home his first goal from 20 yards after Matt McClure had knocked down. Stuart Lewis went close to doubling the lead on 67 minutes but Scott Flinders dived full length to savel. However, the home 'keeper could do nothing to prevent Kretzschmar grabbing his second a minute later when he nipped into to box from McClure's assist before slotting home in front of the delighted travelling support.
Poole headed in at the far post two minutes into stoppage time to set up a nail-biting finale but Wycombe hung of for all three points.
Full-time - Hartlepool United 1 Wycombe 2
Post match reaction:
Speaking after the game, Wanderers boss Gareth Ainsworth said "There wasnít too much creativity in the first half, I will admit, and I was worried a little bit. We took an onslaught first half but we defended fantastically. Our last ditch stuff and our clearances were spot on. Second half we didnít need to do that because we created a lot more going forward. I had a couple of gripes. We conceded a goal and something we pride ourselves on is set plays. Luckily the goal was at 2-0 with a minute left, so we did see the game out well today. Weíll be working on that but I canít be upset with the boys with a 2-1 win away from home."
The Wanderers boss was also full of praise for goalscorer Max Kretzschmar, saying, "Iím so pleased for Max Ė itís a whirlwind start for his career and heís all smiles. Heís worked really hard in the summer to come back how I want him. Everything you say to him, he takes it in 100 per cent. If you do that, you get results. Heís a clever player, very technical Ė heís always had that side. It was the other side, the physical side, the energetic side, being able to compete with men in a game that means so much Ė heís got that now. Max Kretzschmar is now a big part of my side. Heís a really energetic player. Heís a young lad with no fear. I remember when I was 18, I had no fear at all. It didnít matter what the score was, Iíd run anywhere and Max did that for me. Heís capped it off with two fantastic goals. I wouldnít have been able to finish like that at 18. Heís got a composed head."
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