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Wycombe Wanderers 3
Saturday 12th July 2014
A late own-goal secured a 3-2 victory for the Wanderers at Cheshunt in their opening pre-season game. Two first half goals from Matt McClure put Wycombe in the driving seat at the break but the Isthmian League Division One North sied battled back to equalise before Nic Barratt turned Paris Cowan-Hall's cross past his own 'keeper to give Garerth Ainsworth's experimental line-up the win. Wycombe and Cheshunt fielded a different eleven in each half, with Wanderers including new signings Aaron Pierre, Joe Jacobson, Nathan Evans, Peter Murphy and Paul Hayes plus triallists Aaron Holloway, Jamie Tank, Adam Nditi and Leon Mannion.
The match got off to a lively start with Anthony Anstead almost catching out Matt Ingram early on, while at the other end Sam Wood shot straight at Glenn Williamson in the home goal, before seeing another shot tipped over. Mete Sam shot high from a good position for the hosts before McClure opening the scoring on 20 minutes when he headed home Nathan Evans whipped cross from the right. Two minutes later it was 2-0 when McClure tapped in at the far from Josh Scowen's cross from the left.
Twenty two half-time subsititions had the usual disrupting effect on the flow of the game but it was Cheshunt who took advantage with Tunde Adewumni striking twice in almost as many minutes to level - the first came when Adewumni knocked in a loose ball after Wycombe had cleared off the line - the second arrived when the same player was put clean through and he chipped Alex Lynch in the Wycombe goal.
Wycombe had their chances to regain their lead with Paris Cowan-Hall knowing he should have done better from a Junior Morias cross, while new signing Sido Jombati also sent a header wide. Of the triallists, ex Chelsea man N’Diit curled in a free-kick that Erbil Bozkurt spectactularly saved, while local player Mannion shot straight at Bozkurt.
Adewumni just failed to grab his hat-trick and complete an amazing turn around when he volleyed wide from David Green's cross. Cowan-Hall then made ammends for his earlier miss when his dying moments cross from the right saw Nic Barratt completely misjudge and smash past his own 'keeper.
Full-time - Cheshunt 2 Wycombe 3
Post match reaction:
Commenting after the game, Gareth Ainsworth explained the reason in experimenting with players in different positions, saying, ""We might need to do that this season. We've got quality and taken a risk on numbers. We've got players who can play multiple positions. I know what Josh Scowen can do in midfield so I wanted to have a look at him at right back. There were players playing out of position, I had a good luck at some people, looked at what people need to do to get up to the grade and find out where we are. I was pleased with some, it was an eye opener for some others and the trialists coming in." The Wycombe boss also emphasised the need to avoid too many injuries ahead of a season with a minimal squad size, "It's nice to get a win but the result wasn't important. No injuries is the most important thing for us because we are so small on numbers at the moment. It's all fitness, fitness, fitness. If we can get the win, that's great - and we did get the win, so fantastic - but it's not about the result, it's about fitness."
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