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Wycombe Wanderers 2
Mansfield Town 1
Saturday 13th September 2014
Football League Two
A brave headed goal by Peter Murphy saw Wanderers come from behind to beat Mansfield Town 2-1 at Adams Park and jump to 4th place in the League Two table.
Team news saw Steven Craig and Paris Cowan-Hall unavailable due to the knocks they picked up in the previous week's meeting with Bury. That meant the return of Josh Scowen for the first time this season following his pre-season injury, while Aaron Holloway was also handed his first start since signing on the opening day of the season. Holloway played in a front three alongside Paul Hayes and Sam Wood but it was the visitors who had all the early possession and chances.
Wanderers had Mansfield to thank for keeping them in the Football League last season and it seemed the goodwill to the visitors extended to offering them a free run on goal in the opening stages. Rakish Bingham saw a chance parried away by Matt Ingram in the opening couple of minutes. Bingham then went close two minutes later, with Ingram pushing the effort away for a corner on the right. However, there was no escape for Wycombe this time when Matt Rhead was left unmarked to head in from the resulting corner with four minutes on the clock.
Wanderers were perhaps a little fortunate to get back on level terms on the half-hour mark when Martin Riley handled a Hayes' shot from the left of goal on the edge of the box, with Hayes stepping up to inch the resulting spot-kick past Dimitor Evtimov in the Stags goal. The visitors disputed the incident had taken place in the area and should have fell behind while they were feeling sorry for themselves - Holloway somehow contriving to shot high of the target from around six yards after the ball was fired in low from the left by Hayes.
McClure replaced Holloway at the break, but the game was still evenly balanced with both sides having chances in another high tempo game on the newly compacted Adams Park pitch. Wanderers' back four were on top form again to keep their clean sheet and the winning goal duly came on 77 minutes when the ball was floated in from the left fo Hayes to head back for Murphy to make the important connection and send the ball into the back of the Valley End net. The former Accrington man took a blow to his nose during his goalscoring exploit but he will still be delighted to bag his fourth of the season and continue Wanderers' encouraging start the 2014/15 campaign.
Full-time - Wycombe 2 Mansfield 1
Post match reaction:
Commenting after the game, Gareth Ainsworth said, "It was a difficult game, they’re the most physical team in the league, a real physical bunch they play very direct football and they rely very heavily on set plays. These are things we’ve been saying all week, so the disappointing thing for me was the first 20 minutes. I thought we were out thought and outplayed for 20 minutes, they had the better of the chances. The pleasing thing is the learning capacity of some of the boys. They learned to deal with problems, they solved them on the pitch over the course of 90 minutes and the trwo centrebacks, two young lads, learned quickly how to deal with a real big physical presence up front. At the end the Mansfield players were frustrated that we were coping with everything they were firing at us." The Wycombe boss also praised the bravery of scorer Peter Murphy, adding, "I’ve signed him to score goals from midfield and he’s doing exactly that. He’s popped up at the right place at the right time again but taken a whack to the nose. That’s the character we have here, no one will pull out of anything, it’s all blood guts and thunder. He was quiet on the ball by his standards, but popping up with a goal is what he’s been signed for and he’s paying me back at the moment definitely."
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