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Wycombe Wanderers 1
Burton Albion 3
Monday 17th November 2014
Football League Two
Wycombe went down 3-1 to Burton Albion in the televised game at Adams Park. The visitors, managed for the first time by Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, hit Wanderers with two sucker punch goals a few minutes either side of the break and despite a Paul Hayes penalty giving the home crowd hope, Albion struck again to send Wanderers to only their third League defeat of the season, who remain third in the table, above Burton on goal difference but behind leaders Luton Town and second placed Shrewsbury Town.
The defeat came after Wycombe were missing Aaron Pierre and Josh Scowen through suspension and the pre-match news that Matt McClure had dislocated his shoulder in training on the day of the match. That meant Gareth Ainsworth was forced to name just three outfield players on the bench but despite the changes, Wycombe looked untroubled in the opening stages by a Burton side who had recently lost boss Gary Rowett to Birmingham City. Wycombe went close on 7 minutes when Hogan Ephraim got away down the right wing and crossed for Hayes to knee past the right hand upright from just inside the box.
However, the visitors took the lead in the 38th minute after a short spell of pressure where they forced two corners in quick succession - the second coming after Joe Jacobson had deflected a header wide of the right hand post. From the resulting outswinging corner from Matty Palmer, Phil Edwards was allowed room to power home a downward header from six yards.
Wycombe responded when Matt Bloomfield shot just wide of the left hand post on 42 minutes before Ainsworth made two changes at the break, taking off the injured Sam Wood for Paris Cowan-Hall and replacing Max Kretzschmar with Stuart Lewis. Wycombe looked lively at the start of the second-half, Cowan-Hall curling a 20 yard effort just wide of the right-hand upright on 47 minutes. However, Wycombe were undone again a minute later when Palmer fed Alex MacDonald to the left of the box, wrong footing Sido Jombati, before slotting past Matt Ingram.
Wycombe were then given a lifeline on 65 minutes when Ephraim charged into the left side of the Burton box before being felled by Shane Cansdell-Sherriff to concede a penalty. Paul Hayes converted confidently from the spot with a shot to the 'keepers left to reduce the arrears. Within a minute Ephraim went close to drawing the scores level when he shot over from Cowan-Hall's ball in from the right.
The home crowd were now buzzing but another break down the left gifted the visitors a third goal on 68 minutes when substitute Jacob Blyth headed home from the centre of the penalty area following a ball in from the right that eluded both Alfie Mawson and Joe Jacobson.
Wycombe tried to respond again and Hayes thought he had scored again on 70 minutes when Jacobson's free-kick from the left of midfield was headed back across by Cowan-Hall for the forward to sweep in at the far post only for the 'goal' to ruled out for a marginal offside. At the other, Ingram made a fantastic one handed save to deny Blyth a second goal from six yards on 75 minutes.
Wycombe continued to battle, Jombati looping a header inches over on 76 minutes. However, a worrying head injury to Mawson on 81 minutes forced Wycombe to play the final 13 minutes, including 11 minutes of stoppage time, with ten men. The Brentford loanee went down after a clash of heads in the centre circle and required more than five minutes of treatment before eventually being able to stagger off the pitch. It put an even bigger dampener on the evening for Wycombe who will now look to bounce back at struggling Cheltenham Town in their next game.
Full-time - Wycombe 1 Burton 3
Post match reaction:
Commenting after the game, Gareth Ainsworth said, "It was a bad day at the office. They came and out played us and out fought us and took their chances. We had a few things go against us tonight but we were nowhere near the standards we have set, so I was disappointed. There a few bright little bits and we didn't give up and the fans were right behind us until the end but it wasn't to be tonight and now more concerned about the injuries we have picked up. The two that were suspended were missed as well. It was a combination of things but fair play to Burton they deserved that tonight." The Wycombe boss concluded: "We didn't stop fighting, we fought right to the end. There were a lot of bad things and we'll have to put them right at Cheltenham on Saturday. We have a very slim squad here. We know what we are and we'll get back on track. We're getting this reputation now as a really hardworking team and teams will come here and try and outwork us."
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