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Cheltenham Town 1
Wycombe Wanderers 4
Saturday 22nd November 2014
Football League Two
Wanderers returned to the top of 'League Two' as they bounced back in style from the previous Monday's home defeat to Burton with a 4-1 victory at struggling Cheltenham Town.
And the latest three point haul came after injuries forced Manager Gareth Ainsworth to make changes to his bare bones match day squad. Ruled out were Alfie Mawson, Sam Wood and Hogan Ephraim, while Max Kretzschmar was named in a five man subs bench despite carrying a knock. In came Aaron Pierre and Josh Scowen (both returning from suspension); Paris Cowan-Hall and Steven Craig.
But the shuffled line-up found themselves a goal behind after just three minutes when a corner from the right saw Steve Elliott's downward header at the far post beat Matt Ingram. Thoughts of two straight defeats were stiffled within sixty seconds of the restart when former Town defender Sido Jombati won the ball on the right flank for Paul Hayes to whip in to the near channel for Cowan-Hall to sweep home a looping shot into the far side of the goal off the underside of the crossbar.
Wanderers could have taken the lead in the 18th minute when a soft penalty was awarded after Peter Murphy crumbled in the box following a challenge by Craig Braham-Barrett. However, Robins 'keeper Trevor Carson dived to his right to save Hayes' spot kick and keep the scores level. But advantage was swung Wanderers way in the 24th minute when a reckless raised foot challenge by Lee Vaughan on Murphy saw referee Darren Sheldrake, standing just a few yards from incident, show a straight red. Wycombe made the one man advantage tell in the 37th minute when Steve Craig fired home from the left side of the penalty area for his first Wycombe goal since his penalty at Torquay in May 2014 and his first open play goal for just under a year.
The second-half belonged predominately to Wycombe and the points were wrapped up in the 70th minute when Jombati squared the ball from the right of midfield to left-back Joe Jacobson who rifled home into the top right corner of the net from around 25 yards. There were then more injury concerns for Wanderers when Danny Rowe was forced off with a head injury. Matt McClure was introduced as a late substitute and he also recaptured his goal scoring knack when he latched onto to a through ball before beating Carson from inside the box.
Wycombe reclaimed their top spot in the table after hearing that Luton had their 11 game unbeaten run ended in a 1-0 defeat at Burton, while Shrewsbury threw away a 2-0 lead to go down 3-2 at in form Exeter City.
Full-time - Cheltenham 1 Wycombe 4
Post match reaction:
Commenting after the game, Gareth Ainsworth was delighted his side had responded so well after losing to Burton Albion the previous Monday, saying: "Monday was full of people saying the wheels have come off, this is it. It's great because people said that after Tranmere and after Exeter. It's great to be able to come back." He added: "I felt we set up perfectly against them. Obviously the sending off helps - and I think it is a sending off, it's a horrendous tackle - but I thought we were in control of the game. The way we played early on at eleven versus eleven, we performed well. Once the ten men came, the lads really took control of it. We played some great football today, which was great to see after Monday. We were well deserved winners. I'm pleased for the boys - they got it right today."
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