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Wycombe Wanderers 0
Sunday 7th December 2014
FA Cup Second Round Proper
A Wanderers side, depleted by unavailable players, slumped out of the FA Cup following a 1-0 home defeat to fellow 'League Two' side Wimbledon. The only goal of the game came in the 56th minute when the visitors were allowed to thread the ball across from the right of midfield to find an unmarked Sean Rigg, who flicked the ball into the bottom right corner of the away end net.
Team news saw Gareth Ainsworth forced to make two changes to the starting line-up that had won at Hartlepool the previous week - unavailable loanee Alfie Mawson and the suspended Paris Cowan-Hall resulting a re-jigged line-up that saw Josh Scowen moved from his usual influential midfield role to right-back and Sido Jombati to central defence. Max Kretzschmar and Sam Wood came back into the side in the centre of the park.
Having beaten Wimbledon in a League meeting at Adams Park two months previous, Wanderers were slight favourites to progress to the Third Round for the first time in four years. After a pre-match photo shoot commerating the 100 year anniversary of the start of the First World War, the first clear cut chance of the tie fell to the visitors within the first 30 seconds when a cross from the right of midfield was nodded back across the Wycombe penalty area by Rigg for Matt Tubbs to nod just high of the target. For Wycombe, their first chance came following a free-kick just outside the left corner of the Dons box which eventually found its way to Kretzschmar 18 yards from goal, whose low shot was palmed away by Shea as he dived to his left.
There was controversy on 23 minutes, when a powerful run by Aarron Pierre from inside his own half culminated in the Wycombe defender going to ground following a challenge from Goodman just outside the left corner of the penalty area. Referee Chris Kavanagh managed to conclude this as a bookable offence for the Wycombe player.
The tie meandered without any further significant chances for either side leading up to the break but it was Wanderers who began the second period looking the side more likely to break the deadlock. However, it wasn't long before the visitors responded and Rigg's goal on 56 minutes was another goal that left question marks hanging over Wanderers makeshift defence. Perhaps disappointing for Wanderers followers was the lack of any immediate response. The lack of creativity in midfield was noticeable, leaving former Wanderer Danny Bulman as the standout player.
Wycombe's best chances to equalise came in the final 20 minutes. A long distance effort from the right channel from Wood on 73 minutes saw Shea dive full length to his right to save in front of the Valley End. A minute later Peter Murphy was unlucky not to the vital touch as he charged through in a 50/50 on the right corner of the box. Subsitute Aaron Holloway, making his first appearance for eight weeks, also went close with a left footed effort on 79 minutes as the visitors appeared happy to sit on their lead. Then in stoppage time, an outswinging cross from the left from Joe Jacobson saw Murphy connect with his head but without the necessary accuracy to hit the target - the ball looping over the bar as Wanderers FA Cup dreams were halted for another season.
Full-time - Wycombe 0 Wimbledon 1
Post match reaction:
Commenting after the game, Gareth Ainsworth said, "Of course I want to be in the third round but we have got a big league campaign and a big job to get this club back on its feet. Getting back on track in the league next week is just as big as tonight was. Itís tough when you have to omit four players from the squad through suspension and not being allowed to play. We are not using excuses though because we did that at Barnet in the last round and won comfortably. If I am honest I donít think either team was particularly great today. We never got the flow going that we have had in recent weeks and we didnít get that final ball right. The positives I can take from today are no injuries and no suspensions with such a small squad."
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