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Mansfield Town 0
Wycombe Wanderers 0
Saturday 24th January 2015
Football League Two
Wanderers remained top of 'League Two' and extended their unbeaten League run to ten games after holding out for a 0-0 draw at Mansfield Town. An unchanged Wanderers starting XI to the one that had drew at Bury the previous week were on the back foot for the majority of the game at Field Mill. The home side saw an incredible double save from Matt Ingram at the end of the first half to deny them a goal, while home striker Vadaine Oliver missed two great chances. Wycombe went closest on 73 minutes when Fred Onyedinma just failed to connect, while substitute Matt McClure missed a golden opportunity in the fourth and final minute of stoppage time but his shot was too soft and home 'keeper Smith gathered with ease.
While Wanderers were unchanged from the starting XI that had battled to a draw at the Bury bog seven days earlier - Max Kretzschmar returned on the bench following his recent injury problems but there was a set-back for Paul Hayes as he was left out of the squad having still to recover from a calf problem.
The early action saw Oliver have his first effort of the day saved by Ingram after just six minutes. While on 18 minutes Alfie Mawson looked fortunate to escape without punishment when he slid in tackle Billy Kee. Shortly afterwards Joe Jacobson and Marcus Bean both had speculative efforts saved by Smith but it was the home side who went on to dominate the remainder of the half.
on 27 minutes Peter Murphy became the first of five Wanderers players to be booked after his tussles with Ricky Ravenhill began to get out of control. The two players had clashed earlier in the season when Ravenhill was on the books of Northampton. There were clearly some 'afters' here and Murphy took a blow to the head for his troubles, leaving him with a head bandage for the rest of the game.
On 34 minutes Oliver dived at the left hand edge of the six yard box to send a header against the right hand upright. Then on the stroke of half-time it was Ingram who helped keep the Wanderers goal intact - first diving to his right to save from Kee before Arron Pierre cleared the goalbound follow up from Oliver. From the resulting corner Ingram then made an incredible double save to push away Michael Raynesí header before reacting to keep out Oliverís follow-up.
The second period followed much the same pattern. Oliver missed another golden opportunity on 68 minutes. But it was Onyedinma who nearly scored against the run of play on 73 minutes. McClure then had a brilliant chance in the fourth and final minute of stoppage time but a goal then would have been harsh on the home side.
Full-time - Mansfield 0 Wycombe 0
Post match reaction:
Commenting after the game, Gareth Ainsworth said, "Mansfield are battling for their lives, and a lot of other teams will come here and struggle to get a point. Some bigger teams will come here and get turned over as they will be battling like that every week. We know what it's like because we were there last season in the same situation. Chesterfield came to our place last season when they were top of the league and we were struggling, and we turned them over. Any point away from home is a good point. People will have expected a top of the table team to come here and have a walk over, but that is far from the case. The pitch was terrible, and I'm looking forward to getting back to Adams Park next week to play some football again. Chances were few and far between and nobody wanted to take them. But we have kept one of the longest runs in the country going, which is important to me. I'm now also just three points off the total the Chairman [Andrew Howard] set me!"
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