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Wycombe Wanderers 0
Fulham 1
Tuesday 11th August 2015
Football League Cup 1st Round

Danny Rowe wins a header against Fulham A spirited Wanderers performance ended in a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Fulham in the First Round of the Football League Cup at Adams Park. The only goal of the game came on 70 minutes when a Fulham breakaway down the left flank saw Ben Pringle set up Alex Kacaniklic who drove the ball past Matt Ingram.

Team news for Wanderers had seen Gareth Ainsworth make three changes to the side that had beaten York City the previous Saturday - Luke O'Nein, Aaron Pierre and Paul Hayes stepping down to be replaced by debutant Stephen McGinn, Danny Rowe and Michael Harriman. Pierre was reported as picking up a injury in the York game and wasn't risked. Meanwhile, the visitors made five changes to their side that had opened their 'Championship' campaign with a 1-1 draw at Cardiff City.

Garry Thompson missed a golden chance against Fulham and was later booked for a heavy challenge on GrimmerA 4,000 plus crowd, boosted by a 1,500 travelling contingent from West London, saw an entertaining contest where both sides had numerous sites of goal but without any serious testing of either 'keeper.

A early move down the Wanderers left saw the ball delivered to the far post but the resulting clearance to Bean blocked on the edge of the box. At the other end Fulham, who lost to Wycombe in the same competition nine years previous, worked the ball down the left before a flighted delivery the far side of the box saw Ross McCormack fire an effort shot wide of the opposite upright. A speculative 35 yard effort from Joe Jacobson, following good build up play from Sido Jomabti and Garry Thompson down the right flank was went astray of target at the other end, while Fulham 'keeper Marcus Bettinelli will be grateful that his dropped cross was not capitalised by Rowe.

Wanderers also spurned a glorious opportunity in the 30th minute when Jacobson delivered a free-kick from just over the half-way line to the far right of the Fulham box. Thompson headed the ball back across the penalty where Anthony Stewart returned the ball via his head only for Thompson to skew the chance wide from less than six yards.

The second-half saw the visitors attempt to put more pressure on the Wanderers but the visiting fans must have thought it was not going to be their night when Kacaniklic mis-kicked from the right corner of the six yard box with the goal at his mercy. Moments later a tackle by Thompson on Jack Grimmer saw the Fulham player land awkwardly and then stretchered off after lenghty treatment. However, their winning goal on 70 minutes came with a break from the right of midfield where Cairney switched the ball across to Pringle who slid the ball into the danger where Swede Kacaniklic swept the ball home from 12 yards.

Gareth Ainsworth introduced new signing Jason Banton for his Wycombe debut with around 15 minutes remaining and although the former Plymouth man looked lively he couldn't inspire his teammates to force an equaliser, condemning Wycombe to a fourth consecutive exit at the 1st Round stage of the this competition.

Full-time - Wycombe 0 Fulham 1
Wycombe: Ingram, Jombati, Jacobson, Rowe, Stewart, Harriman, Bean, McGinn, Wood (sub 77 Sellers), Thompson (sub 74 Banton), Amadi-Holloway (sub 83 Hayes) - subs not used: Richardson, Bloomfield, OíNien
Scorers: none
Bookings: Thompson 58, Rowe 78, Harriman 86
(Note:Thompson booking for foul on Grimmer was not reported by the Press Association news feed)
Fulham: Bettinelli, Grimmer (sub 60 Richards), Voser, Hutchinson, Bodurov, Pringle, OíHara (sub 83 Mattila), Cairney, Kacaniklic, Woodrow (sub 69 Smith), McCormack - subs not used: Lonergan, Burn, Dembele, Hyndman.
Scorers: Kacaniklic 69
Bookings: Kacaniklic 55, O'Hara 72,
Referee: Mr Gavin Ward Attendance: 4,012 (away 1,500)
Excluding play-offs, highest cup attendance at Adams Park since the 9,771 gate v Chelsea in the League Cup Semi-Final in January 2007.

Gareth AinsworthSpeaking after the game, Wanderers Manager Gareth Ainsworth told the press: "I was really pleased with the application of the boys. We gave Fulham a real test. They had one shot on our goal in the second half and I lost count of how many crosses we put into their box. It just didnít fall for us. Fulham defended really well and took us on the counter attack. We were well on top in the first part of the second period and the injury to their player disrupted us. That happens, youíve got to concentrate and one counter attack has undone us. It was a disappointing goal to concede but going forward I thought we did very well and created opportunities, it was just that final touch, that final pass. It didnít go for us tonight but Iím looking forward to getting them go for us in the league."

Commenting on the gulf in resources between the two sides, the Wycombe boss added: "Thereís players [in the Fulham team] that are ten years my budget. Itís crackers and itís great to see my boys match them and some. I thought we had some individuals who were better than their opposite number today which is really encouraging. The likes of Michael Harriman were superb and Sido Jombati really defended well and it was a big 90 minutes for Stephen McGinn and he will only get better. Iím really pleased and really encouraged that we were able to match a team way above our league and gulfs apart when you look at the structures of the club."

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