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Leyton Oreint 1
Wycombe Wanderers 1
Saturday 19th September 2015
Football League Two
Wanderers came away from leaders Leyton Orient with a 1-1 draw but frustrated that they didn't grab all three points after Matt Bloomfield, making his first competitive appearance for Wycombe since the Play-Off Final defeat in May, was originally credited with giving Wycombe a first-half lead but the goal on 40 minutes was eventually officially credited to Gozie Ugwu. However, a mix up between Aaron Pierre and Sido Jombati on 66 minutes allowed Jay Simpson to smash the loose ball past Matt Ingram and salvage a point for the home side, who had won all their previous home games this season.
Bloomfield's return to the Wycombe line-up came as Gareth Ainsworth went with a four man midfield that included a recall for Stephen McGinn but no place for Jason Banton. At the back Danny Rowe was missing after being 'in the wars' the previous week against Plymouth. Michael Harriman moved to right-back, with Jombati covering again in the centre of defence alongside Pierre. Paul Hayes remained absent with what is now being reported as an Archilles injury, with Sam Wood and Anthony Stewart the other faces still missing through injury.
Backed by an enthusiastic backing in East London of over 800 fans, Wanderers caused problems for the home side within minutes of the start when Garry Thompson stabbed an effort over the crossbar. A Joe Jacobson free-kick swung in from the right of midfield saw Marcus Bean jump and see a header cleared from the dangerzone. Thompson then found himself with a chance from the left corner of The O's penalty area but the 'keeper got there first and McGinn just failed to catch the loose ball. Wanderers' purple patch of pressure continued when a Jacobson corner from the left was knocked on for Gozie Ugwu to see his header cleared.
A relatively subdued home following finally had something to cheer about when a low cross by No.7 from the right bye-line caused panic in the Wycombe box but Harriman got a vital touch at the far corner of the six-yard box to alleviate the danger. No.4 headed over the resulting corner before Wycombe took the lead.
Bloomfield was credited at the time with the opener on 40 minutes after apparently getting the last touch on Ugwu's close range effort following Jacobson's cross from the left. But it was Ugwu was awarded the goal after a decision by the 'dubious goals committee'. That goal was just reward for a positive Wycombe performance and Wanderers could have gone further ahead after the break when Pierre saw a shot blocked inside the area following another Jacobson delivery from the right. Luke O'Nein also continued to show his promise in midfield and almost forced a headed own goal from the home side when the ball was whipped in from the left.
However, The O's were allowed back into the game when they broke from a Wycombe attack that had seen Thompson's cross from the right eventually cleared by the home defence. The ball was fed through the midfield where Pierre and Jombati both got tangled up trying to clear the danger before Simpson smashed home from 12 yards. Both sides then had chances to claim victory, Matt Ingram saving well with his leg to his left to deny Simpson on 78 minutes and Wanderers had a decent shout for penalty after Bloomfield looked to have been impeded in the box. Wycombe remain 4th in the table with 15 points, behind Plymouth (16), Portsmouth (16) and Orient (17).
Full-time - Leyton Orient 1 Wycombe 1
Speaking after the game, Wanderers Manager Gareth Ainsworth told the press: "Iím gutted not to get three points. It was a sloppy goal to give away and there were a couple of incidents in the game that I thought could have changed the game." The Wycombe boss was unhappy with not being awarded a penalty late on and also for a late tackle on Joe Jacobson by Sean Clohessy escaping further punishment on a player that had already been booked. "Iím not going to ask for any player to be sent off but I will be looking closely at that one.""Iím a really pleased manager. A point before the game I would have taken and it just goes to show far we have come because we are a much smaller club than Leyton Orient. It was a big giant against us and we have stood up to them and then some. I donít think Orient will have too many teams coming here and giving them a real game like we have done. Iím really proud of my players. I had lads cramping up at the end because of the effort they put in. And itís great to see because they donít leave anything out there." Commenting on the mix up at the back for the equaliser, Ainsworth said: "It was a bit of a mix-up at the back. Weíve got a right back playing at centre back and itís tough sometimes. Weíre asking Sido to do a few things heís not used to but heís one helluva defender and in heís in my team every week. Thereís no fault, thereís no blame for anything. These things happen. We were the side that looked more likely to score at the time and we could have nicked it right at the end. Weíve got a point here at Leyton Orient and if too many teams can say that this season I will be surprised."
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