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Exeter City 0
Wycombe Wanderers 2
Saturday 26th September 2015
Football League Two
Wycombe climbed to 2nd in League Two after a 2-0 smash and grab victory at Exeter City. Wanderers could have been trailing at the break but goals from Joe Jacobson on 50 minutes and Garry Thompson seven minutes later shook the home side who never looked like getting back into the game. Portsmouth are the new leaders, following their 2-1 victory at Bristol Rovers. Wycombe are a point behind and lead third placed Leyton Orient on goal difference.
Team news saw Gareth Ainsworth stick with the same starting XI that had drawn at league leaders Leyton Orient the previous Saturday - Paul Hayes, Anthony Stewart and Sam Wood all remaining on the injured list. Meanwhile, the subs bench numbered six, with Aston Villa loanee Janoi Donacien having returned to his parent club during the week and since joining up on loan at Newport County. The home side included former Wanderers Player of the Season, Craig Woodman and Joel Grant in their starting XI.
The home side, who taken 10 points from a possible 12 from their opening four League games of the season at home, should have opened the scoring on 14 minutes after Michael Harriman had misjudged a sliding tackle in midfield. Exeter worked the ball down the left wing but David Wheeler's effort from the corner of the box saw Matt Ingram stick down an arm to keep the ball out.
Meanwhile, Wycombe's efforts on goal were limited to long range efforts from Jacobson and Marcu Bean - both chances flashing a yard or so wide of the left-hand upright. Bean then caused controversy in the 40th minute with a one footed lunge on Wheeler close to the centre circle. It looked worse than it was and the referee gave Bean the benefit of the doubt by showing a yellow card rather than the red demanded by the home contingent.
The home side were also screaming for a penalty in the dying moments of the first half after Will Hoskin collapsed in the area under a challenge by Gozie Ugwu. The claims were waved away as the teams went in goalless at the break.
The game turned in Wycombe's favour after The Grecians conceeded a free-kick on the edge of their box five minutes after the restart. Jacobson curled the resulting deadball home around the four man wall from 20 yards to stun the locals. The lead was then doubled after Exeter wasted their own free-kick to the left side of the Wycombe penalty area on 57 minutes. The ball was cleared by Wanderers down the left wing where former Wanderer Grant tried to be too fancy with a back heel, allowing Harriman to sweep the ball across field to Thompson who made the his low finish past Olejnik, into the left corner of the net, look easy.
Thompson could have made it 3-0 two minutes later when he had a chance from a narrow angle on the left but although the home side survived that scare they never looked like troubling Wanderers' defence. The biggest concern for Wycombe was a stoppage time injury to substitute Ryan Sellers who was knocked unconscious within a minute or so of coming on. Sellers was carried off on a stretcher after a few minutes delay but was thankfully reported as being OK later and travelled back with the team.
For Wycombe this was their fifth clean sheet of the season from their opening nine games. Their unbeaten away record now stretches back for six games, with just two defeats on the road in the past 12 months.
Full-time - Exeter 0 Wycombe 2
Speaking after the game, Wanderers Manager Gareth Ainsworth told the press: "In the first half we werenít good enough and there were a few choice words said at half time. I gave the boys a rocket and got a reaction. In the second half we took our chances and then we saw the game out tactically really well. Itís a tough place to come, Leyton Orient came here and got beat 4-0. Iím really pleased that weíve done a good professional job in the second half and taken the points. In the first half our passing was terrible, we couldnít find our men and Iíve no idea why. We started playing at Exeterís pace and thatís not us. We are a high energy side but we couldnít get it clicking in the first half. If Exeter had taken their chances in the first half it would have been a different story because they had a few but we took ours and saw the game out really professionally."
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