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Wycombe Wanderers 1
Cambridge United 0
Tuesday 29th September 2015
Football League Two
A sensational 69th minute strike from Michael Harriman was enough to beat Cambridge United as Adams Park and take Wanderers to the top of League Two. Wycombe had been frustrated in front of goal up until that point, culminating in seeing Garry Thompson's 56th minute penalty saved by substitute 'keeper Sam Beasant after Chris Dunn had been shown a red card for denying Gozie Ugwu a goalscoring opportunity.
The result came after Gareth Ainsworth made one change to the side that had won on the road at Exeter at the weekend - Aarron Amadi-Holloway replacing Matt Bloomfield as the Wycombe boss initially went with a front three. Sido Jombati, making his 50th appearance for Wanderers, continued in the centre of defence with Harriman filling in again at right-back.
Holloway had the first opening of the game on 8 minutes with an effort from the right of goal but the ball came in too high for the Wycombe player and his header was too high. Steven McGinn shot over from 15 yards on 20 minutes - just left of centre - but again the ball didn't fall kindly. Thompson then curled the ball high of the target from 15 yards on 31 minutes following Harriman's whipped cross from the right. Ugwu saw a looping shot on the turn deflected onto the roof of the net on 38 minutes before Wanderers best chance of the half two minutes later - a long throw from the right was headed back to the near corner of the box by Thompson where Harriman fired in a shot that pushed away by Dunn at the near post.
Garerth Ainsworth admitted after the game that he didn't want to the half-time break to come and he was nearly proved when The U's had their best chance of the match within a minute of the restart when Simpson headed just wide from Michael Demetriou. But Wanderers still looked the side more likely to score. On 49 minute Ugwu lashed a shot over the Valley End cross-bar before the controversial penalty incident on 52 minutes. It came when Ugwu chased a tame header back to Dunn, with The U's 'keeper appearing to bring down the Wycombe forward. The Assistant Referee on the farside signalled to the Referee and after a brief discussion, Dunn was shown the red and a penalty awarded. Dunn's departure meant a forced appearance for U's substitute 'keeper Sam Beasant. Beasant, son of former Wimbledon man Dave and also brother of former Wanderers Youth Teamer Nicky, may have thought his first touch of the ball would be to pick it out of the net but he was grateful that Thompson's low kick to his right lacked any power and he collected with ease.
After Thompson's penalty miss, Harriman saw a cross-cum-shot crash against the left-hand upright on 62 minutes, before Marcus Bean saw his shot strike the top of the crossbar a minute later. Harriman's wonder strike eventually won the game for Wanderers before the QPR loanee was taken off with a suspected groin strain. Bean and Luke O'Nein could have added to the lead before the end of the ninety minutes but it took last ditch defensive work from Joe Jacobson and a sublime interception by O'Nein to quash a stoppage time chance for the visitors.
The result left Wanderers on top of the League Two table after previous leaders Portsmouth suffered a surprise home defeat to Exeter City. Gareth Ainsworth's side are now a point clear of 2nd placed Plymouth, while Pompey are 3rd on 19 points, with Accrington the surprise team, also on 19 points in 4th. The competitiveness of the division is highlighted by the fact that 17th placed Hartelpool are just 8 points behind Wycombe.
Full-time - Wycombe 1 Cambridge United 0
Speaking after the game, Wanderers Manager Gareth Ainsworth told the press: "It feels great. To be top of the league is special for any club, but there is a long way to go. It is very early in the season but over the ten games the lads deserve it." Ainsworth went on to suggest that Wanderers were 'punching above their weight in the division and the target for the season remainded at 61 points. He added: "Iím hoping people take us seriously but the league table means nothing at this stage. Itís great to be there and what it does mean is that after ten games we have really come together quickly. We are fighting well together but it is the table after 46 games which interests everybody." The penalty incident proved controversial but Ainsworth reserved judgement until reviewing the DVD of the game, saying: "If the keeper got something on the ball we may have had a bit of good fortune but I donít know. I donít want people thinking the game hinged on the red card because I thought we were the better team before that. Half time came at the wrong time for us, we were on top and knocking on the door of Cambridge." Commenting on Harriman's match winner, the Wycombe boss said: "It was a great strike to win the game, a fantastic goal and maybe we could have had three or four."
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