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Wycombe Wanderers 1
Saturday 17th October 2015
Football League Two
Wanderers had a day forget at Stevenage as they lost for the first time at Broadhall Way - going down 2-1 and Matt Ingram conceeding a goal from opposing 'keeper Jesse Joronen in the 10th minute. Joronen's effort came when he hit a hopeful clearance down the middle that Ingram misjudged and saw bounce over his head. Armand Gnanduillet headed in a second for the home side on the hour mark and despite a late push from Wanderers that saw Michael Harriman return from injury as substitute and Max Kretzschmar grab a late consolation goal on 79 minutes, this was a reality check for Gareth Ainsworth's side against a side that started the day in 20th place in the table. For Wanderers, in their first defeat away from home in the League on a Saturday since 12th April 2014, it's a drop to 8th place in the table - 8 points behind leaders Plymouth but just three short of third placed Oxford United with a game in hand.
Wanderers had been out of action for 11 days prior to this game (the Football League Trophy defeat at Bristol Rovers) and two weeks since the last League encounter when they lost at home to Northampton. Team news for Wanderers saw Gareth Ainsworth make three changes to starting XI that had lost to The Cobblers - new Southampton loanee Jason McCarthy came into defence in favour of Danny Rowe for his debut, Matt Bloomfield was preferred to Aaron Amadi-Holloway and Max Kretzschmar made his first start of the season in place of Steven McGinn. Elsewhere Marcus Bean returned following his one match ban served in the Football League Trophy defeat at Bristol.
Stevenage, managed by former Spurs and England player Teddy Sherringham, got their lift when a Matt Bloomfield clearance from deep in the Wycombe half fell to Joronen, on loan from Fulham, about 25 yards from his goal. The Stevenage 'keeper swung a left boot at the ball and it looped in the air before taking a slightly higher than normal bounce in the opposite penalty area arc before sailing over the head of Ingram who was standing just over 12 yards off his line. The goal left the 700 plus Wycombe contingent, situated directly behind Ingram's goal, staring in disbelief, while, after the referee had confirmed the goal, the Stevenage players rushed to celebrate with Joronen.
Wycombe's response saw a Joe Jacobson corner almost converted at the far post by Aaron Pierre and there was further hope of an equaliser on 29 minutes after Kretzschmar was fouled on the edge of the box by Schumacher. From the resulting free-kick Jacobson's lefted footed effort was blocked by the Stevenage wall as Wanderers claimed somewhat hopefully for a handball. At the other Jerome Okimo's ball in from the left saw Gnanduillet's header clip the top of the Wycombe crossbar as the home side led 1-0 at the break.
An incredible one-footed save from Ingram denied Stevenage a second goal on 52 minutes. The Wycombe 'keeper instinctively stuck out his left leg to deflect wide a downward header from Parrett from inside the six yard box. It looked a certain goal and Parrett held his head in disbelief as the ball went wide of the right hand upright. Sadly for Ingram, the day will be remembered for his misjudgement earlier in the game, than for another one his now trademark saves.
Stevenage's second goal came a minute after Bean had picked up his sixth yellow card of the season who a needless pull back in midfield on Chesterfield loanee Gnanduillet. The resulting free-kick looked like it had been headed wide by a Stevenage player but the referee awarded a corner on the left. Parrett swung the corner in and Gnanduillet was allowed to nod the ball in at the near post.
Ainsworth made changes shortly afterwards, bringing on Harriman and Amadi-Holloway. Both were involved in Wycombe's goal on 79 minutes - Amadi-Holloway angling the ball out to the right wing, where Harriman curled in a cross to the far side of the box where Kretzschmar leapt to head home his first goal since April 2014 versus Dagenham. Wanderers' other substitute Ryan Sellers came close with a far post header that Joronen saved and Harriman pulled an effort wide in stoppage time. But there was no dramatic late equaliser for Wanderers who have now lost three games in a row and will look to bounce back against bottom side Newport County in their next game.
Full-time - Stevenage 2 Wycombe 1
Speaking after the game, Wanderers Manager Gareth Ainsworth told the press: "It was a real spirited second-half performance, especially the last 20 to 25 minutes. I thought we were definitely going to get the equaliser. There was nothing in the game at all, apart from two extremely poor goals that we conceded. The first one was an absolute freak, and we're going to be seeing that on the bloopers channel for years to come. The second was a poor goal for us to concede by our standards. There was not much in the game at all. I'm not too down on the boys. I think we had some energy towards the end, and if we can take that in to Tuesday's game (at home to Newport) then we'll be fine."
Commenting on the first goal, Ainsworth added: "I have to say Matty Ingram is fantastic. That is about his 120th game and if you make one mistake like that in 120 games that isnít a bad ratio. He played well in the second half and made a good one-on-one save but other than that he didnít really have much to do. He will come back strong I am sure. We didnít even really talk about it at half-time because when you concede like that there is nothing you can really do."
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