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Wycombe Wanderers 1
Mansfield Town 0
Friday 25th March 2016
Football League Two
Michael Harriman's cross/shot on 68 minutes against Mansfield Town was enough for Wanderers to record their fourth successive 1-0 home victory and creep back into play-off contention. It wasn't pretty at times but against a side that had no answer for Wycombe's resolute defence, it was a deserved three points and the winning margin could well have been higher.
Team news saw Gareth Ainsworth make two changes to the side that a drawn at Carlisle the previous Saturday - Paul Hayes and Harriman returning to the starting XI in place of the suspended Marcus Bean and benched Gozie Ugwu. However, there was another enforced change for Wycombe after just seven minutes when Sam Wood picked up a knee injury and was replaced by Ryan Sellers.
The first-half was a scrappy affair with Gary Thompson going closest for Wycombe, firing past the left hand post on 18 minutes and then seeing a spectacular over-head kick blocked on 25 minutes.
The second period began brighter for Wycombe, Thompson volleying wide within 30 seconds of the restart, while Jason McCarthy was left holding his head in disbelief when he shot wide from close range on 52 following Aaron Pierre's ball in from the right.
The winning goal came after Harriman jinxed in from the right and then curled in an effort that beat everybody, including former Wanderer Scott Shearer in the Mansfield goal - the ball ending in the far corner of the Valley End net. Once again the goal sent a wave of relief around the home support, while the players celebrations led to a booking for Harriman for his daring to enjoy his moment.
Wycombe continued to dominate the remainder of the game. Steven McGinn struck an effort against the foot of the post on 71 minutes before new loanee Jerell Sellars was introduced for his Wanderers debut. The Villa youngster showed some nice touches and also introduced some much needed pace into the Wanderers frontline. It's now onto struggling Notts County on Easter Monday in an effort to consolidate a play-off place.
Full-time - Wycombe 1 Mansfield 0
Afetr seeing his side record their 4th consecitive home victory, Wanderers Manager Gareth Ainsworth told the press: "The boys are turning Adams Park into a fortress and I think the defence can take a lot of credit today. The attackers always take the credit but I think we restricted Mansfield to one chance. I thought we dominated the game and had the majority of the chances. We were knocking on the door, asking questions and we finally got an answer."
Commenting on the winning goal, Ainsworth added: "It probably wasn’t the prettiest of goals. Was it a shot or was it a cross? I’ll leave Michael Harriman to answer that one,” said Ainsworth. But he is a fantastic player and had a fantastic touch to set himself before the goal.”
This was Wanderers 4th successive 1-0 home victory in the League, something that had never happened before in Wanderers Football League history up to the meeting with Mansfield.
Wanderers best run of consecutive home wins in the Football League are:
6 - Nov 2, 1993, Scarborough - Jan 25, 1994 Mansfield
5 - Mar 28, 1995 Peterborough - Apr 22, 1995 Chester
5 - Feb 25, 1997 Peterborough - Apr 15, 1997 Burnley
5 - Dec 11, 2010 Bury - Feb 1, 2011 Cheltenham
20 - Dec 21, 1991 Runcorn - Oct 24, 1992 Witton Albion (Conference)
23 - April 18, 1914 3rd Coldstream Guards - Feb 5, 1921 Newportonians (Great Western Suburban  and Spartan League )
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