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Wycombe Wanderers 2
Grimsby Town 1
Saturday 13th August 2016
Football League Two
A dramatic stoppage time goal from Anthony Stewart ensured Wanderers won their first home League game of the 2016/17 campaign - edging out newly promoted Grimsby Town 2-1 at Adams Park.
Wycombe had the better chances during the game but it took until the 55th minute before Sido Jombati's curling free-kick into the top left corner of the Valley End net, broke the deadlock. However, the visitors responded with a prolonged spell of pressure and equalised on 79 minutes through Andrew Boyce.
Team news for Wanderers had seen Gareth Ainsworth made two changes to the side that had lost narrowly in the week to Bristol City - Aaron Pierre and Garry Thompson returning to the starting XI in favour of Will De Havilland and Adebayo Akinfenwa. Sheffield Wednesday loanee Cameron Dawson continued in goal due to mystery injury to new signing Scott Brown, while Dayle Southwell lined up for Wanderers against the side he began his professional career.
Wanderers' opener came after Joe Jacobson was shoved over by No19 on route to goal down the left channel. Jombati stepped up to casually curl the ball over the Grimsby wall and into the left corner of the net. The Mariners reacted and went close on 69 minutes when a Tom Bolarinwa effort from just outside the left corner of the box needed Dawson to get smartly down to this right and save.
The leveller was another disappointment from a Wanderers defending point of view. A corner from the left was not dealt with and the returned ball from the right was pinged in again where Boyce was allowed two bites of the cherry before sending a low shot from 12 yards past Dawson and into the far right corner of the net.
On the balance of play a draw was probably a fair result but Wycombe kept going until the end. In the first minute of stoppage time, a Thompson long throw-in from the left saw substitute Akinfenwa send a header towards the far post. The ball rebounded off the post, down onto (or possibly behind) the line, before hitting the other post and out. It was credit to Stewart, that with three Grimsby players ball watching, he was the first to race in a crash the ball into the back of the net.
The victory was Wanderers' first in the League since 25 March 2016 v Mansfield (9 games). It was also the first time Wanderers had netted twice in a League game since 9 February 2016 and a first twin strike at Adams Park since 28 December 2015 v Crawley.
Full-time - Wycombe 2 Grimsby 1
Speaking after the game, Wanderers Manager Gareth Ainsworth told the press: "It was a real fairytale ending for us today. This doesn’t happen to us. We haven’t had a last gasp winner, like against Exeter a couple of years ago, in the league [for a while]. “We had chances and their keeper made a couple of good saves and we will be building on this. The game was pretty 50/50 second half and could have gone either way. To come out of this with a win is fantastic.”
"I’ve said I want to make the home form good and we’ve got a fantastic pitch out there. I want to play some good stuff on it but when we need to knock it, we’ll get it forward and get the big man on."
"I said when I signed Akinfenwa there would be a plan B and I think plan B worked today with Thommo’s long throw. “I don’t know how he has hit both posts without it going in and that seemed to be slow motion for everyone. Anthony is there to pounce from about an inch out and they are the best kind of goals.”
"That is another growing strength for us. Sometimes we have been in front, teams have clawed us back and we have crumbled a little bit. It is almost like a lack of belief that we can go and win it. We have shown today that we can go and win no matter what position we are in and I am really pleased."
"I thought we dominated the first half. There were a couple of breakaway chances for Grimsby but I thought we were the better team. Sido scored a fantastic free-kick; he’s been waiting for that one since Portsmouth last year. It was a sloppy goal for us to concede, to be honest, I’ve had my words and we’ll be tightening up on that. Two games in a week just stretched us that little bit, a couple of players were a bit leggy, but the finale was fantastic for us."
"For us to come out with the win is awesome, it’s a huge morale boost. It’s a growing strength of ours that we can have that belief to go and win it no matter what position we are in. This is a nice feeling but we’ll bring ourselves back down to earth because we’ve got Accrington on Tuesday and that will be a tough game."
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