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Wycombe Wanderers 1
Accrington Stanley 1
Tuesday 16th August 2016
Football League Two
A second-half slump from Wanderers meant they had to settle for a 1-1 draw with Accrington Stanley at Adams Park.
With new Chelsea loanee 'keeper Blackman between the sticks, Wycombe got off to a flyer when Adebayo Akinfenwa headed home Joe Jacobson's swinging free-kick on 5 minutes. Wanderers continued to look the better of the two sides for the remainder of the half but were pegged back by a Sean McConville equaliser on 48 minutes during a second-half performance from Wycombe that left many of the home support frustrated.
Gareth Ainsworth made two changes to the side that had scored a last gasp winner against Grimsby the previous Saturday - Blackman replacing previous loanee 'keeper Cameron Dawson, while Akinfenwa came in for Garry Thompson. Akinfenwa, who had a major hand in the winner against Grimsby, scored his first Wycombe goal when he powered home a header from 10 yards following Jacobson's free-kick conceeded by Stanley for handball.
Wycombe went onto the dominate the remainder of the half but for all the fancy passing, visiting keeper Aaron Chapman was hardly tested. The visitors equaliser, three minutes into the second-half, was a horror show from a Wanderers stand point. Sam Wood completely misjudged a sliding clearance down the Stanley right, allowing Janoi Donacien to cross past Stewart and Jombati before McConville side footed home towards the far corner of the six yard box.
Wood nearly made ammends for his mistake with a 54th minute 25 yarder that clipped the top of the crossbar but it turned out to be the closest Wycombe came to finding the net against the Lancashire side.
Full-time - Wycombe 1 Accrington 1
Speaking after the game, Wanderers Manager Gareth Ainsworth told the press: "We started panicking in the second half a little bit. Accrington scored and a little bit of panic set in and we seemed to go back to playing a little bit too long. At half-time we were well on top and I said to my assistant I am happy whatever the result because we have played superbly well. But the second half disappoints me. We had chances to put the game to bed in the first half and we have to take them."
"It is a great goal and Bayo is going to do that to teams. He is 34 now and we have to make sure he stays fit for games. 'Thommo' comes on and he has different strengths to Bayo, I think we starved him of his strength."
"Jamal Blackman had a great debut and is going to be a great acquisition. You see the way he rolls the ball out at the right times and his kicking was fantastic."
"We know we can play, and if we can carry that for 90 minutes we know we'll be up there with the best in this league. It's about consistency now, but I believe we're better than a mid-table team."
"The timing of the goal wasn't great, but it's what we did after it. We tried to play possession football but it deserted us for 20 minutes second half. We got it back though so there's no panic from me. If we were getting beat and not looking like scoring I would be worried.
“It was a fair result because of the way we started panicking in the second half. Accrington scoring let a little bit of panic set in, and we went back to playing it too long an misplacing passes. Then we did a 25-pass move which showed we can do it. We showed we can play, we just need to have a bit of belief in ourselves. We have to learn to be mentally stronger and calmer with the ball."
"The goal came from individual mistakes, it's not like we've been carved apart. But there's no blame on anyone, people make mistakes and I'm never going to attribute blame to anyone outside the dressing room, they've all put a good shift."
“At half time I said I would be happy whatever the result as we had played really well, but the second half was disappointing, and maybe it's an early flag for me to freshen things up. The signs for me are better than average though, and there were more good points than bad points, but it's frustrating when we're misplacing the passes."
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