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Wycombe Wanderers 1
Saturday 17th September 2016
Football League Two
Wanderers recorded their first League win for a month with solitary goal from Dayle Southwell enough to see off Stevenage at Adams Park. Southwell was the one change to the Wycombe side that had lost 4-2 at Portsmouth the previous Saturday - the summer signing replacing Danny Rowe. The winning goal came in first-half stoppage when Southwell tapped in at the far post from a Sam Wood cut-back. The result shifts Wycombe up to 19th in the table.
The three points came with much relief for Wanderers, who also saw Paris Cowan-Hall return from injury as a late subsititute. The Millwall loanee enjoyed a lively introduction - nearly scoring after his first few touches ended with a shot blocked.
Tyler Walker shot past the right-hand upright on 17 minutes after the visitors had beaten Wanderers offside trap. Meanwhile, Wycombe were struggling to create and a desperate dive by Matt Bloomfield on route to goal did nothing to help the growing frustration in the crowd.
But Wanderers finished the half with a flurry. On 34 minutes, Michael Harriman saw a free-kick from the edge of the box tipped past the left-hand post, while on the stroke of half-time Southwell will know he should have done better when he shot weakly from the left corner of the box. However, he made ammends moments later when he had the simplest of tasks to knock the ball in at the far post after Sam Wood had done the hard work to pull the ball back across the face of the goal from the left.
Wanderers enjoyed a decent spell of pressure at the start of the second period, including a cameo turn of midfield skill from Anthony Stewart that left the visitors chasing the Wycombe defender down the right channel.
But Wycombe seemed to tire as the half wore on and were nearly caught out on 57 minutes when Andrew Fox swept the ball past the right-hand post after a looping through ball had caught out the Wanderers defence.
At the other end, a Michael Harriman cross from the left on 67 minutes saw Paul Hayes' shot at the near post saved. Cowan-Hall's introduction was a timely boost for Wanderers and only a deflection denied a dream return to action.
Stevenage pressed in the latter stages and there was a heart in mouth moment for Wanderers on 90 minutes when Tyler Walker shot into the side netting.
Full-time - Wycombe 1 Stevenage 0
Speaking after the game, Wanderers Manager Gareth Ainsworth told the press: "Everyone is so pleased to see Dayle get off the mark and that was so important for him. I think confidence will just ooze out of him now. There was never any pressure from me and the effort and work rate is what I base everything on. I know he can finish and is a goalscorer. He has been firing in training and is a great finisher, one of the best I have seen in a long time.”
"I cannot fault the mental side of the boys today. I thought after a tough run they’ve come up trumps and have really deserved to win. We are back up the road next weekend and have a full week to work again. Hopefully we can get something out of the Carlisle game. 19th position in the table is not good enough for me, no way. I know I have a team full of winners in there and they know what we can achieve.”We might not make the top three, but I'm sure we can be in or around the next group of places. That's where I want to be, that's the squad I signed."
"We've had plenty if injuries, but when they come back there will be no excuses, and I expect to see us climbing this league. This will be even sweeter for me now when we start progressing up the league, to let us everyone know where we were at one stage. We had a slow start with plenty of injuries and shipping some sloppy goals, but when we start flying up the table I will be thanking people for the support they gave me when we were down near the bottom."
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