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Wycombe Wanderers 2
Saturday 12th November 2016
Football League Two
Wanderers secured a third home League victory from four games as they beat off the challenge of Morecambe at a drizzly Adams Park. A close range header from Aaron Pierre that was crucially deflected off the head of Alex Whitmore and into the back of the Valley End net, gave Wanderers the lead two minutes into the second-half. Wycombe survived a Morecambe response before Luke O'Nein doubled the lead in the 81st minute to seal the three points.
Victory against The Shrimps came after Gareth Ainsworth reverted back to the starting XI that had won on the road in the FA Cup at Portsmouth the previous week. The result moved Wanderers to 16th in the table with 19 points from 16 games - three points above the relegation but also three points from the final play-off spot. Wycombe's next games include those against teams also on 19 points - Cambridge away (19th November) and Hartlepool home (26th November). In between that is the trip to bottom placed Newport County (Tuesday 22nd November).
Wanderers opener came after Joe Jacobson swung in a free-kick from the right wing. Pierre met the ball cleanly with his head on the edge of the six yard box but the ball was going well wide of the right hand post before it smacked Alex Whitmore in the forehead and ended in the opposite corner of the net. A clear own-goal despite the willingness of the media to credit the goal to Pierre.
The visitors could have been level moments later when they claimed that Matt Bloomfield had handled inside the Wycombe penalty area. To Wycombe's relief, the referee gave a free-kick a few inches outside the box. Wanderers had all eleven players in the box but Michael Rose found a gap in Wycombe's ill adjusted wall before seeing the ball strike the foot of the left-hand upright, across the face of the goal and eventually put behind for a corner. A stroke of good fortune for Wycombe.
Following that let off, Wanderers had more chances to extend their lead. Pierre see another header go wide and Bloomfield dragging a shot wide of the left-hand post. However, Wycombe were to seal victory with a crafted goal. O'Nein picked up the ball some 25 yards from goal and sprayed it left to Paris Cowan-Hall. The Millwall loanee battled at the bye-libe before setting up Paul Hayes to dink the ball back into the box where O'Nein's downward header rippled the net and seal the points.
Cowan-Hall saw a late effort on the run from 25 yards bounce off the top of the cross-bar as Wycombe looked the side more likely to add to the score-line.
Full-time - Wycombe 2 Morecambe
Speaking after the game, Wanderers Manager Gareth Ainsworth told the press: "I'm feeling a comparison to a couple of years ago in that we're not nice to play against, which is great, and solid at the back, and if that can continue, we will pick up more points than we lose."
“But the win is not what's pleased the me most, it's the consistency we've had over Portsmouth, Doncaster and today. We've been able to keep pretty much the same side, which is important, and while it isn't good for those not in it, that's part and parcel of football."
“Injuries have played a part in us not being able to name a consistent side week in week out, which is not an excuse, it's a fact. We do things a bit differently here, the intensity caught people out and we picked up some injuries.”
"Sometimes we play too open as we feel like we should have scored and commit too many men forward, but the shape I played today doesn't allow that. We need to keep it secure at the back, as we still have young inexprienced lads learning their trade, so the more solid I keep it the better."
"I'm really pleased with some individual performances, but it was a brilliant team performance. One win doesn't make a season though, there will be plenty of twsist and turns yet. I'm not getting carried away, it's one win. We were 22nd at half time and now we're 16th, three points off sixth place, which is crazy. You cannot judge who's the best team and worst team at the moment. There's a lot to play for yet, and we're only in November."
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