|Matchday Essentials Click here for the report index for current season|
Wanderers took on the Oxfordshire strugglers having made two changes to the side that had drawn at Boston the previous week. Clint Easton returned at left back after suspension and replaced younsgter Russell Martin. While Matt Bloomfield returned in midfield with Dean Bowditch partnering Mooney up front and Ian Stonebridge dropping to the bench. Stefan Oakes and Joe Burnell remained absent through injury and there was no place in the sixteen for Charlie Griffin who had played and scored in the midweek County Cup victory over Aylesbury United.
In front of the biggest League gate of the season to date at Adams Park and kicking towards the Valley End, Wycombe could have been ahead within the opening minute or so - Easton's free-kick causing problems in the United defence and the resulting corner see Mike Williamson effort cleared off the line. At the other end Basham fired wide on 8 minutes before the deadlock was broken on 17 minutes when another corner from the right pinged around the United box before Betsy volleyed into the roof of the net from six yards.
There was scare for Wycombe just after the 30 minute mark when Captain Roger Johnson clashed heads with United's Jon Ashton after Easton's free kick had been whipped into the box. Johnson look to have been knocked unconsious but eventually returned after treatment to lead his side to victory.
Wanderers continued to have the better chances following the break and did everything but score on 48 minutes. First Mooney saw his flicked headed from around ten yards brilliantly saved by Billy Turley in the United goal. The loose ball eventually fell to Sergio Torres who smashed his shot against the upright. Bowditch's low shot was also cleared only for Mooney to lash his attempt into the away end.
However, Mooney's moment was to come on the hour mark when Senda got towards the right bye-line and crossed for Wanderers' top scorer to angle his header back and inside the far post. It was a simple and effective way to silence the travelling fans who weren't too amused with Mooney's gestures and skips of delights as he celebrated the goal in front of a delighted Woodlands stand.
United's life line came when a free-kick from a central position about 25 yards from goal breached the Wycombe wall in a similar way to the recent game with Mansfield and although Basham's fierce drive was blocked by Talia, it was Odubade who reacted first to knock in the loose ball.
It provided a tense finish where both sides had chances to add to the score. Wycombe substitute Ian Stonebridge went close with a shot on 82 minutes and a couple of late corners for United had the Wycombe contingent biting their nails before the final whistle signalled three welcome and deserved points that keeps the promotion chase on track.
Final Score - Wycombe 2 Oxford United 1
Speaking to the media after the game Steve Brown emphasised the input of John Gorman depsite the absence of the Wycombe Manager from the game. Brown said, "It was a fantastic performance. I'm especially delighted for the gaffer because that was his team out there. It was his players and they deserve the credit." Brown, who thought that Wycombe would have won by more if it wasn't for an outstanding display from visiting 'keeper Billy Turley, added "I don't want credit today. That's for John and the players. He's still very much involved with what is happening here while he's away and that was his team getting the win out there."
Meanwhile, United Manager Brian Talbot admitted his side were in a scrap to avoid the drop, saying, "I don't think the league table lies at the end of the season. You end up where you deserve and I think Wycombe will go up. They are joint top actually, it is only on goal difference [that they are second]. They are as good as anybody in the League, if not, better than most and it was always going to be a difficult game here today."
All there is to say and know about Wycombe Wanderers on the Internet