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Aldershot Town 1
Wycombe Wanderers 1
Saturday 1st August 2015
Substitute Aaron Amadi-Holloway scored on 80 minutes for Wanderers as Gareth Ainsworth's side salvaged a 1-1 draw at Conference National side Aldershot Town. The final run out before the start of the campaign proper on Saturday 8th August, saw the Wycombe boss give more of his squad minutes on the pitch, while Paul Hayes and Ryan Sellers were both rested. Trialist Stephen McGinn was given his third game to impress. Meanwhile The Shots included two former Wycombe players - former Youth Teamer Luke Oliver who had two spells with Wycombe and short term signing Matthew Barnes-Homer - the latter making a solitary substitute appearance for Wycombe in March 2007 but went on to enjoy spells at several other clubs, including Kidderminster and Luton. Both players signed for The Shots in the summer.
This proved to be Wanderers' most competitive pre-season friendly of 2015/16 with the home side side not pulling any punches in the early challenges. Goal chances were minimal in the opening 30 minutes, although Sam Wood was almost let in when former Wanderer Luke Oliver's backward header went astray. Moments later at the other end Matt Ingram showed he had lost none of his prowess when he denied Rhys Browne after The Shots striker had got past Anthony Stewart.
The home side took the lead on 54 minutes when Sam Hatton smashed home from close range after Rhys Browne crossed from the right found The Shots player unmarked. Wanderers responded with Ainsworth putting on subs Michael Harriman and Luke O'Nein for McGinn and Matt Bloomfield. Thompson then headed just wide on 57 minutes from a corner and O'Nein looked keen to impress but it was generally The Shots who looked more dangerous going forward. However, it was Holloway's introduction on 70 minutes that finally put some life into Wycombe's attack and he was rewarded with ten minutes of normal time remaining when he met Jason Banton's looping cross to head past Phil Smith in the home goal. Banton nearly sneaked a winner in the dying moments.
Full-time - Aldershot 1 Wycombe 1
Speaking after the game, Wanderers Manager Gareth Ainsworth told the press: "Today we didn't play as well as we have done. We changed a few things and played a different system." But added:"Pleased overall with the way pre-season has gone and we have got nobody injured, which is good." Commenting on how the goals had been shared around in pre-season, he said: "It is good because obviously goalscorers (20 a season men) cost money and we just haven't got that so we have to hope that someone comes up and gets double figures and share the goals - the center halves are always likely to score from set pieces." It was now all eyes on the opening day of the League season at home to York City, Ainsworth saying: "It is going to be good to be back to Adams Park and [play on the regenrated pitch]. Year two of the plan will come into play this season. Hopefully we can execute that and keep building this club and back to a solid base and base we can move forward from."
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