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Halifax Town 0
Wycombe Wanderers 4
Sunday 8th November 2015
FA Cup First Round Proper
Wanderers made relatively light work of progressing to the Second Round of the FA Cup following a 4-0 victory at Conference strugglers Halifax Town. Garry Thompson opened the scoring in the 17th minute and the tie was put out of reach of the home side just after the hour-mark with a wonderstrike from Sido Jombati - his first goal for the Wanderers. Substitutes Max Kretzschmar and Aaron Amadi-Holloway added two more goals in the final five minutes to put a slightly flattering relection on the scoreline that is Wycombe's biggest win in the FA Cup since the 5-0 victory at Hitchin Town in 1994.
Wanderers will bag £18,000 for their victory, along with a £12,500 payout for having the meeting with Halifax switched to Sunday to meet the BBC's coverage plans. The draw for the Second Round has seen Wanderers pitted away to Millwall in a tie to be played on weekend of 5th December.
Team news for Wanderers in their first ever meeting with Halifax, had seen Stephen McGinn, Danny Rowe and Michael Harriman all missing from the squad 'after picking up knocks' - Matt Bloomfield replaced Harriman in midfield as the only change from the side that had beaten Mansfield the previous week. On the bench, there was a welcome return for Anthony Stewart, who was involved for the first time since his knee injury picked up in the League Cup meeting with Fulham in August.
Kicking against a swirling wind, Wycombe took the lead in the 17th minute when the home side failed to deal with a ball into the box from the right by Jombati - Luke O'Nein glancing the ball on to allow Garry Thompson to angle the ball home from the left corner of the six yard box. Matt Ingram had to be at his typical best to keep the home from equalising on 25 minutes with a stunning save from Sam Walker's long-range free-kick that was curled in from the right and looked to be heading for the top corner of the net after taking a bounce in the box.
Wanderers could have added more after the break with Sam Wood probably thinking he should have scored with a run through on goal. However, the tie was put further out of reach of the home side on 65 minutes following a stunning move down the Wycombe right - Jombati playing a one-two with Thompson and then another quick exchange with O'Nein before thumping the ball into the left corner of the net from 20 yards for one of the best FA Cup goals of the weekend.
Ingram denied Shaun Tuton on 70 minutes with a one handed save to his right. A goal then would have made the closing stages interesting but as the home side pressed, Kretzschmar took advantage on 84 minutes to power into the box from the right channel and slip the ball past Everton loanee Russell Griffiths in the home goal. Then in stoppage time, O'Nein's sweeping pass from the half-way line found Amadi-Holloway just to the right of centre and his finish from the edge of the box was a reminder of the potential of the former Newport County player.
Full-time - Halifax 0 Wycombe 4
Speaking after the game, Wanderers Manager Gareth Ainsworth told the press: "Iím glad people have seen how professionally we have dealt with the game because that was the aim today,Ē he said when quizzed on the performance. We wanted to keep under the radar today because we knew the headlines could be all about us and thatís what we did with a professional job. We were in a no win situation because no one expects us to lose, and everyone comes to see an upset and newspapers love writing about them. The performance means there will be as little fuss as possible made about us which is what we wanted."
The Wycombe boss added: "I thought in the first half we played the conditions well and had to play that little bit longer because of the wind. I said to the team that we would be able to play our game in the second half with the wind behind us. We did that and the subs came on and had a good impact. I didnít see us getting troubled too much and we played very well today."
After seeing that fellow Bucks side Chesham United had knocked out Bristol Rovers in the First Round, Ainsworth speculated on the Second Round draw: "Be careful what you wish for. Chesham is just down the road and you never know what that local atmosphere can do. We missed out on Liverpool last year and we would like to get a big tie this year and would very much like to go under the radar in the draw."
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