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Wycombe Wanderers 0
Accrington Stanley 1
Saturday 30th April 2016
Football League Two
Wanderers finished their home 2015/16 season with a 1-0 defeat to automatic promotion chasing Accrington Stanley. The only goal of the game came on 78 minutes after Josh Windass's free-kick struck the left-hand upright and Mark Hughes was first to the rebound to tuck the ball into the net and delight the near 600 Stanley following.
The reverse against the Lancashire side came after Gareth Ainsworth made two changes to the side that had lost at Portsmouth the previous Saturday - Aston Villa loanee 'keeper Benjemin Siegrist getting a surprise debut in place of Ryan Allsop, while Garry Thompson returned to the starting XI in favour of Gozie Ugwu.
With Wycombe having nothing to play for except pride, they should have taken the lead in the 4th minute when Arron Pierre blasted a loose ball wide from the left side of the six yard box. At the other Siegrist had a nervous opening when he slipped when trying to make a routine clearance but he recovered and went on to impress throughout the remainder of the game.
On 19 minutes Michael Harriman slid a good chance wide of the right-hand post following a low cross from the left but it was Stanley who went on to have the better openings of the first half. On 21 minutes Siegrist saved at the near post from Windass, while a minute later the Villa man tipped over a Tariqe Fosu effort from the right side of the box.
As has become the norm in recent matches, Wycombe stuggled up front and this was summned up on 32 minutes when Thompson had a clear run at goal down the right channel but seemed to be caught in two minds as whether to shoot or cross and ended up kicking the ball into the side-netting.
Stanley had another chance on 34 minutes when Fosu found space down the left before flicking the ball to Brad Halliday who dinked the ball past the right-hand post. Four minutes later Siegrist was called into action again to deny 22 year old Windass whose father, Dean, scored a wonder goal for Hull City when his son was just eight months old. Meanwhile, the goalscoring exploits of Windass junior at Accrington prompted Glasgow Rangers to agree a deal to take the player on for their 2016/17 season back in the Scottish Premier League.
On the stoke of half-time Thompson volleyed over for Wycombe after a decent move down the right-wing but the finish left the home faithful frustrated again.
With news that all of Stanley's closest rivals were winning, the second-half saw the visitors surprisingly start on the back foot. Paul Hayes drove a shot over the Valley End crossbar on 65 minutes, while Jerrell Sellars whipped in a cross from the left two minutes later that Harriman was unable to get the necessary control on the ball and the chance went begging.
What proved to be crucial goal came after Stanley were awarded a free-kick around 20 yards from goal for a foul by Harriman on Seamus Conneely. Windass curled his effort past the Wycombe wall, with Siegrist diving full length to possibly get the faintest of touches for the ball to thump against the post but then see Stanley's Hughes first to react and convert. It was another disappointing goal to concede for Wanderers whose defensive problems seem compounded by the fact that Sido Jombati has been forced to play at left-back in place of the injured Joe Jacobson.
Wanderers had not come from behind to win a game in the previous 44 games of the 2015/16 campaign, so it was surprise that the final home game ended in defeat and with the added worrying stat of 'no shots on target'.
It's now onto the final game of the season away to Oxford United. United need a win to ensure automatic promotion to 'League One'. A draw or a defeat to Wanderers could let in Bristol Rovers, Plymouth or Porstmouth. Anything less than a win for Wycombe could see Gareth Ainsworth's side slip to 14th in the table ahead of what is sure to be a tough rebuilding close-season for the Wanderers boss.
Full-time - Wycombe 0 Accrington 1
Speaking after the game, Wanderers Manager Gareth Ainsworth told the press he disappointed with the way Stanley got their winning goal: "We didnít follow up [Windassí shot]. It is alright doing it in training but you need to do it in games. You have to be switched on mentally and physically for 90 minutes if you want to play at a higher level and even if you want to win games in League Two. I have told the boys that, and I didnít want to give the boys any pelters but I have had to. I am proud of them but that wasnít good enough in that one moment for the free kick. It was not nice and not nice for the fans who have been supporting us all year and it is a bit of a damp one at the end of the day. We know the problem is scoring goals and we are going to address that in the summer and it is not a nice way to end the season at Adams Park."
Commenting on the performance of debutant Benjemin Siegrist, Ainsworth said: "[Accrington] very few shots on our goal and the shot they did have is a great save by someone who has had a very good debut. [Siegrist] was a massive positive for me today. "
The Wycombe Manager concluded: "I thought we controlled the game in the second half and it is just again about sticking it in the back of the net. It is just that final chance and that final ball which needs to be better."
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