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Le Havre 1
Wycombe Wanderers 1
Tuesday 12th July 2016
Football League Two
A last minute scrambled goal from Aaron Pierre salvaged a 1-1 draw with Le Havre in a game where new signing Adebayo Akinfenwa was red carded. The former Wimbledon man was sent packing along with home player Samba Camara after the two players scuffled following a hefty challenge by Camara on fellow new face Dayle Southwell.
In a match played in Sarzeau, Wanderers featured four unnamed triallists, including two goalkeepers, although one of the triallists was replaced on 27 minutes after picking up an injury. Stephen McGinn, Sam Wood and Paul Hayes were rested having been reported as 'picking up minor knocks in training'.
One of the triallists is believed to be 20 year old Histon midfielder Nick Freeman. Despite his young age, he has made more than 100 appearances for the Southern League side - coming to prominence during the 2014/15 season, when he scored 17 goals in 42 appearances in all competitions.
Akinfenwa had an early chance for Wanderers before Nathaniel Julan struck the woodwork for the home side on 11 minutes. The red card incident came on 35 minutes when Akinfenwa squard up to Camara - both players having the indignity of being sent-off in a pre-season friendly. Bizzarely, three minutes later, the referee allowed both sides to bring on a player to return the match to 11-a-side. Anthony Stewart was the player introduced for Wanderers.
The second-half opened with Southwell going close for Wanderers before Ludovic Gamboa struck the crossbar on 55 minutes for the French side. And it was the home side who took the lead on 64 minutes when Mathieu Duhamel converted a low left wing cross from Ludovic Gamboa.
Wanderers equaliser came in the 90th minute when Matt Bloomfield's corner saw efforts from Paris Cowan-Hall and Danny Rowe saved but Pierre was on hand to knock in the loose ball.
Full-time - Le Havre 1 Wycombe 1
Speaking after the game, Wanderers Manager Gareth Ainsworth explained his plans and aspirations for the forthcoming 2016/17 campaign: "This week in France has confirmed to me what I already knew - this group of players share a focus and a real hunger to be the best we can be and build on what we've created in the past two seasons." He added: "For our plans to be successful, we have asked all the lads to buy in to our way of doing things, and that means giving absolutely everything you've got and leaving nothing out there on the pitch. No team should ever beat us for effort, commitment or togetherness; we will go into every game looking to win it and believing in what we do. We know who we are as a club; we know what we've got and what we haven't got. When I look around the dressing room I see a real tight group who will battle for each other, pick each other up when they get knocked down and help to bring the best out of each other on the pitch. They're a talented bunch, with a great mix of experienced leaders and youngsters with big potential, and I know they're ready to go out there and make the club proud."
Commenting on the targets for the season, he said: "There is no points target this year - the team have delivered above what was asked of them for two years and now we are confident enough within ourselves to take risks and really push ourselves on to see where it takes us. It's an exciting time and if everyone within the club stands with us every step of the way, from the board to the staff to the supporters, then there's no reason why we can't be successful."
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