Luton Town 4
Wycombe Wanderers 1
Saturday 3rd September 2016
Football League Two

Wanderers dropped to 22nd place in League Two as they crashed 4-1 at new leaders Luton Town. Team news saw Gareth Ainsworth stick with the same starting XI that had won 3-0 at Northampton the previous Tuesday in the much revamped and maligned Football League Trophy. That meant no return for Aaron Pierre just a few days after a transfer deadline move away from the Adams Park was rejected by the Club. On the bench were new deadline day signings Scott Kashket and Dominic Gape.

Wycombe fell behind in the 11th minute after Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu's zipping cross/shot from the right had Danny Hylton claiming he got a touch at the near post to claim the goal. It could have got worse on 28 minutes after Stephen McGinn's trip on Jordan Cook was adjudged to be inside the penalty area but the resulting spot-kick from Cameron McGeehan was saved with ease to Jamal Blackman's right.

Southampton midfielder, Gape, was introduced on 54 minutes for his Wanderers debut, however, the home side doubled their lead two minutes later when Blackman could only push McGeehan's shot from the left of the box into the path of Hylton, who tapped in to make it 2-0 from six yards. Wanderers could have collapsed at this point but enjoyed their best spell and were rewarded on 63 minutes when Matt Bloomfield powered through on a loose ball from the edge of the box before firing home from 12 yards. Substitute Garry Thompson then twice went close to silencing the locals with efforts that needed home 'keeper Christian Walton to save.

But it was Luton who confirmed their superiority on the day when Hylton was pulled back by Will De Havilland on the right bye-line to conceede another spot-kick. This time Hylton grabbed the chance to claim a hat-trick and unlike two years previous when he skyed a last minute penalty for Oxford United into the Kassam car-park, this time he sent the ball low into the left corner with Blackman going the opposite direction. Wanderers' miserable day was completed on the stroke of full-time when Cook shot home from Hylton's pass as the home side broke from a Wycombe attack.

This was the first time Wanderers had conceeded four goals since losing 4-1 at Rochdale in March 2013 and Manager Gareth Ainsworth will be keen to stop the rot, starting with the trip to Portsmouth Saturday 10th September 2016.

Full-time - Luton 4 Wycombe 1
Wycombe: Blackman, Jombati, Harriman, Stewart, De Havilland, McGinn (sub 54 Gape), Rowe, Bloomfield, Freeman (sub 73 Thompson), Hayes, Southwell (sub 72 Akinfenwa) - subs not used: Richardson, Pierre, Wood, Kashket
Scorers: Bloomfield 63
Bookings: McGinn 20, Bloomfield 70, Hayes 90+3
Luton: Walton, O’Donnell, Potts, Mullins, Cuthbert, Cook, Mpanzu (sub 68 Smith), Lee, McGeehan, Marriott (sub 83 Vassell), Hylton (sub 90 Famewo) - subs not used: King, Gray, Gilliead, Justin
Scorers: Hylton 10, 56, 88 (pen), Cook 90
Bookings: McGeehan 24, Cook 31, Smith 69
Referee: Graham Scott Attendance: 8,097 (530 away)

Gareth AinsworthSpeaking after the game, Wanderers Manager Gareth Ainsworth told the press: "I have told the lads now, forget going anywhere up the league we have to sort ourselves out down the wrong end of the table. We don’t want a relegation battle again and need to start getting points on the board to get ourselves above water, so when the big players do come back we have a strong squad."

“There are 40 games to go, so it is not like there are two games to go where we have been before, but we need to make sure we get things right starting at Portsmouth. It is one of the biggest gulfs [in class] I have seen in League Two, they are an awesome side. They have backed Nathan [Jones Luton manager] with their finances and have some great players.”

“The third goal was and absolute sucker punch for me. Whether it is or isn’t [a penalty] Danny Hylton has turned us too easily. You can’t allow that and a couple of goals today were too easy for people to turn when they have been stood up. We need to keep doing the right things and doing the things that have got us success for the last two season."

“We have just gone away from that today at the end [of the game]. 4-1, they deserve that and you are probably looking at the League champions today.”

Asked to explain why Aaron Pierre was left on the bench, Ainsworth said: "We lose with Pierre in the team and we shouldn't have changed a winning team – we lose with Pierre on the bench and we should have played him – who'd be a football manager? Everyone will have their views. If you'd asked the fans before the game if he should have played they would have been split – ask them after the game and we should have played him – but that's football, and I've got to put up with that."

“I thought the team from Tuesday night deserved to keep their shirts, and anyone who was at that game would agree. Alex Revell and JJ Hooper are two good strikers and we didn't give them a shot. You keep a League One side at bay with their best strikers on the pitch you're going to play them again. It's difficult to justify Anthony and Will after today, but they were fantastic midweek."

Speaking on the rejected bid for Pierre, the Wycombe boss added: "Of course Aaron will want to improve his career. He knows he's in the last year of his contract now, it's not like he's trapped in a five year deal, and Janaury will be a big month for him. If an unbelievable bid comes in for one of our players it's hard to ignore, but the decision we made was we couldn't replace Aaron, and that's why he's still here. He's definitely in the right frame of mind, maybe even more so as he will want the best possible club if he moves on. He will want to attract the best possible club he can, so it's a win-win. Aaron's been through a lot this week, but he knows where he is now. He's a patient boy with a smile on his face – you speak to him and he's fine."

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