Date:Saturday September 13 2008
Wycombe maintained their unbeaten start to the season and kept their fifth consecutive clean sheet after a goalless draw against Brentford at Adams Park.
The draw was a fair result. Brentford look a far better side than they were last season and had just as much of the game as Wycombe.
Tommy Doherty won his fitness battle, allowing manager Peter Taylor to start with an unchanged side from from the one which defeated Rochdale last week.
The Blues shaded the first half and had the better chances. The first scoring opportunity fell to Chris Zebroski in the 20th minute. He showed good anticipation to latch onto keeper Scott Shearer's long goal kick and found himself facing the onrushing Bees keeper Hamer. Zebroski got the first touch but could only steer the ball tantalizingly past the post. Two minutes later Wycombe winger Gavin Grant did well to reach the bye-line, cut inside and chip a fine cross over the heads of the defence, picking out striker Scott McGleish at the back post. McGleish's header was on target but easily saved by Hamer in the Brentford goal. The Bees almost took the lead as the first half came to a close. Marvin Williams went on a fine run, cutting in from the right wing and unleashing a rasping 25 yard drive which Shearer did well to keep out, diving low to his right.
Wycombe almost scored immediately after the restart. In almost a carbon copy of the first half chance, Grant did excellent work on the right flank and picked McGleish out at the back-post with a pinpoint cross. This time McGleish should have scored, but he could only direct his powerful header into the side netting.
Brentford then had their best spell of the match, with a period of sustained pressure prompting Taylor into making a double substitution in the 57th minute. Strikers Matt Harrold and Simon Church both came on to make their home debuts, with Lewis Spence and McGleish giving way. Harrold had a great chance of opening his account in the 64th minute but pulled his shot wide after taking a pass from Grant inside the box. Blues' youngster Matty Phillips replaced Grant in the 72nd minute and within two minutes set up the home side's final clear-cut chance of the game. He showed fine footwork on the right wing, beat the full back and sent over a great cross. Harrold met the ball with a firm header which was well saved by Hamer in the Brentford goal.
These two sides have the best defensive records in the division, and at the full time whistle it was to their credit that this match finished goalless. Brentford were the stiffest opposition Wycombe have faced so far this season and fully deserved their point.
From the Blues point of view, they could have scored four or five goals against Lincoln in their previous home game but only notched one. Today they had five good chances and didn't convert any of them. Peter Taylor will be happy that they are creating chances every week, but would be a lot happier if they started putting more of them away. Scott McGleish worked as hard as ever, but is finding himself isolated in the centre more often than last season. Zebroski is a handful for opposition defenders who worry about his pace and he may well end up playing wide on the left, with Harrold giving McGleish more support in the middle.
Defensively, five clean sheets in a row is a testament to Shearer and the back-four, as well as the work ethic of the team as a whole. Craig Woodman was the pick of the defence today in a solid performance which was only spoiled by his frustratingly poor crossing and careless passing when finding himself in the opposition half. Williamson and Johnson were excellent again and makeshift Right-Back McCracken did a good job dealing with the lively Glenn Poole. Shearer made some good saves today but his reluctance to catch the ball set hearts fluttering amongst the home support on a few occasions.
Doherty pulled the strings in midfield, assisted by the energetic Mousinho and the hard working Spence. Gavin Grant kept the Brentford defence on their toes, with Matty Phillips looking just as lively during his substitute appearance.
Wycombe now sit in third place with 14 points out of a possible 18. An Excellent start.
Next up for Wycombe is another home game against surprise package Dagenham & Redbridge. The Daggers are the division's top scorers with 16 goals. Let's hope our defence stays solid and our forwards step it up a gear.
Man of the Match
Superb in defence, frustrating going forward.
Date:Saturday September 13 2008
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