Match Report : Ten Man Wycombe Win Thriller
Wycombe moved to second spot in the table after a thrilling 2-1 victory over Dagenham & Redbridge at Adams Park.
There was a notable change to the Wanderers' starting line up with striker Scott McGleish dropped to the bench in favour of the on-loan Simon Church. McGleish had been fined earlier in the week for showing dissent when substituted and manager Peter Taylor had threatened to shake things up a bit in search of more goals from his side.
Wycombe started brightly and Church showed some good touches. Chris Zebroski and Gavin Grant were playing on either side of Church in an attacking 4-3-3 formation. It seemed the Blues were going all out to improve their home scoring record.
After a quarter of the match, referee Pat Miller changed all that. He lit the touchpaper in this game when he sent off Church in the 22nd minute. The striker was adjudged to have gone in two-footed against Dagenham's Peter Gain. From the sidelines the incident looked to be six of one and half a dozen of the other and a yellow card for both players would not have been out of place. The home crowd were incensed at the decision as the prospect of a long hard defensive battle loomed.
The sending-off forced the Wanderers to change to a 4-4-1 formation with the energetic Zebroski playing up front on his own.
Dagenham should be used to playing against depleted teams. Their opponents last week Chesterfield had 2 players sent off, the week before Brentford had 1 man dismissed and a fortnight before that, Port Vale suffered the same fate. The Daggers' tendency on occasion, to go to ground too easily and writhe around as if they've been shot might explain why.
Despite being reduced to ten men, Wycombe continued to take the game to Dagenham and deservedly took the lead in the 33rd minute. Mike Williamson met a Lewwis Spence corner at the back post and his looping header dropped under the bar.
The Blues saw out the first half comfortably.
Dagenham came into the game more in the second half and equalised in the 57th minute. Ben Strevens got the better of the Wycombe defence and found room for a low shot into the net from twelve yards.
At this point most Chairboys' fans would have expected a draw at best from the game. This season however, we are dangerous from set pieces. Lewwis Spence put in another tantalizing corner in the 67th minute and there was defender Williamson again, to head in his second of the game and third so far this season.
A minute later Peter Taylor made two substitutions. Matt Harrold and Nathan Ashton came on for Spence and Grant. Zebroski moved to right midfield and Harrold took over the role of lone striker.
The Daggers now applied some pressure as the Blues sat back a little too deep.
Central defender Williamson however, produced another cameo as he charged down the right wing in the 76th minute and showed some nifty footwork before crossing to Harrold, whose shot was held by Daggers' keeper Roberts.
Wycombe keeper Scott Shearer made two crucial saves at the end of normal time. In the 86th minute he dived low to his left to keep out a rasping shot from Mark Nwokeji. Two minutes later he parried a fierce John Nurse volley which looked to be dipping under the bar.
In the 4th minute of added time, the crowd were stunned to silence when referee Miller awarded the Daggers a penalty. Chris Zebroski was adjudged to have brought down Scott Griffiths just inside the box. It looked like a cruel blow to the Chairboys but Strevens contrived to put his spot kick wide of the post with Shearer beaten.
In confusing scenes following the penalty, the crowd thought for a moment referee Miller was going to order it to be retaken, but a goal kick was given.
The final whistle went shortly afterwards to a huge cheer from the Wycombe crowd.
The atmosphere at Adams Park is often muted, but today it was electric. A combination of a feeling of injustice coupled with a fighting display from the team was enough to rouse the Blues' supporters in all parts of the stadium.
The team fully deserved the three points in this hard fought victory.
Only leaders Bury and second placed Wycombe remain unbeaten in League Two.
Next match for the Blues is Bury away.
Today's Man Of The Match
Superb defensive performance and two goals.