Match Report : Wycombe On Top Again
The Wanderers regained top spot in League Two after an exciting and ultimately deserved 3-1 victory over Bournemouth at Adams Park.
Wycombe started the game with Matt Harrold playing as the lone striker in a formation which quickly went from 4-3-3 to 4-5-1 as The Blues tried to combat Bournemouth's heavily packed midfield. Scott McGleish was again relegated to the bench. The only other change from last week saw youngster Matty Phillips brought in to replace Gavin Grant.
The first half hour belonged to Bournemouth as they impressively set about Wycombe, with little Sammy Igoe seemingly everywhere for The Cherries in midfield. During this period, the casual observer could have been forgiven for thinking that Bournemouth were the team sitting in 2nd place and not The Blues.
The Game however, suddenly changed. Bournemouth inexplicably seemed to switch off, sit back and allow Wycombe to begin stringing passes together. Ten minutes of good pressure from The Blues culminated in the first goal of the game after 40 minutes. A shot from Craig Woodman was blocked in the Bournemouth penalty area and Matt Harrold pounced on the loose ball, steadied himself and forced the ball home, beyond keeper Shwan Jalal's despairing dive.
Bournemouth seemed to have regained their composure at the start of the second half and duly equalised in the 56th minute. Wycombe captain David McCracken got himself into all sorts of trouble, allowing Warren Cummings to cut in from the left wing and lay on a simple pass for the on-rushing Danny Hollands to power the ball home.
The Cherries continued to press, but Wycombe took the wind out of their sails by regaining the lead 3 minutes later. In the 59th minute, a Matty Phillips cross from the right wing was attacked by Chris Zebroski and the ball found it's way over the line. It looked like Zebroski's shoulder rather than his head which applied the final touch.
Seven minutes of Bournemouth pressure followed, during which time Wycombe sat back and keeper Scott Shearer earned his wages with two fine saves.
Wycombe manager Peter Taylor then made the substitutions which changed the game.
Scott McGleish and Gavin Grant replaced Matty Phillips and Lewwis Spence. Wycombe adopted a 4-4-2 formation with Zebroski moving to the left wing, allowing McGleish and Harrold to form the striking partnership.
From then on there was only going to be one winner and that was Wycombe. McGleish and Harrold linked up well twice in the space of five minutes. Both times McGleish was the provider with Harrold getting his head on the end of his partner's crosses. His second effort was only denied a goal by a fine diving save from Cherries' keeper Jalal.
Wycombe were not to be denied however, and in the 83rd minute the lively McGleish scored the third goal. A long ball into the box was headed across goal by Chris Zebroski and there was McGleish to get in front of the defence and head his second goal of the season.
The Blues were flying now and nearly scored a couple more. A McGleish shot flashed just past the post and a stunning 30 yard effort from Grant only narrowly missed the target, before referee Attwell brought the game to a close.
Bournemouth looked a good side and on today's showing would probably figure in the promotion battle were it not for their 17 point deduction. The good news for Wycombe fans is that they didn't beat us but will probably beat a few of our promotion rivals during the course of the season.
For Wycombe, the McGleish - Harrold partnership looked very promising and will hopefully be seen again soon. It also appears that Peter Taylor is not afraid to change things around and today's fine cameo performance from dropped substitute Gavin Grant, shows that a well timed reminder of that fact can concentrate a player's mind beautifully.
This was a great result for the Wanderers. Back to the top of the table and still unbeaten after nine games.Three goals scored for only the second time in 2008, and finally a manager whose substitutions actually change the game in our favour.
Somehow, it just seems like more fun being a Wycombe fan this season.
Perhaps it's only because we're top of the league, but I think there's more to it than that.
Special Mention :
Confident display with a key save at 1-1
Man of the Match :
Good old fashioned Centre Forward's performance