Match Report : Wycombe v Shrewsbury
A truly inept performance from Wycombe Wanderers saw them beaten 7-0 by a classy Shrewsbury Town in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy at Adams Park.
Wycombe made 5 changes from the side which started against Bournemouth on Saturday. Young, Rice, Ashton, Vieira and McGleish started in place of Shearer, Williamson, Doherty, Harrold and Zebroski.
Shrewsbury made only 2 changes from the side which drew with Darlington at the weekend. Garner replaced Daniels in goal and Langmead replaced Jackson in defence.
Both the Shrews' team changes were enforced by injury, suggesting that they were perhaps taking this competition a little more seriously than Wycombe. That fact however, does not excuse the abject home performance which followed.
In the first half Wycombe were played off the park by an impressive Shrews' side, whose slick passing and good movement off the ball, tore The Blues to shreds.
The opening goal came after 11 minutes when a Davies' corner found Grant Holt unmarked in the box and the striker gratefully headed home. This goal marked only the second time this season that Wycombe have found themselves a goal down. The first time was against Birmingham in the Carling cup and on that occasion the Chairboys went on to lose 4-0. This was to be even worse.
Further well worked and clinically taken goals from Holt after 26 minutes and McIntyre after 38 minutes saw the Blues go in at half time three goals down. It was all Wycombe deserved, having lost the midfield battle, looked panicky in defence and toothless in attack on the rare occasions when the ball found it's way up front. The shell-shocked home crowd had begun to amuse themselves long before the break and duly let the players know what they thought with a chorus of boos as the whistle went.
For a while at the start of the second half Wycombe looked as if they might get a goal back, but any hope was short-lived as Shrewsbury began to boss the game again.
After 72 minutes Peter Taylor made three substitutions. Duncan, Grant and Zebroski came on for Spence, Ashton and Vieira, all of whom had been ineffective and disappointing.
If the Wycombe fans thought these changes might signal a comeback, they were sadly mistaken.
In the 74th minute Cansdell-Sheriff lobbed Young for the 4th goal.
In the 80th minute Holt headed his hat-trick and the Shrews' 5th goal.
One minute later Holt added another with a cracking 30 yard shot.
Finally in the 86th minute Holt brushed off Johnson and Rice to score his 5th and Shrewsbury's 7th goal of the game.
Shrewsbury's performance was better than anything Wycombe have produced this season and it is easy to see why they are the bookmakers' favourites to win League Two.
Wycombe's performance was reminiscent of the pre-season games some of us endured. Except this was even worse and the opposition were better.
Tonight has shown that Wycombe lack creativity in the centre of midfield without Doherty, and that without Williamson the defence looked like they had only just been introduced to each other before the game. Blues' fans must hope that bigger clubs don't come looking for these two in the January transfer window.
If Wycombe do have strength in depth this season, it will come from the likes of Gary Holt, Matty Bloomfield and Will Antwi. Not, on tonight's performance from Nathan Ashton and Magno Vieira, who looked out of their depth and easily brushed off the ball.
Let's hope that confidence is not too shattered by tonight's debacle and that The Blues can quickly put it behind them.
Tonight there is no man of the match, but credit should go to Mousinho and McGleish who both worked hard and looked as if they cared. Gavin Grant also impressed when he came on and was the only Wycombe player I can remember who had a shot at goal.