Date:Saturday October 25 2008
Undefeated Wycombe Wanderers stretched their lead at the top of League Two after a 1-0 win away at Accrington Stanley.
Just when it looked like 4 draws in a row for Wycombe, up popped Chris Zebroski to score the only goal of the game in the 90th minute.
Manager Peter Taylor started with the same team which had drawn at Barnet on Tuesday evening.
Scott McGleish was dropped from the squad and his place on the bench was taken by Magno Vieira.
The Wanderers lined up in a 4-4-2 formation as follows:
Hunt Williamson McCracken Woodman
Mousinho Holt Moussa Zebroski
Subs: Young Crooks Duncan Phillips Vieira
On a cold wet and windy day in the North West, the first half did nothing to warm up the spectators. The best thing about the first 45 minutes was the half-time whistle.
Each side had one moment of excitement during the first period.
In the 17th minute, Wycombe's Simon Church had a run on goal, but under pressure from a defender, he could only pull his shot wide of the post from 18 yards out.
Stanley's moment in the spotlight didn't arrive until the 36th minute. Midfielder Rostyn Griffiths found room for a shot and let fly from 25 yards out, only to see his goal-bound effort blocked by Wycombe defender David McCracken.
Wycombe edged the possession in the first half, but the midfield looked anything but creative and made no clear chances for the front pairing of Harrold and Church.
Accrington looked a well organised unit, but offered little threat themselves during the first 45 minutes.
Stanley came out strongly immediately after half-time.
In the 49th minute two shots in succession from Paul Mullin were blocked by the Wycombe defence. Four minutes later a period of Stanley pressure culminated in a corner which almost led to the first goal. John Miles took it and Terry Gornell met it with his head six yards out. The ball was going in until Wycombe's Gary Holt stuck out a leg and cleared it off the line.
Wycombe almost scored on the hour-mark. A John Mousinho cross was mishandled by Stanley keeper Kenny Arthur, allowing Chris Zebroski to send a looping header goalwards. This time it was Stanley's turn to clear it off the line and Phil Edwards saved the day for the home side.
The substitution Wycombe fans had been hoping for came in the 68th minute, when exciting prospect Matty Phillips came on in place of John Mousinho. The utility man had done nothing wrong and played with his usual mix of graft and energy, but he is not a particularly creative player and this game was crying out for one.
In the 74th minute Magno Vieira replaced Simon Church.
For the last fifteen minutes of the game Wycombe finally played like a top of the table team.
Firstly Vieira and then Moussa almost opened the scoring in the 76th minute. Vieira connected with a Zebroski cross and forced a fine save from the keeper. The ball came back out to Craig Woodman and his cross was headed goalwards by Franck Moussa forcing keeper Arthur to tip it over the bar.
In the 80th minute Matt Harrold did good work before feeding Matty Phillips on the edge of box. The youngster's ensuing shot only narrowly went wide of the post.
Wycombe pushed on again and in the 84th minute Harrold's header from a Vieira cross was brilliantly saved by Stanley keeper Arthur.
There was a fright for The Blues 2 minutes from time when a Stanley corner caused panic in the Wycombe box before the ball was knocked clear.
Then in the 90th minute a massive clearance from Wycombe keeper Shearer was chased by Chris Zebroski. The hard-working Blues' striker got to the ball first and flicked it over the head of Stanley keeper Arthur. Wanderers' fans looked on in delight as the ball made it over the line. Three points for the Chairboys.
Any away win is good, but if the Blues had played the whole game the way they played the last 15 minutes we would have won comfortably.
Wycombe looked pretty ordinary for 75 minutes of this match. It doesn't matter who you have up-front if you're not creating anything for them. Tommy Doherty's return from suspension on Tuesday should help, and of course we still have Gavin Grant and Matt Bloomfield who weren't available today.
Twice in four days now, the introduction of Matty Phillips has coincided with Wycombe clearly upping their game. The forthcoming home game against Macclesfield might be a good opportunity to unleash him from the start.
Other good things, were the defence deservedly keeping their first clean sheet since September and Magno Vieira looking lively and sharp during his 15 minute spell.
After 13 games The Blues are top of the League and unbeaten. Not many saw that coming.
Next game is Tuesday night at home to Macclesfield. Let's hope a good crowd turn out to show their support.
Man Of The Match
Never stopped running and it paid off
Date:Saturday October 25 2008
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