Match Report: Harrold Wins It For Wycombe
Wycombe Wanderers beat AFC Wimbledon 4-1 at Kingsmeadow to earn themselves an FA Cup 2nd round tie at Eastwood Town.
Wanderers' manager Peter Taylor made three changes from the side which drew at Rotherham. Matt Phillips, Lewwis Spence and John Mousinho came in for Tommy Doherty, Simon Church and Franck Moussa.
The team lined up in a 4-5-1 formation as follows:
Hunt Williamson McCracken Woodman
Zebroski Mousinho Holt Spence Phillips
Subs: Young Crooks Johnson Ashton Bloomfield Duncan Vieira
This was football at it's most enjoyable. The magic of the FA Cup, under the floodlights in front of a full house.
Before the game, the home crowd buzzed with the anticipation of causing a shock and writing another chapter in the story of their rebirth, while the visiting fans noisily relished the atmosphere and made their own presence felt.
Any fears Blues' fans had about this tie were magnified when they realised before kick-off that chief playmaker Tommy Doherty was surprisingly nowhere to be seen. They needn't have worried as the Wanderers never really looked like losing the game from the moment the first goal went in.
Last week Matt Harrold messed-up a chance to win the Rotherham game when one-on-one with the keeper. This evening he found himself in the same situation three times and made every one of them count with some clinical finishing.
Wimbledon started brightly as you would expect, but it was Wycombe who drew first blood after only 8 minutes. A mix up in the Dons' defence left Harrold with only Keeper Little to beat and the big striker calmly slotted his shot into the right hand corner.
The Dons did most of the pressing in the first period without really troubling the Wycombe goal. The Blues however, were always looking to break quickly, the ball often finding it's way to focal point Matt Harrold, for him to feed it off to either of the pacey widemen Phillips and Zebroski.
After 35 minutes Wycombe doubled their lead. Zebroski fed the ball through to Harrold, who this time rounded keeper Little and fired the ball into the same corner as before.
It could have been three for Wycombe before half-time, but Harrold's 44th minute shot came back off the post.
Ten minutes into the second half, the home crowd got the boost they had been waiting for. A low cross from Tom Davis on the right wing eluded the entire Wycombe defence and Sam Hatton was able to slot home from close range at the far post.
If the Dons thought this was the beginning of a comeback, the Blues soon put paid to that notion. Six minutes later John Mousinho made a probing run towards the Wimbledon goal before picking out Matty Phillips who shot home from just inside the box.
Mousinho was the provider again in the 73rd minute, feeding a perfectly timed pass into the path of Harrold's clever run. The big striker only had the keeper to beat yet again and finished clinically for his hat-trick.
Credit must go to AFC Wimbledon, who played their football on the ground and looked as good as a few of the League Two sides we have come across in the last few years. The 4-1 score-line is probably a little harsh on the Dons.
From a Wycombe fan's point of view, the team did a thoroughly professional job and showed some deadly finishing for once.
Matt Harrold was excellent and played the target-man role to perfection. His three goals and overall performance should do wonders for his confidence.
Matty Phillips looks stronger every time he plays and as a bonus got his name on the score-sheet, whilst Gary Holt and John Mousinho had fine games in the middle of the park.
As icing on the cake, fans' favourite Matt Bloomfield made a brief substitute appearance which signaled his return after 8 months out injured.
Man Of The Match