Wycombe Bounce Back In Style
Wycombe Wanderers extended their lead at the top of League Two, defeating Macclesfield Town 4-0 and bouncing back in style from Saturday's embarrassing FA Cup exit.
Injuries and illness meant that tonight's team had an unfamiliar look to it. The Blues lined up in a 4-4-2 formation as follows:
Hunt McCracken Johnson Woodman
Moussa Holt Doherty Spence
Subs: Young Crooks Phillips Ashton Bloomfield
Wycombe started the first half strongly. The absence of a big target-man meant that the Blues were playing a passing game and it was working well. In the first 10 minutes alone, they carved out three chances.
After 5 minutes the tricky Angelo Balanta made room for himself and hit a low rasping shot from the edge of the box. Macclesfield keeper Jon Brain did well to save it, diving to his right and turning the ball out for a corner.
In the 7th minute it was the impressive Franck Moussa's turn to test Brain. From 25 yards out he hit a cracking shot which the keeper did well to push round the post.
The first goal came in the 10th minute. Magno Vieira took a pass just inside the box, turned his marker and at the same time fired off a low shot which beat Brain's despairing dive and found the net just inside the post.
For the next 10 minutes the Blues continued to press, enthralling the crowd with some lovely passing football.
After 20 minutes Macclesfield started to come into the game more. They pushed their back-four up and caught Wycombe in the offside trap a few times, whilst committing bodies forward themselves in an attempt to get back into the game. Despite their improvement they didn't create any chances of note.
Wycombe were still the better side, but you felt they should have more to show for their first half performance than a single goal lead.
Right on cue, up stepped Angelo Balanta. In the final minute of the first half he received the ball 35 yards out, jinked his way forward until he was within range and then sent an unstoppable shot into the top right hand corner of the net. Now the scoreline was a truer reflection of the way the first half had gone.
The second half started with another goal for Wycombe. In the 50th minute a long clearance from keeper Scott Shearer bounced into the Macclesfield box. It looked like Town keeper Brain or one of his defenders would comfortably deal with the ball, but Vieira chased it down just in case. His persistence was rewarded as Brain and Brisley made a hash of it, leaving Vieira with the simple task of slotting home his second goal of the game.
Wycombe's final goal was almost a repeat of the 2nd goal against Notts County last Tuesday. A free kick was awarded just outside the box and Spence, Moussa and Balanta gathered round the ball. Exactly as they had done last week, Moussa ran over the ball, Balanta rolled it to the side and Spence let fly. Last week it went in, this week Brain dived to his left and saved it, but he couldn't hold onto the ball and there was Leon Johnson to power it into the net.
The Blues created more chances before the end of the game as they continued to dazzle the Silkmen with their slick one-touch passing. In the end the 4-0 scoreline somewhat flattered Macclesfield.
This was a superb response from Wycombe following Saturday's disappointment. Williamson, Harrold and Zebroski are probably three of the first names manager Peter Taylor puts on his team-sheet every week. They were all missing this evening and it didn't make one bit of difference to the quality of the performance.
Unbeaten and seven points clear at the top in December is a dream start. It took 24 games to get to 40 points last season, this time round it's only taken 18. Even the goal difference is looking healthy now and Adams Park has witnessed 10 goals in the last two games, 8 of them from Wycombe.
That's 4 league wins in a row now. Let's hope we take a big crowd to Aldershot on Saturday and give the team the support their superb league record deserves.
Everyone played well, but I'll pick out Doherty for his usual top notch display and Vieira for his overall effort and his two well taken goals.
Man Of The Match
Great all round performance.