Date:Wednesday March 4 2009
Wycombe Wanderers climbed back to 2nd place in League Two after a 2-0 win over Chester City at a rain soaked Adams Park this evening.
Manager Peter Taylor made three changes from the side that drew at Morecambe on Saturday with Jon-Paul Pittman, Chris Zebroski and John Mousinho coming in for Matt Harrold, Lewwis Spence and Gary Holt.
Wycombe lined up in a 4-4-2 formation as follows:
Casement McCracken Johnson Woodman
Zebroski Mousinho Doherty Phillips(89)
Subs: Shearer Oliver Ashton((84) Spence(89) Harrold(68)
The Chairboys took time to settle and during the first quarter of the game the better chances fell to Chester.
Wycombe keeper Jamie Young was the man to thank for tipping a dangerous effort over the bar in the 7th minute and he was at hand again to make an important double save 6 minutes later.
Ritchie Partridge found himself in acres of space on the left wing and cut inside before firing in a low shot. Young dived to save it but couldn't hold on and Seals' top scorer Ryan Lowe pounced on the loose ball just 5 yards out. It looked like a certain goal but Young recovered, reacting quickly and making another fine stop.
Chester's number 11 Kevin Ellison had looked a handful during the opening exchanges and his rasping shot from 25 yards out after 23 minutes wasn't far off target.
Without big target man Matt Harrold to aim at, Wycombe were trying to play the ball to feet on the tricky surface but weren't creating much, although Matty Phillips had looked lively and tried shots in both the 4th and 15th minutes. The first was easily saved but the second forced Danby in the Chester goal to save with his feet after Phillips had beaten his marker and cut in from the left wing.
Wycombe improved as the half went on and the opening goal came in the 26th minute following a lung-bursting run from John Mousinho. Picking the ball up in the right-back position, Mousinho set up the attack by powering forward 60 yards before releasing a cross-field pass which led to Pittman playing the ball across the penalty area for Phillips to fire home high into the net
After half an hour Phillips could have made it two in a carbon-copy move but this time he ballooned Pittman's cross over the bar.
There were no more chances for Wycombe in the first half but Ellison had two more long range shots at goal which tested Young. One in particular was heading into the top corner of the net before the Aussie keeper dived to tip it clear colliding with the post as he did so.
The first half ended with Wycombe possibly a little fortunate to be in front.
The second half was only 6 minutes old when that man Ellison tried again. This time it was a superbly struck shot from 30 yards out which was dipping under the bar until Young made another important save.
Wycombe were enjoying most of the possession as they had in the first half and were playing some nice football at times but you always feared that Chester's more direct approach might yield them a goal.
To add to the tension, the rain had been constant and the pitch was by now beginning to suffer. With that in mind, some of Wycombe's passing between their own defenders deep in their own half was heart-stopping stuff.
Ryan Lowe had another attempt on goal for the visitors after 63 minutes when his shot from 20 yards flew just wide of the post.
Wycombe needed another goal to make this game safe and they got it after 66 minutes. A Craig Woodman free kick was aimed at the far post and Chris Zebroski rose above his marker to nod it back across goal and into the path of Jon-Paul Pittman who clinically fired the ball home.
No sooner had he scored than Pittman was replaced by Matt Harrold.
The second goal seemed to relax Wycombe and they played some good football for the next ten minutes with Craig Woodman venturing further forward than usual and linking up well with Phillips on the left flank.
It should have been 3-0 after 84 minutes when Matt Harrold was put through with only the keeper to beat. It was a tricky angle but Harrold could either have taken another few steps before shooting or squared the ball to Matty Phillips. As it was, his shot went wide of the left hand post.
Ashton and Spence replaced Beavon and Phillips as the clock ran down but neither became involved in the game.
The full time whistle went with Wycombe deserving all three points on the balance of play but Chester having given them some nervous moments.
Following on from two consecutive goalless draws, this was the result Wycombe really needed and they achieved it despite the pressure they must have felt to win and the atrocious conditions in which the match was played.
Jamie Young played well in goal and achieved his 4th straight clean sheet.
The pick of the defence was Dave McCracken whose recent form has made the loss of Mike Williamson less painful.
Almost everything in midfield goes through Tommy Doherty and today was no exception. He had another good game. John Mousinho made some forward runs from midfield in the first half but played very deep and was less visible in the second period.
Matty Phillips is becoming more effective the more he plays. He was always a threat this evening and took his goal very well. Chris Zebroski offered his usual running and tracking back and played his part well leading up to the second goal.
Pittman and Beavon were both industrious and kept the Chester defence on it's toes but Matt Harrold's physical presence and hold-up play were sorely missed at times.
Man Of The Match
1st placed Brentford WON away to 22nd placed Grimsby.
2nd placed Rochdale LOST away to 20th placed Barnet.
4th placed Bury LOST at home to 12th placed Chesterfield.
5th placed Exeter DREW away to 7th placed Shrewsbury
6th placed Gillingham DREW away to 24th placed Luton
Date:Wednesday March 4 2009
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