Wycombe lose out to QPR
Wycombe Wanderers were beaten 2-1 by a stylish looking QPR side at Adams Park this evening
Despite the result, this was a good test for Peter Taylor's team, marred only by worrying injuries to key midfielder Tommy Doherty and impressive new signing Ian Westlake.
The Chairboys were caught cold at the start of this match and found themselves two goals down to QPR after only 9 minutes, thanks to some uncharacteristically sloppy defending.
The home side's new look back-four all stood and watched as Wayne Routledge's cross from the right-wing went undefended, allowing Gavin Mahon the opportunity to head the opening goal from point-blank range after only 2 minutes.
Seven minutes later the visitors doubled their lead after a move involving former Wycombe loanee Angelo Balanta. The Columbian broke forward at speed before feeding Rowan Vine, whose cross was poorly dealt with by the Wycombe defence, gifting Patrick Agyemang a clear shot at goal from only 10 yards out. He didn't miss.
Any worries the home fans had at this point about QPR running-up a cricket score were soon dispelled as the Chairboys went on to give a good account of themselves against quality opposition.
Tommy Doherty didn't look out of place competing with the Championship side's midfield, and playing alongside him, promising youngster Lewis Montrose forced a save from Rangers keeper Radek Cenry with a fine strike from 20 yards out.
Jon-Paul Pittman and Stuart Beavon were also looking sharp up-front for the home side and it was Beavon who next tested Cerny after 36 minutes, forcing the keeper into a diving save.
Wycombe keeper Jamie Young also pulled off a flying save to prevent Martin Rowlands from increasing the visitors' lead.
The second half started with Matt Harrold and Scott Shearer on in place of JP Pittman and Jamie Young.
The visitors had another good spell straight after the break and Wycombe found themselves pinned back as Agyemang, Balanta and Rowlands all probed at their defences.
The home side had a moment's relief when a pin-point pass from Doherty found Matt Harrold at the back post, but the big striker's weak header failed to trouble the visiting keeper.
Beavon and Bloomfield were replaced by Zebroski and Phillips after 58 minutes and Wycombe changed from a 4-4-2 to a 4-5-1 formation.
Phillips was a breath of fresh air with two solo runs at the QPR defence giving home fans a glimpse of what to expect this season from a player with a year's experience under his belt and the added confidence that comes with it.
Doherty meanwhile had limped off the field clearly in considerable pain from what looked like an ankle injury. He was replaced by Luke Oliver who moved to central defence with Chis Westwood moving to right-back and John Mousinho to midfield.
QPR continued to enjoy most of the possession as they searched for a third goal and it took a fine save from Scott Shearer after 81 minutes to prevent Adel Taarabt from chalking-up number three.
Wycombe's goal came from a well worked free-kick which was won by Chris Zebroski. The 83rd minute kick found Matt Harrold at the back post and his header across the face of the goal was fired home by Luke Oliver.
The home side had one more chance to level the match but Mousinho and Harrold got in each other's way when attempting to convert a Matt Phillips cross.
As the match drew to a close, Ian Westlake suddenly pulled up with what looked like a hamstring problem and was replaced by George Daly.
Mousinho Duberry Westwood Cobb
Bloomfield (58) Doherty (60) Montrose Westlake (88)
Pittman (45) Beavon (58)
Subs: Shearer (45), Harrold (45), Zebroski (58), Phillips (58), Oliver (60), Daly (88)
The Pick Of The Bunch
Matt Phillips - Ran through a Championship defence as if they weren't there.
Tommy Doherty - Quality.
Joe Cobb - Will give Craig Woodman a run for his money. Looks better with every outing.
Luke Oliver - Solid in defence. Potent in attack. Much improved.
Ian Westlake - Experienced head. Gets stuck in and passes well.
Pittman & Beavon - Both looked lively and sharp.
Off The Boil
Westwood & Duberry - Not the liveliest defensive pairing on today's performance.
Matt Harrold - Wasn't with it tonight. Wasted too much possession.