Vital Football

Latest Wycombe Wanderers News

Zebroski Double not enough for Wycombe at Charlton

Zebroski Double not enough for Wycombe at Charlton

Wycombe Wanderers marked their return to League One this afternoon with a second-half fightback which very nearly earned them a point against Charlton Athletic at The Valley.


The final result may have been 3-2 to the Addicks but it was the home crowd who breathed a sigh of relief when the full-time whistle sounded, after the Chairboys had laid siege to their goal during the final stages of the game.


Wycombe manager Peter Taylor opted for a 4-5-1 (4-3-3) formation and the Blues lined up as follows:

Shearer

Smith Duberry Westwood (94) Woodman

Zebroski Green (58) Mousinho Montrose Phillips

Harrold (58)

Subs: Young Johnson Oliver(94) Bloomfield Spiller Pittman(58) Beavon(58)


Wycombe may have started the first-half playing like Brazil for all I know (although I seriously doubt it). Having opted not to drive today, the 3 hr 10 minute mystery tour on the official supporters coach meant my first sight of the game was Charlton's Kelly Youga bearing down on Scott Shearer's goal only to fire his shot into the side-netting with 13 minutes already gone.

Ten minutes later I was wishing I'd stayed on the bus, having watched the marauding Addicks cut through a nervous looking Wycombe with ease, eventually punishing them with two goals in quick succession.

Charlton debutante Christian Dailly was the first to take advantage of the Chairboys' current inability to defend set pieces when he rose to meet a corner, nodding it into the net past a hesitant Scott Shearer and a static Adam Smith.

There was hardly time to draw breath before Charlton were at it again. Full-back Frazer Richardson tormented the Wycombe defence inside their penalty area, before cutting the ball back for an unmarked Nicky Bailey to slam it home.

The Addicks were buzzing at this point. Using the full width of the pitch they were carving a path through Wycombe with their slick passing and good movement off the ball. The Chairboys on the other hand were looking like rabbits caught in headlights, seemingly unable to stem the tide with anything other than long clearances in the general direction of Matt Harrold.

When Lloyd Sam found himself totally in the clear only ten yards from goal following a great move by the Addicks after 33 minutes, it could have been all over for Wycombe had he not ballooned his shot over the crossbar.

Then as the first half came to an end Chris Zebroski popped-up with a goal which Wycombe barely deserved at that point but which gave them the injection of confidence they so badly needed.

Lewis Montrose swept a lovely cross-field ball into the path of Craig Woodman and the full-back's cross to the back post saw Zebroski leap like a salmon to plant his header into the net past keeper Rob Elliot.


Any hopes of Wycombe taking something from the game seemed dashed when more comical defending allowed Miguel Llera to restore Charlton's two-goal lead soon after the break.

It was another set-piece disaster, and some will blame Matt Harrold for allowing the Charlton free-kick to glance off his head and travel to the back-post where two unmarked Charlton players were virtually lining up to knock it in, watched by the static pairing of Westwood and Duberry. No doubt Harrold should have cleared the danger, but he wasn't the only one to blame. Where was the marking at the back post?

Seven minutes later Wycombe manager Peter Taylor made the double substitution which was to drastically change Wycombe's potency in attack when he introduced Jon-Paul Pittman and Stuart Beavon in place of Matt Harrold and Stuart Green.

Short, nippy, and with good close-control, the two newcomers linked-up well together and along with the tireless Chris Zebroski and the emerging Matt Phillips, they began to cause the Charlton defence real problems.

When Zebroski took Beavon's beautifully threaded pass and coolly slotted the ball past Elliot after 73 minutes, the travelling support began to believe that something could be salvaged from this game.

Now playing like a team who believed they belong on this stage, the Chairboys peppered the Charlton goal in search of the equaliser.

A deflected shot from Phillips was dropping under the crossbar when it was headed off the line by Richardson.

A frantic goalmouth scramble saw Charlton escape when no one in blue-quarters could apply the finishing touch.

It was all happening in front of the travelling supporters now, although Craig Woodman had to be on his toes at the other end of the field to clear the Wycombe lines after Andy Gray had rounded Scott Shearer and rolled the ball goalwards.

A Pittman header flew just over the crossbar and then the same player saw Elliot save his stinging shot.

Then in the final minute of stoppage time when Wycombe's pressure brought them another corner kick, Luke Oliver entered the fray and in what could have been a fairytale ending he rose to head the ball at the far post only for the fans to groan with frustration as it narrowly flew over the crossbar.


Summary

Unlucky not to take a point after a superb final 20 minutes which was almost good enough to make you forget how dire we were in the first half. In attack, we offered no real threat until Pittman and Beavon were introduced. Defensively we looked vulnerable and cumbersome. The central-defensive pairing of Westwood and Duberry seems too slow.


Man Of The Match

Chris Zebroski


Pick Of The Rest

Stuart Beavon & Jon-Paul Pittman



Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Len
Date:Sunday August 9 2009
Time: 2:09AM

Login to post a comment

Recent Wycombe Wanderers Articles

Squad Update: Paris is back again

Wycombe squad reaches 15 players

Are Players Set For A Football Exit?

With the country narrowly voting to leave the European Union in Thursday's Referendum, there are certainly plenty of real questions that have to be addressed in terms...

Squad Update: Bean finally decides to stay

Squad rises to 14 players

Blues draw Bristol City in the League Cup

Wanderers at home to Robins

Archived Vital Wycombe Articles

Vital Wycombe articles from

Site Journalists

Len
Editor email
Profile
Benny
no email
Profile
Dale Jenkins
no email
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

Who was your Man of the Match against Oxford?
Suggested By:
McCarthy51%
Pierre18%
Other31%

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Northampton 46 29 12 5 99 36
P Oxford 46 24 14 8 86 43
P Bristol Rovers 46 26 7 13 85 31
4 Accrington 46 24 13 9 85 26
5 Plymouth 46 24 9 13 81 26
6 Portsmouth 46 21 15 10 78 31
7 Wimbledon 46 21 12 13 75 14
8 Leyton Orient 46 19 12 15 69 -1
9 Cambridge 46 18 14 14 68 11
10 Carlisle 46 17 16 13 67 5
11 Luton 46 19 9 18 66 2
12 Mansfield 46 17 13 16 64 8
13 Wycombe 46 17 13 16 64 1
14 Exeter 46 17 13 16 64 -2
15 Barnet 46 17 11 18 62 -1
16 Hartlepool 46 15 6 25 51 -23
17 Notts County 46 14 9 23 51 -29
18 Stevenage 46 11 15 20 48 -15
19 Yeovil 46 11 15 20 48 -16
20 Crawley 46 13 8 25 47 -33
21 Morecambe 46 12 10 24 46 -22
22 Newport 46 10 13 23 43 -21
R Dag & Red 46 8 10 28 34 -35
R York 46 7 13 26 34 -36
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News

Recent Wycombe Wanderers Results (view all)

Wycombe Wanderers Fixtures (view all)