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Chairboys nailed by Cobblers

Chairboys nailed by Cobblers

Wycombe Wanderers are out of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy after losing 3-0 on penalties to Northampton Town.


The full-time score was 2-2, but with the Chairboys failing to convert any of their first three spot-kicks, the Cobblers took full advantage and dispatched theirs with aplomb to seal a place in the 2nd round draw.


Wycombe manager Peter Taylor made eight changes to the side that beat Bristol Rovers on Saturday and the team lined up in a 4-4-2 formation as follows:

Young

Smith Westwood Johnson Woodman (46)

Phillips (71) Pack Montrose Westlake

Beavon (34) Pittman

Subs: Shearer Cobb (46) Oliver Spence (71) Chambers (34)



Wycombe made a good start with Matt Phillips escaping his marker to fire in a teasing cross as early as the first minute, the ball breaking to Ian Westlake, whose shot was blocked by the Cobblers' defence.

Continuing to press the visitors, the home side had another great chance to open the scoring after 10 minutes when Jon-Paul Pittman found himself racing towards goal in a one-on-one situation with Cobblers' keeper Chris Dunn, who successfully cleared the danger.

Northampton were looking dangerous on the break, with their number eleven Andy Holt proving a handful for Wycombe's young right-back Adam Smith.

Westlake and Beavon had another couple of attempts at goal before injury forced Wycombe into a substitution after only 34 minutes.

Beavon had already needed treatment once and when he went down again under another challenge, manager Taylor was taking no chances and replaced him with debutante Ashley Chambers.

Within the Chairboys 4-4-2 formation this evening, the two central midfielders Marlon Pack and Lewis Montrose were both of the same ilk, deep-lying and reluctant to progress too far up the field.

This wasn't a problem while Beavon was playing as he tends to drop deep and act as the link-man between midfield and attack, but once he departed, a big gap between the strikers and the midfield was all too apparent at times.

The opening goal was a penalty awarded to Northampton for a push by Leon Johnson.

A cross from the left caused panic in the Wycombe box and was headed wide of the post by Northampton's Ben Marshall with Johnson adjudged to have fouled him in the process. Ryan Gilligan stepped up to confidently fire the spot-kick home.

The home side just about shaded the first half and could consider themselves unlucky to be a goal behind.



The second half started with Joe Cobb on in place of Craig Woodman.

The young left-back certainly likes to get forward and his good combination with Ashley Chambers just after the break led to the striker firing a low shot just wide of the post.

Jon-Paul Pittman had another shot wide of target shortly afterwards as Wycombe pressed for an equaliser.

After an hour, they got it, and Pittman was again in the thick of things. It was his ball into the box which was handled by Cobblers defender Dean Beckwith, and JP himself who stepped up to fire home the resulting penalty kick.

Once Wycombe had equalised, Northampton raised their game again and looked the likelier side to grab a winner.

Pittman and Chambers were becoming isolated in attack and the introduction of Lewwis Spence for the lively Matt Phillips did nothing to improve things.

It was a typically stilted piece of play in the Wycombe midfield which led to the Cobblers second goal. With no one willing or able to craft a forward pass, the Blues played at least half a dozen pointless sideways balls before inevitably losing possession and allowing Northampton to quickly find Steve Guinan who gratefully rifled the ball into the corner of the net.

With the goal coming after 86 minutes it looked like curtains for Wycombe but two minutes into injury time they leveled the score.

A Wycombe corner was cleared back out to full-back Adam Smith and with everyone in the Cobblers box, including Chairboys' keeper Jamie Young, the youngster's cross struck Pittman and found the net to take the game to penalties.

A draw was just about right on the balance of play.

Wycombe's first two penalties were aimed low and left by Ian Westlake and Ashley Chambers but both were comfortably saved by Northampton keeper Dunn.

The Chairboys' third penalty was put wide of the post by Leon Johnson.

Meanwhile, the Cobblers took their first three penalties like Germans and the game was up.



Man Of The Match

Jon-Paul Pittman



Loanees

Smith - Pushed forward well but seems lightweight in defence.

Cobb - I was impressed. He did well defensively and is quick and confident going forward. (Wish he was a right-back)

Pack - A more muscular version of Lewis Montrose.

Chambers - Looks sharp but got very little service tonight.


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Writer:Len
Date:Wednesday September 2 2009
Time: 1:39AM

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