Brighton ease past Chairboys in FA Cup
Wycombe Wanderers slipped quietly out of the FA Cup this evening when they were beaten 2-0 by Brighton & Hove Albion at the Withdean Stadium.
It's now fourteen games without a win for the hapless Chairboys and having lost in the first round of all three cup competitions, they only have the rigours of a relegation battle to look forward to for the rest of the season.
Manager Gary Waddock made five changes to the side that were humbled at Huddersfield on Saturday and the Chairboys lined up in a 4-5-1 formation as follows:
Mousinho Oliver Westwood Woodman
Betsy Green (59) Doherty Davies Phillips (81)
Subs Young Duberry Westlake Bloomfield Beavon(81) Zebroski(68) Pittman(59)
Brighton started on top, forcing several corners in the first five minutes alone, and seeing two early goalscoring efforts slide narrowly wide of the post, one of them almost turned into his own net by Wycombe defender John Mousinho.
As the game settled down Wycombe began to emerge from their shell and a breakaway by Matt Phillips could have led to the opening goal if his square ball to the on-rushing Scott Davies hadn't been brilliantly defended by the Seagulls' Andrew Whing.
The new-look Wycombe defence didn't look quite as panic-stricken as Saturday's motley crew, but set-pieces and crosses were still causing them problems, and following one particular corner John Mousinho had to be alert to clear the ball off his goal-line.
Matt Harrold had a half-chance for the visitors after 25 minutes but couldn't keep his header down, before Brighton's Elliott Bennett sprung the offside trap at the other end, but elected to square the ball when he really should have shot, allowing Luke Oliver to make a timely interception.
After 35 minutes, Scott Davies stung Brighton keeper Michel Kuipers' hands with a rasping effort from 20 yards and when Matt Harrold collected the rebound, he did well to create a chance for himself but could only fire his shot wide of the Seagulls' post.
A minute later, Brighton opened the scoring when Andrew Crofts converted an Elliott Bennett cross from close range.
Although it was a cruel blow for Wycombe, with the goal coming during their best spell of the first-half, it was no more than Brighton deserved on the balance of play.
Ten minutes into the second-half it was Craig Woodman's turn to clear one off the goal-line when Chris Westwood's under-hit header to keeper Scott Shearer allowed Liam Dickinson to intercept and loft the ball goalwards.
Waddock tried to spice up the Chairboys attack by introducing Jon-Paul Pittman for the ineffective Stuart Green after 59 minutes, but it was Brighton who immediately scored the all-important second goal.
Elliott Bennett was a thorn in Wycombe's side all night and it was his speculative long-distance shot on the hour mark which was enough to beat Wycombe keeper Scott Shearer and virtually settle the tie.
Betsy, Pittman and Doherty all had attempts at reducing the deficit but Brighton dealt with them comfortably and looked just as likely to increase their lead before the final whistle sounded on yet another disappointing defeat for Wycombe.