Battling Wycombe too good for Stockport
Wycombe Wanderers made it three wins out of four when they came from behind to beat fellow strugglers Stockport County
2-1 at Adams Park this afternoon.
After a truly dire first half which was totally devoid of anything approaching quality and demonstrated exactly why these two sides find themselves at the bottom of the table, one can only assume Wycombe manager Gary Waddock read the riot act to his team at half-time, such was the improvement in their performance after the break.
It would have been easy for the home side to have lost heart when County took an undeserved lead with only 25 minutes remaining, but the Chairboys kept fighting and earned their just reward when Chris Westwood equalised after 75 minutes and Scott Davies fired home the winner with only 7 minutes to go.
Already missing several players through injury, the news that Tommy Doherty and Stuart Beavon were also unfit to play, meant four changes to the side that lost at Southampton on Tuesday and the Blues lined up in a 4-4-2 formation as follows:
Hunt Westwood Oliver Woodman
Phillips Mousinho Davies Betsy
Harrold (77) Akinde
Subs: Young Duberry Green Westlake Bloomfield Pittman (77)
Wycombe started the match strongly with both Scott Davies and Matt Phillips trying their luck from distance, but when the hoped-for breakthrough didn't arrive, the Hatters gained in confidence and began to pose a threat of their own.
Realising that they had the Wycombe defence beaten for pace, the visitors began to thread passes through for the nippy Nicholas Bignall to chase and after he got the better of Chris Westwood on one occasion only some poor finishing on his part prevented the Hatters from opening the scoring.
As the first half continued in disjointed fashion thanks to some wayward passing from both sides and some strange decisions from novice referee Darren Sheldrake, all Wycombe offered were more long range shots from Davies and Phillips and a near post jab from John Akinde which went narrowly wide of the post.
At the other end, Stockport will feel they should have taken the lead when James Vincent headed wide after finding himself unmarked on the end of a cross from Bignall.
Another County breakaway down the left flank forced Wycombe keeper Scott Shearer to make a diving save, but when the half time whistle went at 0-0, the score was a fair reflection of both teams' performance and you wouldn't have bet against it being the full-time score as well.
The Second half was a different matter and following a period of concerted pressure, the revitalised Chairboys could easily have been two goals up by the time Stockport stunned the Adams Park crowd with an unlikely opener.
A slick attack from the Blues caused panic in the County defence and when the ball was only cleared as far as the edge of the box, John Mousinho fired in a fierce shot which keeper Williams couldn't hold, spilling it at the feet of striker Matt Harrold, who, showing an unfortunate lack of anticipation, couldn't react in time.
Shortly afterwards, Harrold's strikers' instincts let him down again when a pinpoint cross to Matt Phillips at the far post was nodded back across the face of the goal begging for a finishing touch as the big centre-forward stood rooted to the spot.
Not for the first time this season, Wycombe's lack of a cutting edge looked like costing them dearly when Stockport waltzed up the other end of the pitch and Carl Baker curled his 12th goal of the campaign past keeper Shearer after turning Chris Westwood inside-out on the edge of the box.
It was crunch time now and the home crowd were only too aware that how the Chairboys reacted could have a massive bearing on their chances of survival in League One.
It had been a much better second-half performance but that would have counted for nothing without a result and the sense of relief was palpable when Chris Westwood rose to meet Scott Davies' corner and powered his header into the Stockport net for a deserved equaliser.
Gary Waddock immediately introduced Jon-Paul Pittman in place of the hapless Harrold as Wycombe pushed forward in search of the winner and with seven minutes remaining they got it, with Scott Davies' shot from just outside the box taking a deflection on its way past Williams in the Stockport goal.
Stockport looked crestfallen, but it was no more than they deserved and the Chairboys held out for all three points.
Men Of The Match
Luke Oliver & Scott Davies