No spark for Wycombe
In a performance totally devoid of the urgency, spirit and determination you would expect of a side fighting to avoid the drop, Wycombe Wanderers drew 0-0 with Carlisle United this afternoon.
With the Cumbrians themselves giving possibly the worst display we've seen from an away side at Adams Park all season, the Chairboys wasted a glorious opportunity to take all three points and reassure the fans that they don't intend to go down without a fight.
It seems that as soon as Wycombe rectify one problem, another rears its ugly head. Last week it was comedy defending that had the travelling support shaking their heads in disbelief, but this week a clean-sheet was the only bright spot on a rapidly darkening horizon.
With John Mousinho having possibly his worst game ever in a Wycombe shirt and Dean Keates not a great deal better, central midfield belonged entirely to the Cumbrians and we can only be grateful that they didn't make the most of it.
Not that the ball spent much time in midfield, with Wycombe in particular, seemingly happy to launch long balls forward at every opportunity.
On the wings, Matt Phillips and Kevin McLeod went missing for large parts of the game and one can only assume that Kevin Betsy must be injured, because if Gary Waddock dropped him, it was a big mistake on today's evidence.
Up front, Matt Harrold did what he always does and put in loads of effort without ever looking like scoring, while his fellow front-man Jon-Paul Pittman seemed strangely lethargic. A dynamic duo they were not.
Only when Stuart Beavon was introduced in place of McLeod and began to link some moves together did the home side look remotely threatening, but even then, you wouldn't have put any money on one of them finding the net.
As far as incident is concerned, there's not much to write about.
The first half saw a deflected Pittman shot briefly trouble Carlisle keeper Adam Collin, before the Cumbrians hit back with a shot into the side-netting and a superb free kick from Ian Harte which only missed the target by a whisker.
The most exciting part of the game was when a Dean Keates corner actually made it past the first defender and was headed goalwards by firstly Adam Hinshelwood and then Alan Bennett only for Collin to make an excellent save and the Wycombe players to claim it was already over the line.
With the referee having none of it, the Blues played on, only for Mousinho to direct a free header wide of the post from Keates' cross.
Carlisle offered no real goalscoring threat in the second half, and the best that Wycombe could manage were two long range efforts, McLeod's shot being turned round the post by Collin and Phillips' fierce drive slipping a yard wide of the upright.
Confidence appears to be low among the Wycombe players. Too many of them treated the ball like a hot potato today. Even taking a simple throw-in and keeping possession seemed beyond them at times. Whoever was tasked with taking it was always hard pushed to find anyone offering themselves up to receive it, and that's not a good sign.
Man of the Match Performance
The ref blowing the full time whistle
Heaton, Kelly, Bennett, Hinshelwood, Woodman, Phillips, Keates, Mousinho, McLeod (Beavon 68), Harrold, Pittman (Revell 82)
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