Vital Football

Latest Wycombe Wanderers News

Bull saves the day as Blues draw with Vale

Bull saves the day as Blues draw with Vale


Wycombe Wanderers 1 Port Vale 1


Blues' keeper Nikki Bull saved a late penalty to ensure the spoils were shared at the end of an entertaining clash at Adams Park.

They couldn't make it six home-wins in a row, but having been a goal down to promotion rivals Vale, Wycombe's first draw since October could prove to be a valuable point at the end of the season.

Injuries and suspensions gave the Wycombe line-up an unfamiliar look. Scott Donnelly started his first game for the club in place of Matt Bloomfield, Danny Foster continued to deputise for Andy Sandell at left-back and Leon Johnson returned to the side in the absence of both Dave Winfield and Alan Bennett.

Worryingly, the Blues named just six substitutes and loanee left-back Anthony Straker was the only defender on the bench.

In a frantic start, Vale attacked straight from the kick-off with Robert Taylor showing an impressive turn of speed down the left to serve notice that he was one to watch.

At the other end, a Donnelly free-kick was bundled goalwards by Gareth Ainsworth, and when the ball broke to Kevin Betsy, his fierce drive was parried by Vale keeper Chris Martin.

Still only minutes into the game, Taylor raced down the left flank again and crossed for Doug Loft whose shot was brilliantly tipped over the bar by Bull in a superb reaction save.

After a breathtaking start, the game settled down, and neither side forged another clear-cut chance until five minutes before half-time when Ben Strevens beat the offside-trap and found himself in the clear. With only the keeper to beat, one option would have been to go for goal himself, but with both Betsy and Donnelly in support, Strevens picked a poor pass which allowed Vale to clear the danger. It was a glorious opportunity wasted.

Vale immediately responded with a break down the right and another shot from Loft which Bull dived low to his left to save.

It seems no match would be complete without an audacious effort from Gareth Ainsworth and today was no exception. The veteran had already sent one rasping long-range effort narrowly over the crossbar, but that was nothing compared to a fifty-yard drive that had Vale keeper Martin scampering across his box before gratefully watching the ball glide just past the post.

Vale scored the opening goal two minutes into the second half when Taylor went on a run down the left and delivered a low cross which outfoxed both Bull and Leon Johnson. Bull's dive failed to intercept the ball and the hapless Johnson slid in behind him to bundle it into his own net.

Ten minutes later the Blues were level when Donnelly scored his first goal for the club. Still working on his match-fitness and virtually anonymous up to that point, the loanee collected the ball outside the box and weaved his way past a couple of defenders before planting a low shot into the corner of the net.

Wycombe pressed for a winner, but this game could have gone either way and they had Bull to thank for saving a Lewis Haldane header from close range and a Tom Pope drive from distance, while at the other end Betsy glanced a header narrowly past the post.

With less than ten minutes remaining, The Blues suffered what looked like a killer blow when Johnson was unable to get out of the way of a fierce cross from the left, the Vale fans screamed handball, and the referee duly pointed to the spot.

Nikki Bull has earned Wycombe so many points this season that it almost felt greedy to hope he would do it again, but he did. To an enormous roar of appreciation, Bull dived to his right but kept his eye on the ball and used his trailing leg to lash Pope's spot-kick well clear of danger, thus preserving yet another precious point for the side.

It's tempting to name Bull as man-of-the-match, but with Bloomfield out injured and Donnelly not quite in the same combative mould, Stuart Lewis really had his work cut out in central-midfield today and his tireless performance was magnificent.


Special Mention - Nikki Bull

Man of the Match - Stuart Lewis



Line-up
Bull, McCoy, Westwood, Johnson, Foster, Ainsworth (Rendell 73), Lewis, Donnelly, Betsy, Strevens, Beavon (Pittman 84).



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

Writer:Len
Date:Saturday February 5 2011
Time: 8:35PM

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)