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Promotion Race Preview: Hereford v Wycombe:

Promotion Race Preview:  Hereford v Wycombe:


Wycombe Wanderers travel to Hereford United on Tuesday for their 40th league game of the season.


The league table currently shows Wycombe in 2nd place with 67 points from 39 games and Hereford in 19th spot with 45 points from 39 games

Hereford's Home Record.....Won 3 - Drawn 9 - Lost 7 - Pts 18 (Rank-24)

Wycombe's Away Record....Won 9 - Drawn 5 - Lost 5 - Pts 32 (Rank-2)


Still second after their victory over Stockport on Saturday, the Blues will attempt to put a bit of daylight between themselves and the chasing pack when they play their vital 'game in hand' against the Bulls tomorrow night.

Yes, winning all three points at Edgar Street would be very handy indeed with Shrewsbury and Bury breathing down our necks while Stevenage, Torquay, Gillingham and Accrington all seem to have forgotten how to lose.

It won't be easy though. The two sides have met twice already this season, Wycombe winning in the league at Adams Park on Boxing Day and Hereford gaining revenge by returning sixteen days later to turf the Blues out of the FA Cup.

So, after three hours of football on Wycombe's own patch, the current aggregate score is 2-2, which suggests that no-one should take victory at Edgar Street for granted despite the Bulls' lowly position.

Having said that, there are quite a few reasons to be positive......

Mathieu Manset scored both their goals against us earlier this season, but as he now plays for Reading, he won't be doing it again on Tuesday.

With only 3 (yes three) league victories at Edgar Street this season, the Bulls have the worst home-record in the entire division. (They beat Stockport, Morecambe and Crewe by the way).

In their last eight games Hereford have scored only four goals and haven't managed more than a single goal in any one match.

If those snippets have rekindled your optimism, here's an antidote....

The Bulls have vastly improved in the second half of the season. They collected only 22 points from their first 23 games, but have picked up a further 23 points in the 16 games they've played since then. That's only 4 points less that Wycombe have won in the same period.

Most supporters will also remember our last trip to Edgar Street. With only nine games left of the 2007/08 season, the Blues were 5th and travelled to 3rd placed Hereford with high hopes of reeling them in and clinching the final automatic promotion place. It seemed a long journey home after Russell Martin's own-goal gave the Bulls a 1-0 win.

The good news is that Wycombe are in quite good form themselves.

With three clean sheets and only two goals conceded in the last five games, the defence seems to have tightened up since the introduction of Leon Johnson, and if you're not letting any in, you're more likely to win a few.

When the going gets tough, the tough get going, and veteran skipper Gareth Ainsworth has certainly stepped up in recent weeks, 'scoring' against Shrewsbury and Morecambe, winning penalties in each of the last two games and providing the assist for Lewis Montrose to lash home Saturday's opening goal.

After two wins in a row you would imagine Gary Waddock will stick to the same starting line-up (injuries permitting) although it must be tempting to reintroduce fit-again left-back Andy Sandell, and if we're likely to become embroiled in a midfield battle, Kieran Murtagh might be a better bet than Scott Donnelly.

The last three performances seem to suggest that whoever plays, the penny's dropped that we're in the home straight now and there's very little margin for error. It's an old cliche, but it's true, the Blues have seven cup finals between now and the end of the season.

Here are all the stats......


Hereford's last five games (All Competitions)

LG2: Southend (A)......... Lost 0-4

LG2: Port Vale (A).........Drew 1-1

LG2: Crewe (H)..............Won 1-0

LG2: Accrington (A).........Lost 0-4

LG2: Gillingham (A).......Drew 0-0



Wycombe's last five. games (All Competitions)

LG2: Barnet (A)...............Won 1-0

LG2: Stevenage (H)..........Lost 0-1

LG2: Shrewsbury (A).......Drew 1-1

LG2: Morecambe (A)........Won 3-0

LG2: Stockport (H)...........Won 2-0



Hereford Goal Stats (46 games in all Competitions)

Goals Scored (Total)..........Lg: 44...Cups: 13...Total: 57

Goals Conceded (Total)......Lg: 61...Cups: 16...Total: 77

Goals Scored (Home).........Lg: 19...Cups: 7.....Total: 26

Goals Conceded (Home).....Lg: 27...Cups: 9.....Total: 36

Clean Sheets.....................Lg: 10...Cups: 1.....Total: 11



Wycombe Goal Stats (45 games in all Competitions)

Goals Scored (Total)...........Lg: 57...Cups: 11...Total: 68

Goals Conceded (Total).......Lg: 44...Cups: 11...Total: 55

Goals Scored (Away)..........Lg: 26...Cups: 4.....Total: 30

Goals Conceded (Away)......Lg: 22...Cups: 1.....Total: 23

Clean Sheets......................Lg: 14...Cups: 1.....Total: 15



Hereford's Top Goal Scorers - (All Competitions)

Stuart Fleetwood........16

Mathieu Manset..........13 (inc 1 pen)

Robert Purdie..............5 (inc 1 pen)

Joe Colbeck................4

James McQuilkin..........3

Richard Rose...............3

Waide Fairhurst...........3

Hereford have benefitted from two own-goals.

Three other players have each scored two goals.

Two other players have each scored one goal.



Wycombe's Top Goal Scorers - (All Competitions)

Scott Rendell...........15 (inc 8 pens)

Gareth Ainsworth.....10

Kevin Betsy..............7

Andy Sandell............7

Stuart Beavon...........5

Ben Strevens............5

Lewis Montrose.........4

Matt Bloomfield.........3

Jon-Paul Pittman.......3

Three other players have each scored two goals.

Three other players have each scored one goal



Hereford Shooting (Top-3) - All Competitions

Stuart Fleetwood....44 on-target...27 off-target...3 against woodwork

Joe Colbeck...........35 on-target...30 off-target...0 against woodwork

Mathieu Manset......31 on-target...33 off-target...0 against woodwork



Wycombe Shooting (Top-3) - All Competitions

Kevin Betsy............22 on-target...46 off-target...2 against woodwork

Gareth Ainsworth....23 on-target...35 off-target...3 against woodwork

Stuart Beavon........24 on-target...25 off-target...2 against woodwork



Shooting (Club) - League Games Only

Hereford.....187 on target...185 off target...10 against w'work (Rank-16)

Wycombe...168 on target...230 off target...16 against w'work (Rank-13)



Most Assists

Hereford - Joe Colbeck..............6

Wycombe - Betsy & Ainsworth....6



League Form Guide

All Season


Hereford....Pld: 39...W: 11...D: 12...L: 16...Pts: 45...Pts per game: 1.15

Wycombe...Pld: 39...W: 19...D: 10...L: 10...Pts: 67...Pts per game: 1.72



First-half of the season

Hereford.....Pld: 23...W: 5.....D: 7...L: 11...Pts: 22...Pts per game: 0.96

Wycombe....Pld: 23...W: 11...D: 7...L: 5.....Pts: 40...Pts per game: 1.74



Second-half of the season

Hereford.....Pld: 16...W: 6...D: 5...L: 5...Pts: 23...Pts per game: 1.44

Wycombe....Pld: 16...W: 8...D: 3...L: 5...Pts: 27...Pts per game: 1.69



Last Five league Games

Hereford..........LDWLD - 5 points (Rank-16)

Wycombe......WLDWW - 10 points (Rank-6)



Last Five League Games (Home)

Hereford..........DDLLW - 5 points (Rank-19)



Last Five League Games (Away)

Wycombe......WLWDW - 10 points (Rank-4)



Against Top Half Opposition

Hereford......Pld: 20...Pts: 22...Pts per game: 1.10...(Rank-16)

Wycombe.....Pld: 18...Pts: 23...Pts per game: 1.28...(Rank-7)



Against Bottom Half Opposition

Hereford......Pld: 19...Pts: 23...Pts per game: 1.21...(Rank-22)

Wycombe.....Pld: 21...Pts: 44...Pts per game: 2.10...(Rank-2)



Previous Meetings

In 8 previous meetings there have been 4 wins for Wycombe, 2 for Hereford and 2 draws.

At Edgar Street there have been 2 wins for Wycombe, 1 for Hereford and 0 draws.

1993/94 LG2: Hereford 3 Wycombe 4

1993/94 LG2: Wycombe 3 Hereford 2

2006/07 LG2: Hereford 1 Wycombe 2

2006/07 LG2: Wycombe 0 Hereford 0

2007/08 LG2: Wycombe 2 Hereford 2

2007/08 LG2: Hereford 1 Wycombe 0

2010/11 LG2: Wycombe 2 Hereford 1

2010/11 FAC: Wycombe 0 Hereford 1



The Man In The Middle

Saturday's referee is Oliver Langford from the West Midlands who was promoted to the National List of Referees in 2008. His last Wycombe game was a 4-1 home win over Burton Albion earlier this season. During the current campaign he's issued 4 red and 67 yellow cards in 29 games.



Prediction

Hereford 0 Wycombe 1



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

Writer:Len
Date:Monday April 4 2011
Time: 12:52AM

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