Date:Saturday September 24 2011
Wycombe Wanderers 1 Sheffield United 0
The Blues climbed out of the relegation zone with a gutsy win over the Blades in front of a nervous but noisy Adams Park crowd.
Before the current season started, most Wycombe fans accepted that their newly-promoted side were likely to struggle in a higher division, but few expected it to be quite as painful as it has been in recent weeks.
Five defeats on the trot without scoring a solitary goal is about as gloomy as it gets, and today's victory is just what the doctor ordered to lift the spirits of players and fans alike.
Stuart Beavon's 31st minute strike changed the game completely.
Prior to that, it seemed only a matter of time until the Blades made their pressure count and punctured the defences of a sorry looking Blues' side that appeared low on confidence and bereft of ideas.
It seemed Beavon would be in for a long, hard afternoon chasing desperate clearances as he ploughed a lone furrow up-front while his team-mates backed-off and frantically tried to prevent the Blades from carving them apart.
Nikki Bull saved a couple of long shots, a few went wide, and yet more flew over the top as the visitors strived to add an end product to their slick passing game.
Beavon had tested Simonsen with a low shot early on, and Donnelly tried a speculative effort from 25 yards, but if you were going to bet your house you certainly wouldn't have put it on Wycombe opening the scoring.
They did though, and it was a goal that typified Beavon's tenacious contribution to the afternoon's entertainment. The Blades' defence failed to deal with an awkwardly bouncing ball and the little striker was in there like a flash before carrying it into the area and lashing it home with aplomb.
Suddenly Wycombe were on top and the Blades looked blunt. Beavon had another shot saved and Stuart Lewis put one wide as confidence began to flow through the veins of the home side and they finished the first-half looking a different proposition altogether.
The expected backlash from United at the start of the second half never materialised, and the Blues enjoyed another decent spell of pressure for the opening ten minutes.
Bull then tipped a ferocious 25 yard shot from Ched Evans onto the crossbar and that marked the start of a renewed onslaught from the Blades.
There were other chances for Wycombe though. Beavon shimmied on the right before playing-in Harding who elected to lay the ball off to Grant, but with only the keeper to beat, and perhaps more time than he realised, the winger snatched at his shot and screwed the ball wide of the post.
Leon Johnson almost capped a masterful performance with a goal, but his glancing header from a Sandell cross didn't have enough on it to beat Simonsen.
At the other end there were a series of goalmouth scrambles, last ditch tackles, brave dives at feet and heroic punches from Bull as the Blues finally enjoyed a bit of luck and kept the high-flying Blades at bay to take all three points.
Stuart Beavon takes man of the match for his silky skills and tireless performance, but the spine of the side was magnificent today. Bull, Johnson, Lewis and Beavon were all worthy of special praise.
Next up on Tuesday are Preston North End who won their sixth league game in a row this afternoon. Bring 'em on.
Wycombe Line-up & ratings
Bull (8), Foster (6), Tunnicliffe (7), Johnson (8), Sandell (5), Grant (6) Halls 87 (n/a)), Donnelly (6) Bloomfield 85 (n/a)), Harding (5), Lewis (8), Harris (6) (Strevens 76 (5)), Beavon (8).
Date:Saturday September 24 2011
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