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Preview: Wycombe Wanderers v Burton Albion


Wycombe Wanderers' stay at the bottom of the Football League lasted for approximately 77 hours. That is 77 hours too long of course and there is huge relief we have climbed off the bottom at the earliest possible opportunity with a surprise and yet delightful 3-2 victory over Rotherham United in midweek.

There are of course many better reasons to enjoy a first win in eight matches but beating any side managed by the egregious Steve Evans is always a cause for celebration. One reason is that the side showed immense character to bounce back after conceding a sloppy goal inside the opening 16 seconds. Goalkeeper Jordan Archer will have been as disappointed as anyone to have fumbled Danny Nardiello's initial effort to gift the Millers the opening goal.

There are plenty of bouquets being showered on 'dangerous Dave' Winfield at the moment and he lived up to that tag as he powered a header past home goalkeeper Andy Warrington to level on the half hour. Mark Bradley came up with an impressive finish to restore the hosts' lead six minutes later but striker Matt McClure realised some of his undoubted promise after the break and showed up the experienced duo of Ian Sharps and Jason Taylor with some fine marksmanship to notch a quick fire brace.

Any Chairboys who felt comfortable at 3-2 are either a) lying or b) on drugs. Yet the team saw out the remaining time, including the seven that were added-on to record a priceless victory. Those precious and oh so beautiful three points have taken the club up to the giddy heights of 23rd place in the table but perhaps more importantly have put confidence back into the veins of the players and a little slice of hope into the hearts of supporters who feared the worse.

Gareth Ainsworth perhaps surprised a few with his team selection as he made two changes. Out went Sam Wood and Dennis Oli and in came Bruno Andrade and Matt McClure. On such decisions are managerial careers decided (unless of course you manage Chelsea) and the fact that Matt went on to score the first brace of his career to win the game is to the credit of both men. Whilst the quality of the squad will continually be debated, the heart of the side cannot be called into question and that is exactly what we will need to see every time the light and dark blue shirts are donned this season.

Next up for the Blues is the second ever visit to Adams Park from Burton Albion. The Brewers have followed in the Wanderers' footsteps by making the step up to the Football League after many decades in non-league football. That triumph was achieved under the guidance of current Derby County manager Nigel Clough following their move to the Pirelli Stadium, and they have made a very encouraging start under boss Gary Rowett and currently lie 10th in the League Two table, just a point off the play off places.

They have won three of their nine away league matches so far, but will be smarting after losing 1-0 at home to Aldershot Town in midweek, a result which prevented the Chairboys from climbing out of the bottom two. It might only be Albion's second ever visit to Adams Park but it is their fifth trip to the Chair Metropolis. The first came way back in November 1955 when the sides met in a F.A. Cup first round proper tie. It was only the second time in the club's history that they had reached that stage but the visitors from the Birmingham League won 3-1 in front of 9,696 at Loakes Park with striker Paul Bates notching for the hosts.

It was almost 30 years before the Brewers returned to High Wycombe, this time for a F.A. Cup 4th qualifying round tie at Loakes Park in October 1984. 928 fans saw defender Anton Vircavs' goal earn a 1-1 draw. The Albion manager at the time was none other than a certain Neil Warnock and he was already honing his reputation as a right charmer. He warned Blues fans not to travel to Eton Park for the replay the following Wednesday if they didn't own a pair of brown trousers, and the dystopian vision was realised as a hostile crowd of 3,442 saw their side win 2-1, with Declan Link scoring for the visitors.

Revenge was sweet almost exactly a year later as the sides again met in a F.A. Cup 4th qualifying round tie at Loakes Park. This time Simon Read's goal was enough to secure a 1-0 victory and the reward was a first round tie with Colchester United. Anyone remember how we got on in that one?

The last meeting between the sides came in February 2011 as Gary Waddock's side steamrollered their opponents. Stuart Lewis burst into the box to fire home a 10th minute opener before Lewis Montrose doubled the lead when his shot took a deflection to loop over visiting goalkeeper Adam Legzdins and into the net.

Stuart Lewis made it 3-0 before half-time when he let fly from 25 yards and his shot crept inside the far post to give the combative midfielder an unlikely brace. Striker Sam Winnall did pull a goal back for the Brewers early in the second half but when striker Jon-Paul Pittman was up-ended in box by Darren Moore, Scott Rendell stepped up to score from the spot and wrap up a handsome 4-1 victory which took the Blues back into second place in the League Two table.

Gareth Ainsworth will be forced to make at least one change to his starting line-up at the weekend with defender Charles Dunne serving a one match ban after collecting five bookings this season. That is likely to see Sam Wood come back into the side to deputise at left-back. He is also set to include striker Ade Azeez in the squad after signing the 18-year old on loan from Charlton Athletic until January.

The Blues' injury list is as follows...

Danny Foster (Right Back) - doubtful (had to be substituted after picking up a knock in midweek)

Anthony Stewart (Right / Centre Back) - doubtful (has returned to training after recovering from a thigh injury)

Gary Doherty (Centre Back) - doubtful (has returned to training after recovering from a back injury)

Matt Spring (Midfielder) - calf injury (hopeful of a return to training in the next few days)

Jo Kuffour (Attacker) - ankle ligament injury (hopeful of a return to training in the next few days)

Marvin McCoy (Right Back) - ankle ligament injury (has returned to training and could be back in the next week or two)

Grant Basey (Left-Back) - anterior cruciate knee ligament injury (will miss the rest of the season after surgery)

Matt Bloomfield (Midfielder) - groin injury (no timescale for recovery given)

The Wanderers could line up like this (4-4-2):

Jordan Archer

Danny Foster - Dave Winfield - Leon Johnson - Sam Wood

Joel Grant - Josh Scowen - Stuart Lewis - Bruno Andrade

Dean Morgan - Matt McClure

Subs: Lee Harrison, Anthony Stewart, Gary Doherty, Jesse Kewley-Graham, Gareth Ainsworth, Ade Azeez, Dennis Oli

Burton Albion lost at home for the first time since August against Aldershot Town in midweek and Gary Rowett faces a dilemma over the goalkeeping position. First choice stopper Stuart Tomlinson is recovering from surgery after damaging his cruciate knee ligaments and his replacement Mark Oxley, currently on loan from Hull City has broken a bone in his hand and is set for two months on the sidelines having also undergone surgery. That has seen young goalkeeper Dean Lyness take over between the sticks for the last two games and he could face the Blues at the weekend.

There are alternatives, with Ross Atkins having started the season as first choice after being re-signed on loan from Derby County at the start of the campaign but some disappointing performances led to him being dropped. Another option is to take coach Kevin Poole out of his cryogenic chamber or bring in another glovesman on loan. Captain John McGrath is fit again after a long injury lay-off and could be set to start at the weekend.

Striker Calvin Zola is a doubt after missing the midweek defeat to the Shots having been substituted in the early stages of the Brewers 3-2 home win over Dagenham and Redbridge last weekend following a clash of heads. Striker Billy Kee, once a transfer target of former boss Peter Taylor, will spearhead the attack again and he will be hoping to be supplied by ex-Chairboy Chris Palmer, who played on the right-wing in midweek.

Burton Albion lined-up as follows in midweek (4-4-2):

Dean Lyness

Anthony O'Connor - Nathan Stanton - Zander Diamond - Damien McCrory

Chris Palmer - John McGrath - Lee Bell - Jacques Maghoma

Billy Kee - Matt Paterson

Subs: Ross Atkins, Marcus Holness, Robbie Weir, Jack Dyer, Cleveland Taylor, Justin Richards, Jacob Blyth


Here are all the stats...


The league table currently shows Wycombe in 23rd place with 16 points from 18 games and Burton in 10th spot with 29 points from 19 games.


Burton Away Record.........W 3 - D 2 - L 4 - Pts 11...Ppg 1.22 (Rank-12)

Wycombe Home Record....W 1 - D 3 - L 4 - Pts 6....Ppg 0.75 (Rank-23)


Burton's last five results (All Competitions)

Lg2: Plymouth (A).............Won 2-1

Lg2: Cheltenham (A).........Lost 0-1

FAC: Altrincham (A)..........Won 2-0

Lg2: Dagenham (H)...........Won 3-2

Lg2: Aldershot (H).............Lost 0-1


Wycombe's last five results (All Competitions)

FAC: Crewe (A).................Lost 1-4

Lg2: Aldershot (A)............Drew 0-0

Lg2: Rochdale (H)..............Lost 1-2

Lg2: Northampton (A).........Lost 1-3

Lg2: Rotherham (A)...........Won 3-2


Burton Goal Stats (25 games in all Competitions)

Goals Scored (Total)..........Lg: 28...Cups: 13...Total: 41

Goals Conceded (Total)......Lg: 25...Cups: 10...Total: 35

Goals Scored (Away).........Lg: 6.....Cups: 10...Total: 16

Goals Conceded (Away).....Lg: 13...Cups: 7.....Total: 20

Clean Sheets.....................Lg: 5.....Cups: 2.....Total: 7


Wycombe Goal Stats (21 games in all Competitions)

Goals Scored (Total)..........Lg: 18...Cups: 4...Total: 22

Goals Conceded (Total)......Lg: 30...Cups: 6...Total: 36

Goals Scored (Home).........Lg: 6.....Cups: 0...Total: 6

Goals Conceded (Home).....Lg: 10...Cups: 0...Total: 10

Clean Sheets.....................Lg: 3.....Cups: 0...Total: 3


Burton's Top Goal Scorers - (All Competitions)

Calvin Zola..............8

Jacques Maghoma....6

Zander Diamond......4

Billy Kee..................4

Cleveland Taylor......3

Robbie Weir.............3

Matthew Paterson.....3

Chris Palmer............2

Six other players have each scored 1 goal


Wycombe's Goal Scorers - (All Competitions)

Joel Grant................5

Matt McClure............3

Dean Morgan............3

OG..........................2

Gareth Ainsworth......1

Bruno Andrade.........1

Stuart Beavon..........1

Matt Bloomfield.........1

Gary Doherty...........1

Josh Scowen............1

Matt Spring..............1

Dave Winfield...........1

Sam Wood...............1


Burton Shooting (Top-3) - All Comps

Jacq's Maghoma...22 on-target...23 off-target...1 against woodwork

Robbie Weir.........11 on-target...25 off-target...0 against woodwork

Calvin Zola..........14 on-target...20 off-target...2 against woodwork


Wycombe Shooting (Top-3) - All Comps

Joel Grant..........11 on-target...15 off-target...0 against woodwork

Dean Morgan.....16 on-target.....8 off-target...1 against woodwork

Charles Dunne.....7 on-target.....7 off-target...1 against woodwork


Shooting (Club) - League only

Burton.......113 on target...128 off target...8 against w'work (Rank-1)

Wycombe....68 on target.....73 off target...2 against w'work (Rank-22)


Most Assists

Burton - Maghoma, Dyer, Weir & Zola..............................3

Wycombe - Ainsworth, Grant, Morgan, Scowen & Lewis......2


League Form Guide

All Season


Burton........Pld: 19...W: 8...D: 5...L: 6....Pts: 29...Pts per game: 1.53

Wycombe...Pld: 18...W: 4...D: 4...L: 10...Pts: 16...Pts per game: 0.89


Last Five league Games

Burton.............WWLWL - 9 points (Rank-5)

Wycombe..........LDLLW - 4 points (Rank-21)


Last Five League Games (Away)

Burton.............WDLWL - 7 points (Rank-12)


Last Five League Games (Home)

Wycombe..........DWDLL - 5 points (Rank-19)


Against Top Half Opposition

Burton.........Pld: 10...Pts: 11...Pts per game: 1.10...(Rank-14)

Wycombe.....Pld: 10...Pts: 7....Pts per game: 0.70...(Rank-21)


Against Bottom Half Opposition

Burton..........Pld: 9...Pts: 18...Pts per game: 2.00...(Rank-6)

Wycombe......Pld: 8...Pts: 9....Pts per game: 1.13...(Rank-20)


Previous Meetings

In 7 previous meetings there have been 3 wins for Wycombe, 3 for Burton and 1 draw.

In Wycombe the tally is 2 wins for the Chairboys, 1 for the Brewers and 1 draw.

1955/56 FAC: Wycombe 1 Burton 3

1979/80 FAT: Burton 4 Wycombe 2

1984/85 FAQ: Wycombe 1 Burton 1

1984/85 FAQ: Burton 2 Wycombe 1

1985/86 FAQ: Wycombe 1 Burton 0

2010/11 LG2: Burton 1 Wycombe 2

2010/11 LG2: Wycombe 4 Burton 1


The Man In The Middle

Saturday's referee is David Webb from Lancashire who was promoted to the National List of Referees in 2008. His only previous Wycombe games were a 1-1 draw at Leeds United in January 2010 and a 2-0 defeat at Oldham in October 2011. During the current campaign he's issued 1 red and 41 yellow cards in 13 appearances.


Predictions

Benny: Wycombe 2 Burton 2

Len: Wycombe 2 Burton 1







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The Journalist

Writer: Benny & Len Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday November 22 2012

Time: 2:54PM

 

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