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Preview: Wycombe Wanderers v York City


Wycombe Wanderers recorded arguably their best result of the season so far as they claimed a thoroughly deserved 1-0 victory over title chasing Gillingham at the Priestfield Stadium on Monday evening.

The Chairboys returned to action after an enforced 16 day break but they looked fighting fit from the first whistle. They dug in for the first half hour and withstood the aerial barrage from the home side before earning the right to play as they finished the first half on top. They then went on to dominate the second half and would have won by four or five goals had it not been for Gills goalkeeper Stuart Nelson who followed up a sensational first half stop to deny winger Sam Wood by pulling off a hat-trick of saves after the break, twice denying striker Jo Kuffour and then striker Dean Morgan. Substitute Matt McClure then had an effort cleared off the line by defender Matt Fish before missing an absolute sitter with five minutes remaining.

McClure, who had been thrown into the action with just under a quarter of an hour remaining, made up for that miss with a sublime finish less than sixty seconds later. Midfielder Josh Scowen's pass was a little bit behind him but he showed great skill and poise to lift the ball over Fish before taking a touch and then firing low past Nelson, all with his left-foot. It was the perfect way to seal all three points. Whilst goalscorers tend to take the glory, it belonged to the team as a whole, including Gareth Ainsworth and his trusty side-kicks Richard Dobson and Lee Harrison. There were some mightily impressive performances, most notably from central defensive pairing Anthony Stewart and Dave Winfield, but this showing proved that the whole is definitely greater than the sum of the parts.

The victory makes it eight wins and two draws from the Wanderers last dozen league games (26 points from a possible 36) and they have climbed up to the dizzy heights of 14th place in the League Two table. Ainsworth himself insisted post-match that his objective remains that which was set out to him when he took over the reigns from Gary Waddock in September, namely to retain the Blues Football League status for another season. With 39 points now on the board, that target looks a given, and four more wins would be enough to make it mathematically certain. Given a sparkling victory over a side chasing the title, and on their own patch too, it is perhaps understandable that some are looking towards the play-off places rather than the relegation zone.

The precedent was set last season by Crewe Alexandra, whose second half of the campaign saw them reach the play-off final at Wembley before beating Cheltenham Town to win promotion to League One. The Chairboys still have 17 games to play this season, and if they are to follow in the tracks of the Railwaymen they will be looking to extend their four match unbeaten run in back-to-back home games against York City and League Cup finalists Bradford City who are next up for Ainsworth's men. The Minstermen could be doubled this weekend after the Wanderers recorded a 3-1 victory when the two sides last met on the opening day of the season at Bootham Crescent.

York City will be making their sixth visit to Adams Park on Saturday and they will be looking for a second victory having won one, drawn one and lost three of the five previous clashes in the Chair Metropolis. The first came back in October 1994 as Martin O'Neill's men rode a crest of a wave in their first ever season in the third tier of English football. Sadly the game was a lacklustre affair which ended in a goal-less stalemate in front of an impressive crowd of 7,140. Almost exactly a year later things were going very smoothly under Al*n Sm*th. No, I haven't lost my marbles! - the team had lost just two of their opening 14 league matches and were unbeaten in 11 going into a Tuesday evening clash at a misty Adams Park.

The hosts took the lead early in the second half when the maestro that is Dave Carroll put the ball on a plate for Miguel De Souza who somehow mis-kicked from inside the six-yard box. In the ensuing chaos Steve Brown was brought crashing to the turf and the referee pointed to the spot. De Souza stepped up to confidently slot his penalty into the bottom left-hand corner. It wasn't long before the Blues doubled their lead. Brown tenaciously won possession in the middle of the park before finding winger Dave Farrell on the left. He sent in a low cross which was turned home from six yards by super Simon Garner. There was a nervy ending when Brownie lost possession in his own half and striker Paul Barnes pounced to lob the ball over home goalkeeper Paul Hyde but the hosts held on to win 2-1.

The next meeting came in January 1997 with John Gregory's side looking to make the great escape. It marked the home debut of striker Paul Read, recently signed from Arsenal, and he gave the Wanderers the perfect start as he met defender Jason Cousins right-wing cross with a looping header over visiting goalkeeper Tim Clarke. Nine minutes into the second half the hosts doubled their lead when Carroll's right-wing cross was slotted home by defender Michael Forsyth from six-yards. The Minstermen halved the deficit in the 72nd minute when striker Neil Campbell headed past home goalkeeper John Cheesewright but the three points were wrapped up in the final minute when Read raced through on goal before coolly slotting the ball past the on-rushing Clarke from just inside the box.

The sides met again on a wet Tuesday evening in March 1998 and the game was all about Keith Ryan. After a forgettable first half the Wanderers Captain almost put through his own goal in the 61st minute when his attempted back-pass rolled past Martin Taylor, and he would have been very grateful to see the goalkeeper scramble back and clear off the line. Ten minutes later Rhino put the ball in the right net as he met Carroll's right-wing free-kick with a glancing header into the corner from inside the six-yard box. It was enough to seal a 1-0 victory.

The last meeting at Adams Park came in January 1999 as Neil Smillie's reign was coming to an end. It was a relegation six-pointer and after a goal-less opening period Jermaine McSporran missed an absolute sitter in the 56th minute when he somehow skewed the ball wide from three yards from Keith Scott's left-wing cross. Five minutes later, striker Richard Cresswell gave City the lead when he took advantage of a mix-up between Paul McCarthy and Martin Taylor to fire home. Wycombe equalised on 71 minutes when Michael Simpson's free-kick was bravely headed home by Keith Ryan from six yards. Sadly parity lasted all of five minutes later as defender Barry Jones headed home Scott Jordan's a free-kick at the far post to give the visitors a deserved 2-1 win.

Ainsworth made just the one change to his squad against Gillingham last time out. Matt McClure returned the bench following the birth of his daughter and he replaced winger Junior Morais, who has gone out on loan. It seems unlikely that there will be any changes at all this weekend. Defenders Leon Johnson and Gary Doherty have only just returned to full training following knee and back injuries but are not ready for first team action. Midfielder Matt Bloomfield continues his rehabilitation after suffering with a pelvic shear but there is no date set for his return to first team action. Defender Danny Foster could face a second operation on his knee and may not play again season. Full-back Grant Basey has already been ruled-out for the rest of the campaign as he continues his rehabilitation following surgery on his anterior cruciate ligament.

Here's the current list of players availability...

Leon Johnson (Centre Back) - ruled-out with a knee injury (Only just returned to full training)

Gary Doherty (Centre Back) - ruled out following back surgery (Only just returned to full training)

Matt Bloomfield (Midfielder) - ruled out with a groin injury (no timescale given for a return to first team action)

Danny Foster (Right Back) - ruled out with a knee injury (could need a second operation and may not play again this season)

Grant Basey (Left Back) - ruled out with an anterior cruciate knee ligament injury (continues his rehabilitation following surgery and is unlikely to play again this season)

The Chairboys starting eleven will probably be as follows (4-4-2):

Jordan Archer

Michael Harriman - Anthony Stewart - Dave Winfield - Charles Dunne

Joel Grant - Josh Scowen - Stuart Lewis - Sam Wood

Dean Morgan - Jo Kuffour

Subs: Lee Harrison, Kortney Hause, Marvin McCoy, Gareth Ainsworth, Bruno Andrade, Matt Spring, Matt McClure


York City currently sit in 18th place in the League Two table, two points below the Blues having played a game more. They crashed to a 4-1 defeat to Morecambe at Bootham Crescent last weekend and have now failed to win any of their last five league games, having won just one of their last eight. The Minstermen have however lost just three of their 15 away league matches so far this season, drawing eight and winning four. Manager Gary Mills gave a full debut to right-back Curtis Obeng following his loan move from Swansea City at the weekend, whilst striker David McDaid made his debut as a second half substitute after signing from Derry City last week.

Mills is without a quartet of players with defender Lanre Oyebanjo set to miss at least six weeks with a fractured skull. Defender Chris Doig, a former Wycombe trialist, is ruled-out with an ankle injury whilst striker Ashley Chambers, another ex-Wanderers loanee, is sidelined with long-term stomach / groin problem. Striker Michael Coulson could miss the rest of the season with a cruciate knee ligament injury. Central defender David McGurk returned to the bench at the weekend after recovering from a hamstring injury.

York City could line up something like this: (4-3-3):

Michael Ingram

Curtis Obeng - Chris Smith - Jack O'Connell - Daniel Parslow

Michael Potts - Scott Kerr - Patrick McLaughlin

Matty Blair - Jason Walker - Alex Rodman

Subs: Paul Musslewhite, David McGurk, Jamal Fyfield, Jon Challinor, John McReady, Jamie Reed, David McDaid


Here are all the stats...


The league table currently shows Wycombe in 14th place with 39 points from 29 games and York in 18th spot with 37 points from 30 games.


York City Away Record....W 4 - D 8 - L 3 - Pts 20...Ppg 1.33 (Rank-8)

Wycombe Home Record...W 5 - D 4 - L 5 - Pts 19...Ppg 1.36 (Rank-15)


York City's last five results (All Competitions)

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

Lg2: Cheltenham (A).......Drew 1-1

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

Lg2: Gillingham (A)..........Drew 1-1

Lg2: Morecambe (H)..........Lost 1-4


Wycombe's last five results (All Competitions)

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

Lg2: Chesterfield (H)..........Won 2-1

Lg2: Wimbledon (A)..........Drew 2-2

Lg2: Dagenham (H)............Won 1-0

Lg2: Gillingham (A)............Won 1-0


York City Goal Stats (35 games in all Competitions)

Goals Scored (Total)..........Lg: 37...Cups: 6.....Total: 43

Goals Conceded (Total)......Lg: 42...Cups: 10...Total: 52

Goals Scored (Away).........Lg: 18...Cups: 5.....Total: 23

Goals Conceded (Away).....Lg: 19...Cups: 5.....Total: 24

Clean Sheets.....................Lg: 8.....Cups: 1.....Total: 9

Failed to score...................Lg: 10...Cups: 1.....Total: 11


Wycombe Goal Stats (33 games in all Competitions)

Goals Scored (Total)..........Lg: 34...Cups: 4...Total: 38

Goals Conceded (Total)......Lg: 40...Cups: 8...Total: 48

Goals Scored (Home).........Lg: 16...Cups: 0...Total: 16

Goals Conceded (Home).....Lg: 14...Cups: 0...Total: 14

Clean Sheets.....................Lg: 9.....Cups: 0...Total: 9

Failed to score...................Lg: 8.....Cups: 2...Total: 10


York City's Top Goal Scorers - (All Competitions)

Jason Walker...........9

Ashley Chambers.....8

Matty Blair...............5

Michael Coulson.......5

Jamie Reed..............4

Patrick McLaughlin....3

Michael Potts............3

Three other players have each scored 1 goal


Wycombe's Goal Scorers - (All Competitions)

Matt McClure............9

Joel Grant................7

Dean Morgan............5

Gareth Ainsworth......2

Bruno Andrade.........2

Jo Kuffour................2

Sam Wood...............2

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

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

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

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

Kortney Hause.........1

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

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

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


York City Shooting (Top-3) - All Comps

Jason Walker.......24 on-target...34 off-target...0 against woodwork

Matty Blair...........29 on-target...22 off-target...1 against woodwork

Pat McLaughlin.....17 on-target...17 off-target...1 against woodwork


Wycombe Shooting (Top-3) - All Comps

Dean Morgan......24 on-target...19 off-target...6 against woodwork

Joel Grant...........19 on-target...21 off-target...0 against woodwork

Matt McClure.......14 on-target...15 off-target...1 against woodwork


Shooting (Club) - League only

York City....135 on target...131 off target...7 against w'work (Rank-20)

Wycombe...120 on target...118 off target...9 against w'work (Rank-21)


Most Assists

York City - Chambers & McLaughlin....4

Wycombe - Lewis, Scowen & Grant.....4


Discipline - All Comps

York City.......1 Red Cards - 31 Yellow Cards

Wycombe.......5 Red Cards - 54 Yellow Cards


League Form Guide

All Season


York..........Pld: 30...W: 8.....D: 13...L: 9....Pts: 37...Pts per game: 1.23

Wycombe...Pld: 29...W: 11...D: 6....L: 12...Pts: 39...Pts per game: 1.34


First-half of the season

York.............Pld: 23...W: 7...D: 9...L: 7.....Pts: 30...Pts per game: 1.30

Wycombe......Pld: 23...W: 7...D: 5...L: 11...Pts: 26...Pts per game: 1.13


Second-half of the season

York.............Pld: 7...W: 1...D: 4...L: 2...Pts: 7.....Pts per game: 1.00

Wycombe......Pld: 6...W: 4...D: 1...L: 1...Pts: 13...Pts per game: 2.17


Last Five league Games

York.................LDDDL - 3 points (Rank-22)

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


Last Five League Games (Away)

York.................LLDDD - 3 points (Rank-21)


Last Five League Games (Home)

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


Against Top Half Opposition

York.............Pld: 18...Pts: 15...Pts per game: 0.83...(Rank-22)

Wycombe......Pld: 15...Pts: 17...Pts per game: 1.13...(Rank-12)


Against Bottom Half Opposition

York.............Pld: 12...Pts: 22...Pts per game: 1.83...(Rank-6)

Wycombe......Pld: 14...Pts: 22...Pts per game: 1.57...(Rank-15)


First 45 mins v Second 45 mins - Performance Comparison

First-Half

York City.......W: 9....D: 14...L: 7...'Pts: 41' (Rank-7)

Wycombe......W: 10...D: 10...L: 9...'Pts: 40' (Rank-9)


Second-Half

York City........W: 6...D: 12...L: 12...'Pts: 30' (Rank-22)

Wycombe.......W: 7...D: 11...L: 11...'Pts: 32' (Rank-21)


League Goals scored in First-Half

York City.........23 (62%) (Rank-3)

Wycombe........19 (56%) (Rank-9)


League Goals scored in Second-Half

York City.........14 (38%) (Rank-23)

Wycombe........15 (44%) (Rank-21)


League Goals conceded in First-Half

York City.........17 (40%) (Rank-10)

Wycombe........18 (45%) (Rank-12)


League Goals conceded in Second-Half

York City.........25 (60%) (Rank-17)

Wycombe........22 (55%) (Rank-12)


Record when scoring the first goal

York City scored first.....13 times (W:8 - D:4 - L:1) Ppg: 2.15 (Rank-13)

Wycombe scored frst.....15 times (W:9 - D:4 - L:2) Ppg: 2.07 (Rank-18)


Record when conceding the first goal

York conceded first.......12 times (W:0 - D:4 - L:8) Ppg: 0.33 (Rank-19)

Wyc'be conceded first...12 times (W:2 - D:0 - L:10) Ppg: 0.50 (Rank-12)


Previous Meetings

In 12 previous meetings there have been 6 wins for York, 4 for Wycombe and 2 draws.

At Adams Park the tally is 3 wins for the Chairboys, I for the Minstermen and 1 draw.

1994/95: Lg1 Wycombe 0 York 0

1995/96: Lg1 Wycombe 2 York 1

1996/97: Lg1 Wycombe 3 York 1

1997/98: Lg1 Wycombe 1 York 0

1998.99: Lg1 Wycombe 1 York 2


The Man In The Middle

Saturday's referee is Michael Bull from Essex. This will be his first time in charge of a Football League game. During the current campaign he's issued 4 red and 42 yellow cards in 1 FA Cup and 12 Conference appearances.


Predictions

Benny: Wycombe 2 York City 1

Len: Wycombe 2 York City 0




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The Journalist

Writer: Benny & Len Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday February 7 2013

Time: 12:57AM

 

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