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Preview: Wycombe Wanderers v Fleetwood Town


Wycombe Wanderers ended a run of three successive defeats after coming from behind to beat Torquay United 2-1 at Plainmoor in midweek.

Gareth Ainsworth made two changes to the side which had conspired to lose 2-1 at home to Southend United last weekend with midfielder Josh Scowen making a welcome return after serving a two match ban. Winger Bruno Andrade was also recalled to the side with midfielder Matt Spring and defender Anthony Stewart both dropping to the bench. If the former was expected, the latter certainly wasn't, and Stewart can feel more than a little unlucky after his performance against the Shrimpers. The changes saw Charles Dunne partner Dave Winfield in the centre of defence and Sam Wood switch to left-back.

With the home side having lost their last six on the bounce, there was an expected nervousness from both camps but the Blues enjoyed much the better of the first half but somehow went in at half-time trailing 1-0. Winger Ryan Jarvis scored with their only shot on target after good work down the left from Billy Bodin as yet again our opponents made us pay for our profligacy. The visitors wasted several promising situations with striker Matt McClure seeing his header crash against a post. Things appeared to be going from bad to worse at the start of the second half with wingers Joel Grant and Bruno Andrade both forced off with ankle injuries in the space of ten minutes.

It turned out to be a blessing in disguise however as the arrival of Anthony Stewart allowed Sam Wood to be freed into an attacking role whilst player-boss Ainsworth's introduction galvanised the whole side as he led by example. He tore full-back Kevin Nicholson a new one down the right flank and had a hand in both of the Wanderers' goals in the space of a game-changing five minutes. First he fed Morgan who crossed low for Stuart Lewis, whose low shot was saved by goalkeeper Michael Poke but Wood was on hand to tuck home the re-bound. Ainsworth then found McClure in space inside the area and the striker showed his goalscoring prowess to drive a low left-footed shot past Poke from twelve yards.

The turnaround not only gave the Chairboys their first ever league win at Plainmoor but gives the whole club a shot in the arm after three successive defeats on the pitch and a reminder of the precarious financial position of the club off it. The three points take the Wanderers up two places to 13th in the League Two table, still nine points above the relegation zone and ten points off the play-off places. 12th is the final position Paul Lambert's side achieved in the 2006/07, which is the lowest the club has recorded since promotion to the Football League, and beating that seems to be a realistic target for this season.

Of course with the side having been at the bottom of the entire Football League back in mid-November, simply retaining our Football League status will be a big achievement in Gareth Ainsworth's first ever permanent job as boss. He has collected 32 points from a possible 57 (winning ten, losing seven and drawing twice in 19 games) and two more wins should be enough to start planning for next season. The aim will be to record the first of those two wins this weekend when the Blues welcome Fleetwood Town to the Chair Metropolis for the very first time. The two sides have met twice at Highbury Avenue in the past two seasons,Wycombe losing 2-0 in a F.A. Cup first round tie in November 2011 before winning 1-0 in League Two last October courtesy of Bruno Andrade's solo effort.

Ainsworth may be forced to make changes to his starting line-up this weekend with Bruno Andrade and Joel Grant both doubtful after picking up ankle injuries in midweek. That will almost certainly see Sam Wood moved back to the left-wing, Charles Dunne revert to left-back and Anthony Stewart come back in to start in the centre of defence. There aren't a lot of options on the right wing however and that could see Ainsworth start himself or perhaps Dean Morgan switched wide and Jo Kuffour come in to partner Matt McClure in attack.

Defender Gary Doherty is back in full training after recovering from surgery on his back but there is no news on when he will return to the squad. A trio of players remain in the treatment room and are unlikely to play again this season. Midfielder Matt Bloomfield is still struggling with a pelvic shear which is preventing him from training whilst defender Danny Foster is recovering from a second operation on his knee. Full-back Grant Basey continues his rehabilitation following surgery on his anterior cruciate ligaments.

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

Bruno Andrade (Winger) - doubtful (aggravated ankle injury in midweek

Joel Grant (Winger) - doubtful (picked up an ankle injury in midweek)

Gary Doherty (Centre Back) - doubtful (returned to training the week before last after recovering from back surgery)

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 (undergone a second operation and is unlikely to play again this season)

Grant Basey (Left Back) - ruled out with an anterior cruciate knee ligament injury (continues his rehabilitation following surgery and won't play again this season)

The Chairboys starting eleven may look something like this (4-4-2):

Jordan Archer

Michael Harriman - Anthony Stewart - Dave Winfield - Charles Dunne

Gareth Ainsworth - Josh Scowen - Stuart Lewis - Sam Wood

Dean Morgan - Matt McClure

Subs: Lee Harrison, Kortney Hause, Leon Johnson, Jesse Kewley-Graham, Matt Spring, Dennis Oli, Jo Kuffour


Fleetwood Town's inaugural season in the Football League has been slightly unusual one. They currently sit in 8th place in the League Two table, six points ahead of the Blues but four points off the play-off places. They started well under manager Micky Mellon but he was unceremoniously sacked by club owner Andy Pilley in December. Graham Alexander was appointed as his successor but the Cod Army remain rather inconsistent, winning five, drawing five and losing four since his arrival. They have won three of their last five league games away from home but were beaten 2-0 at Aldershot Town last weekend before drawing 1-1 with Cheltenham Town at Highbury Avenue in midweek.

Alexander has left-back Alan Goodall available again after serving a one-match ban in midweek and he is set to come straight back into the side. Midfielder Jamie McGuire is unavailable however as he serves the second of a three match ban. Winger Junior Brown returned from a knee injury to equalise against the Robins after coming off the bench and striker Jon Parkin, who has enjoyed his previous visits to Adams Park, also appeared as a second half substitute after recovering from a hamstring injury. Winger Gareth Evans is doubtful with an ankle injury whilst defenders Nathan Pond, Shaun Beeley and Youl Mawene are sidelined with knee, ankle and foot injuries. There isn't a single former Chairboy in the Fleetwood Town squad.

Fleetwood Town could line up like this: (4-3-3):

Scott Davies

Conor McLaughlin - Rob Atkinson - Ryan Edwards - Alan Goodall

Anthony Barry - Paul McKenna - Barry Nicholson

Steve Gillespie - Jean-Michel Fontaine - Ryan Crowther

Subs: David Lucas, Dean Howell, Jamie Milligan, Junior Brown, Jamille Matt, Jon Parkin, David Ball


Here are all the stats...


The league table currently shows Wycombe in 13th place with 45 points and Fleetwood in 8th spot with 51 points, both sides having played 34 games.


Fleetwood Away Record...W 7 - D 5 - L 4 - Pts 26...Ppg 1.63 (Rank-5)

Wycombe Home Record...W 6 - D 4 - L 7 - Pts 22...Ppg 1.29 (Rank-16)


Fleetwood's last five results (All Competitions)

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

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

Lg2: Burton (H)..................Lost 0-4

Lg2: Aldershot (A)..............Lost 0-2

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


Wycombe's last five results (All Competitions)

Lg2: York City (H)..............Won 4-0

Lg2: Bradford (H)...............Lost 0-3

Lg2: Bristol Rovers (A)........Lost 0-1

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

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


Fleetwood Goal Stats (38 games in all Competitions)

Goals Scored (Total)..........Lg: 43...Cups: 7...Total: 50

Goals Conceded (Total)......Lg: 38...Cups: 6...Total: 44

Goals Scored (Away).........Lg: 21...Cups: 2...Total: 23

Goals Conceded (Away).....Lg: 15...Cups: 2...Total: 17

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

Failed to score...................Lg: 11...Cups: 1...Total: 12


Wycombe Goal Stats (38 games in all Competitions)

Goals Scored (Total)..........Lg: 41...Cups: 4...Total: 45

Goals Conceded (Total)......Lg: 47...Cups: 8...Total: 55

Goals Scored (Home).........Lg: 21...Cups: 0...Total: 21

Goals Conceded (Home).....Lg: 19...Cups: 0...Total: 19

Clean Sheets.....................Lg: 10...Cups: 0...Total: 10

Failed to score...................Lg: 10...Cups: 2...Total: 12


Fleetwood's Top Goal Scorers - (All Competitions)

Junior Brown.........10

Jon Parkin..............9

David Ball..............7

Steven Gillespie.....4

Alan Goodall..........3

Jamie McGuire.......3

Four other players have each scored 2 goals.

Four other players have each scored 1 goal


Wycombe's Goal Scorers - (All Competitions)

Matt McClure...........10

Joel Grant................8

Dean Morgan............8

Sam Wood...............3

Gareth Ainsworth......2

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

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

Dave Winfield...........2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Fleetwood Shooting (Top-3) - All Comps

Junior Brown.....28 on-target...28 off-target...2 against woodwork

David Ball.........28 on-target...17 off-target...1 against woodwork

Jon Parkinl........21 on-target...19 off-target...2 against woodwork


Wycombe Shooting (Top-3) - All Comps

Dean Morgan......28 on-target...27 off-target...6 against woodwork

Joel Grant...........20 on-target...24 off-target...0 against woodwork

Matt McClure.......19 on-target...19 off-target...1 against woodwork


Shooting (Club) - League only

Fleetw'd.....178 on target...172 off target...17 against w'work (Rank-13)

Wycombe...140 on target...156 off target....9 against w'work (Rank-21)


Most Assists

Fleetwood - Andy Mangan.........6

Wycombe - Josh Scowen..........5


Discipline - All Comps

Fleetwood......5 Red Cards - 66 Yellow Cards

Wycombe......5 Red Cards - 58 Yellow Cards


League Form Guide

All Season

Fleetwood...Pld: 34...W: 13...D: 12...L: 9.....Pts: 51...Pts per game: 1.50

Wycombe...Pld: 34...W: 13...D: 6.....L: 15...Pts: 45...Pts per game: 1.32


First-half of the season

Fleetwood.....Pld: 23...W: 9...D: 9...L: 5.....Pts: 36...Pts per game: 1.57

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


Second-half of the season

Fleetwood......Pld: 11...W: 4...D: 3...L: 4...Pts: 15....Pts per game: 1.36

Wycombe......Pld: 11...W: 6...D: 1...L: 4...Pts: 19....Pts per game: 1.73


Last Five league Games

Fleetwood.....WWLLD - 7 points (Rank-13)

Wycombe......WLLLW - 6 points (Rank-14)


Last Five League Games (Away)

Fleetwood.....WLWWL - 9 points (Rank-7)


Last Five League Games (Home)

Wycombe.....WWWLL - 9 points (Rank-5)


Against Top Half Opposition

Fleetwood......Pld: 18...Pts: 28...Pts per game: 1.56...(Rank-5)

Wycombe......Pld: 16...Pts: 14...Pts per game: 0.88...(Rank-20)


Against Bottom Half Opposition

Fleetwood......Pld: 16...Pts: 23...Pts per game: 1.44...(Rank-15)

Wycombe......Pld: 18...Pts: 31...Pts per game: 1.72...(Rank-9)


First 45 mins v Second 45 mins - Performance Comparison

First-Half


Fleetwood.....W: 11...D: 16...L: 7....'Pts: 49' (Rank-5)

Wycombe.....W: 12...D: 10...L: 12...'Pts: 46' (Rank-9)


Second-Half

Fleetwood......W: 11...D: 13...L: 10...'Pts: 46' (Rank-12)

Wycombe......W: 9.....D: 12...L: 13...'Pts: 39' (Rank-16)


League Goals scored in First-Half

Fleetwood........20 (47%) (Rank-11)

Wycombe........22 (54%) (Rank-5)


League Goals scored in Second-Half

Fleetwood........23 (53%) (Rank-13)

Wycombe........19 (46%) (Rank-19)


League Goals conceded in First-Half

Fleetwood........18 (47%) (Rank-9)

Wycombe........21 (45%) (Rank-15)


League Goals conceded in Second-Half

Fleetwood........20 (53%) (Rank-4)

Wycombe........26 (55%) (Rank-13)


Record when scoring the first goal

Fleetwood scored first.17 times (W:12 - D:5 - L:0)...Ppg: 2.41 (Rank-10)

Wycombe scored frst..17 times (W:10 - D:4 - L:3)...Ppg: 2.00 (Rank-19)


Record when conceding the first goal

Fleetw'd conceded first.12 times (W:1 - D:2 - L:9)...Ppg: 0.42 (Rank-15)

Wyc'be conceded first..15 times (W:3 - D:0 - L:12).Ppg: 0.60 (Rank-8)


Previous Meetings

2011/12 FAC: Fleetwood 2 Wycombe 0

2012/13 Lg2: Fleetwood 0 Wycombe 1


The Man In The Middle

Saturday's referee is Roger East from Wiltshire who was promoted to Elite List of Premier League referees this summer having been on the National List since 2007. Earlier this season he took charge of Wycombe's 1-0 win at Gillingham. During the current campaign he's issued 5 red and 107 yellow cards in 35 appearances.


Predictions

Benny: Wycombe 1 Fleetwood 0

Len: Wycombe 1 Fleetwood 0




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The Journalist

Writer: Benny & Len Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday February 28 2013

Time: 3:37PM

 

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