Vital Football

Latest Wycombe Wanderers News

Blues tumultuous season ends with a Valiant effort

Blues tumultuous season ends with a Valiant effort

Wycombe Wanderers ended the 2012/13 season with a point after holding League One bound Port Vale to a 1-1 draw at Adams Park.

In what has been a tumultuous 125th anniversary season for the Chairboys, the stalemate was just about right as Dean Morgan's first half penalty was cancelled out by Lee Hughes close range header.

A crowd of 7,120, the highest of the entire campaign, swelled by 2,828 Vale fans, paid homage to the Blues' player-manager Gareth Ainsworth, who signed off the first part of that job title with his 600th and last appearance of his playing career.

The second part of that job title has been in place for just over seven months and in that time he has pulled off something of a minor miracle to ensure the side never became embroiled in a relegation battle and secured our much-cherished Football League status for a 21st season.

Even an experienced manager might have been put off by the bleakness of the situation he faced back in September following the sacking of Gary Waddock. Ainsworth, a rookie boss with only a couple of caretaker stints in the madhouse at QPR, has embraced the task with all the courage he has shown in those 600 appearances.

Less than a month into his reign the team were thrashed 4-1 by the Valiants at Vale Park, but on this occasion it was difficult to tell the teams apart as the Wanderers gave their promoted visitors a good game.

Both managers made several changes to their respective starting line-ups with Ainsworth recalling Captain Dave Winfield for his 100th appearance in the Oxford and Cambridge Blue of Wycombe.

Marvin McCoy and Kortney Hause were both recalled, whilst Bruno Andrade was given one last run out. That saw Joel Grant pushed up front alongside Dean Morgan, who made a very welcome return after missing the abject defeat to Barnet with a hamstring strain.

Both the pitch and the weather weren't conducive to good football and it was the Valiants who created the first chance of the game when Ashley Vincent found space inside the box but sliced his shot wide.

The hosts' first chance of note fell to Dave Winfield but he couldn't keep his header down whilst Matt Spring and Morgan both blazed well wide of the target. A half-chance then fell to Tom Pope, but he ballooned his shot over the bar.

The breakthrough came on the half hour when a neat move down the right saw Andrade cross for Morgan at the far post. He leapt to challenge Chris Neal and when the ball broke loose the Vale goalkeeper pulled him to the turf to concede a penalty. It was Morgan himself who stepped up to coolly send Neal the wrong way from the spot.

Matt Ingram showed a safe pair of hands to hold onto Chris Birchall's snap-shot from the edge of the box although there was a hairy moment when the young keeper did his best superman impression as he missed a cross and was grateful to claim the loose ball on the edge of his six-yard box.

The Blues took a narrow but deserved lead into the break and the second half started slowly with the visitors enjoying slightly the better of the possession. Vale boss Micky Adams made all three substitutions as they searched for an equaliser.

Ingram was called upon to flick Doug Loft's shot over the bar with just over a quarter of an hour remaining, before the whole of Adams Park stood to greet the arrival of Ainsworth for his last appearance, with Andrade the man replaced.

It was one of Vale's subs who made the difference as they drew level with eleven minutes to play. Chris Shuker's right-wing corner was headed goalwards by Pope and Lee Hughes flicked a header into the roof of the net from inside the six yard box. A rather feeble pitch invasion ensued.

The last ten minutes were rather stretched as the Chairboys looked to snatch the points on the break. Ainsworth almost poked home Sam Wood's low cross with five minutes left and Wood then nutmegged Loft only to shoot straight at Neal.

McCoy made a vital block to deny Hughes in the final minute before Pope failed to get any power in his shot when left unmarked just six yards from goal and Ingram made a comfortable save.

Jennison Myrie-Williams almost won it for Vale in injury-time when he was allowed to run past a trio of half-hearted challenges and his shot was heading towards the top corner before Kortney Hause made a crucial block.

The script looked to have been written when in the second minute of injury-time a counter attack saw Morgan slip in Ainsworth on the left side of the penalty area but he fired straight into the arms of Neal.

The final whistle blew moments later to signal the end of the contest and the 2012/13 campaign. Whilst Port Vale celebrated their promotion, Wycombe Wanderers end the season in 15th place in the League Two table with 60 points on the board.

There has not been another season in the 20 years since the Chairboys were promoted to the Football League that has presented so many challenges and whilst the achievements of this season might seen modest, they have only been possible by a monumental effort from the Trust, manager, players and staff.

This has been a season of consolidation and with it comes real hope for the future. We have seen glimpses of just how good the side could become under Gareth Ainsworth and if his playing career is any guide, we are all in for a rollercoaster ride in the next two years.

Ratings: Ingram 6, McCoy 6, Winfield 7, Hause 7*, Dunne 6, Andrade 6 (Ainsworth N/A), Spring 6, Lewis 6, Wood 6, Morgan 6, Grant 6

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

Date:Saturday April 27 2013
Time: 8:38PM

Login to post a comment

Recent Wycombe Wanderers Articles

The Opposition View - Doncaster Rovers

What Donny thought of yesterday's game

O'Nien brace seals vital win for Wycombe

Wycombe Wanderers 2-1 Doncaster Rovers

Stats: Wycombe Wanderers v Doncaster Rovers

All the stats from Wycombe Wanderers (2) vs (1) Doncaster Rovers, Adams Park Att: 4,587 (820 away)

Preview: Wycombe Wanderers v Doncaster Rovers

Adams Park - Saturday 22nd April 2017 - 3.00pm

Archived Vital Wycombe Articles

Vital Wycombe articles from

Site Journalists

Editor email
no email
Dale Jenkins
no email

Current Poll (see more polls)

Who was your Man of the Match against Doncaster?
Suggested By:

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
P Doncaster 44 25 10 9 85 33
P Plymouth 44 25 8 11 83 24
P Portsmouth 44 24 9 11 81 33
4 Luton 44 18 17 9 71 22
5 Exeter 44 20 8 16 68 18
6 Blackpool 44 17 16 11 67 22
7 Stevenage 44 20 6 18 66 7
8 Mansfield 44 17 14 13 65 5
9 Wycombe 44 18 11 15 65 4
10 Carlisle 44 16 17 11 65 -1
11 Cambridge 44 18 9 17 63 7
12 Colchester 44 17 12 15 63 6
13 Accrington 44 16 14 14 62 3
14 Grimsby 44 17 10 17 61 -2
15 Barnet 44 13 15 16 54 -6
16 Notts County 44 15 8 21 53 -22
17 Crewe 44 13 13 18 52 -11
18 Morecambe 44 14 9 21 51 -18
19 Crawley 44 13 11 20 50 -16
20 Yeovil 44 11 16 17 49 -13
21 Cheltenham 44 11 14 19 47 -16
22 Newport 44 11 12 21 45 -22
23 Hartlepool 44 10 13 21 43 -21
R Leyton Orient 44 10 6 28 36 -36
Write for Vital Football
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News
The Vital Football Members League

Recent Wycombe Wanderers Results (view all)

Wycombe Wanderers Fixtures (view all)

Apr 29 2017 3:00PM : Morecambe (a)
Sky Bet League Two
May 6 2017 5:30PM : Cambridge United (H)
Sky Bet League Two

Vital Members League Table

Vital Football Comment