Blues don't convert their chances at Millwall
Millwall 1 Wycombe Wanderers 0
The Chairboys went out of the League Cup at the first hurdle despite giving a good account of themselves at the New Den.
Manager Gareth Ainsworth elected to field the same starting eleven that won at Newport on Saturday, and they more than matched their Championship opponents in the first-half, but couldn`t make it count.
Indeed, it was the Lions who led at half time, Matt Briggs collecting a pass from Scott McDonald and planting the ball in the corner of the Wycombe net after 27 minutes.
It was the home side`s one and only opening of the first half, in contrast to the Chairboys who forced Millwall`s Irish international keeper David Forde into a save on three occasions.
After only six minutes, Paul Hayes volleyed Sido Jombati`s cross goalwards and Forde dived to his right and turned the ball to safety.
Sam Wood also worked Forde, but the shot was from distance and the save was comfortable.
Wycombe`s best effort came seven minutes before the break when McClure found space in the box before teeing up Jombati whose shot was heading for the bottom corner before Forde`s fingertips eased the ball just past the post.
There were other chances too - Paris Cowan-Hall couldn`t quite convert a Jacobson cross at the back post, and Matt McClure had the sniff of a breakaway but was forced wide and the opportunity was lost.
Wycombe had given as good as they got, but hadn`t taken their chances - The Lions had taken theirs.
Early in the second half, goalscorer Briggs received a second yellow card and was sent off for a foul on Jombati.
Buoyed at the prospect of playing over half-an-hour against ten men, the travelling fans scented a comeback, but if anything, Millwall improved after the dismissal.
Moments later, Lee Gregory broke clear only to be thwarted by Blues` keeper Matt Ingram.
Gregory continued to cause problems, firstly being denied by a superb last-ditch tackle from Jombati, and then curling a sweet shot just over Ingram`s crossbar from 20 yards.
Ingram was again in the thick of things when he successfully prevented an onrushing Fred Onyedinma from rounding him.
The closest Wycombe came to an equaliser was when a Lions` clearance rebounded off Peter Murphy and looped goalwards, just missing the target with Forde a helpless spectator.
Hayes also had a decent effort deflected wide.
Ainsworth introduced strikers Aaron Holloway and Steven Craig in an attempt to snatch an equaliser, but while Holloway impressed with his hold up play, Craig sorely disappointed with his finishing.
As time ran out, the Scottish forward found himself on the end of two pinpoint crosses, the first he attempted to glance but appeared to miss altogether, and the second he headed wide.
It was a brave effort by the Blues but the lack of a cutting edge cost them on this occasion.
There were plenty of positives to take from the game, the biggest of which was the performance of Sido Jombati. Man-of-the-match by a mile, our new right-back is an absolute pleasure to watch.
Joe Jacobson also had a good game at left-back, and apart from the goal we conceded (which was slick) the team kept their shape and looked defensively sound.
Finally, in a promising debut, Aaron Holloway showed intelligent movement, held the ball up well, and clearly has a good first touch for a big man.
Line-up & ratings
Ingram (7), Jombati (8), Mawson (6) (Craig 82 (n/a)) , Pierre (6), Jacobson (7), Cowan-Hall (6), Kretzschmar (5) (Bloomfield 82 (n/a)), Murphy (7), Wood (6), Hayes (6), McClure (5) (Holloway 72 (6))
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