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Blues keep faint play-off hopes alive

Blues keep faint play-off hopes alive

Leyton Orient 0-2 Wycombe Wanderers

Wanderers kept their slim hopes of a play-off place alive
following a 2-0 victory at bottom side Leyton Orient yesterday.

After being second best for the opening quarter of the game, a red card for the hosts' Tom Parkes sparked a collapse where the Chairboys scored twice in as many minutes, and then comfortably saw out the second half.

Gareth Ainsworth made three changes from the side that lost at home to Notts County. Aaron Pierre partnered Will De Havilland at centre half, the midfield three consisted of Luke O'Nien, Matt Bloomfield and Sam Saunders while the front three saw Adebayo Akinfenwa flanked by Garry Thompson and Myles Weston.

The first attempt of the match came within the opening minute but Saunders effort lacked power and was easily saved by Sargeant in the home goal.

Orient then began to impose themselves, and Blackman had to be alert to deny Koroma with his feet before a corner was sent goalwards by Mezague but Weston was on hand to clear off the line.

Wycombe's first real chance came after 8 minutes when De Havilland mistimed his jump and could only direct a looping header over the bar from Saunders` free kick.

Orient should have taken the lead two minutes later, but Koroma`s shot was deflected agonisingly wide with Blackman stranded. The lively Semedo then tested Blackman from distance as Orient`s wing backs continued to push forwards and create problems.

The tide turned after 27 minutes when Parkes went in high on Thompson and referee Charles Breakspear had no hesitation in brandishing the red card.

Suddenly possession was dominated by the visitors as the hosts lost all composure and shape.

The deadlock was broken after 37 minutes in fortuitous fashion - Akinfenwa causing havoc and hooking goalwards only for the clearance to cruelly hit a home defender and rebound into the path of Bloomfield who was left to clip a simple finish past Sargeant.

Moments later it was two goals in as many minutes, and this one was also steeped in controversy. Weston appeared to push home defender Jense Janse into goalkeeper Sargeant, but the referee saw nothing wrong. The two players collided culminating in the loose ball falling for Weston, who clipped home a neat finish from an angle.

O'Nien was cautioned on the stroke of half-time for a handball and Semedo was given a similar punishment for halting a Saunders break as Wycombe comfortably saw the game out to half time. Home manager Omer Riza was sent to the stands at the interval for his protests.

The second half petered through to its inevitable conclusion, with Wycombe continuing to be dominant in possession but without ever looking overly fluent or threatening.

The best chance came when Saunders sent a fantastic shot arrowing towards the top corner but Sargeant did excellently to tip it over on 63 minutes.

Three minutes later there was another good chance as Harriman's cross landed kindly for Pierre and the centre-half struck the crossbar with an instinctive effort.

Nick Freeman was given a 20 minute run out in place of Saunders and Sam Wood was given 12 minutes as he replaced Weston with Orient struggling to create.

The hosts' only attempt of the second half came when Abraham stung Blackman's palms, but the game was long since over. The home fans instead concentrated on protesting against their Italian owners, with the Chairboys' fans offering their support. It was almost surreal as the protests took centre stage and the game meandered along with barely an incident of note.

As referee Breakspear drew proceedings to their inevitable conclusion, a third consecutive away win gave Wycombe a glimmer of hope in their play-off race, but consistent wins are now required to make the dream a reality.

Ratings: Blackman (7), Harriman (7), De Havilland (7), Pierre (7), Jacobson (8), Saunders (7) (Freeman 71' N/A), O'Nien (7) (Gape 89' N/A), Bloomfield (7), Weston (8*) (Wood 78', N/A), Akinfenwa (7), Thompson (7)

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

Writer:Dale Jenkins
Date:Sunday April 2 2017
Time: 4:34PM

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