Wanderers avoid upset with comfortable win at Solihull
Solihull Moors 0-2 Wycombe Wanderers
Wycombe Wanderers cruised into the second round of the FA Cup this afternoon following a routine 2-0 win at Solihull Moors.
It won't be a performance that wins any awards but an upset never looked likely as two goals in the opening half an hour gave Wanderers a comfortable cushion that they held from then on as the game petered out to its inevitable conclusion.
Gareth Ainsworth named a strong line up with Dan Scarr and Anthony Stewart returning at centre half, while Matt Bloomfield replaced the cup tied Eberechi Eze in midfield.
The first chance actually fell to the hosts after just 3 minutes which was to be their only effort on target in the half. Dom Gape tried to overplay near the by-line and was pick-pocketed by Jermaine Hylton, not for the last time in the afternoon, but Scott Brown comfortably parried his effort from a tight angle.
The visitors took the lead after 15 minutes when a long free kick from Brown was helped on by Akinfenwa and Nick Freeman was there to fortuitously turn the ball home with his knee.
The goal seemed to knock the stuffing out of Solihull although they continued to attempt passing moves that seemed to break down against the hard working Wycombe midfield, typified by all-action, energetic performances from Saunders, Bloomfield and Bean.
The lead was almost doubled after 26 minutes when a Bloomfield cross was volleyed towards goal by Akinfenwa but goalkeeper Bannister made a fine save.
Wanderers didn't have to wait long for their second though, as Stewart and Akinfenwa both saw their headers crash against the crossbar from a set piece before Craig Mackail-Smith lashed home the loose ball to give Wycombe what seemed an unassailable lead.
Mackail-Smith was excellent this afternoon, and with more tireless work he gave himself time to shoot wide before Stewart again tested Bannister from the edge of the box with a curling effort.
There was still time for Stewart to be booked as he halted a Moors attack, while Mackail-Smith was denied by Bannister and the half time whistle sounded just after Asante had curled one well over for the hosts.
The second half was a disappointment if you hoped for further goals and entertainment as Wanderers sat on their two goal cushion.
The best moment for Solihull came after 65 minutes when Brown did excellently to back pedal and tip over a deflected looping shot by Afolayan. Brown was also there to parry away a close range effort on 78 minutes as the hosts desperately looked for a lifeline, but they lacked the quality to bury one of their fleeting opportunities.
For Wycombe, Paris Cowan-Hall replaced Freeman on 67 minutes while Adam El-Abd replaced Stewart after 73 minutes with the defender walking off gingerly.
The highlight of the half for the visiting supporters was Bean curling a great chance wide to a huge cry of anguish from the 807 fans behind the goal, desperate to see his first goal in Wycombe colours. He won't get many better chances.
Cowan-Hall had teed that chance up and he also headed down for Akinfenwa minutes before the end but the striker could only loop a shot high and wide.
Dayle Southwell replaced Mackail-Smith near the end as Wycombe saw out a comfortable victory that puts them in the hat for the second round draw tomorrow night.
Ratings: Brown (7), Gape (6), Scarr (6), Stewart (6) (El Abd 73'), Jacobson (6), Bloomfield (6), Saunders (6), Bean (7), Mackail-Smith (8*) (Southwell 89'), Akinfenwa (6), Freeman (7) (Cowan-Hall 67' 6)