Blues fail to sparkle at Stanley
Accrington Stanley 1 Wycombe Wanderers 0
The Chairboys suffered a 1-0 defeat at the Crown Ground as a poor performance was duly punished and the scoreline probably flattered the visitors.
Gareth Ainsworth made one change to the side that thumped Crawley at the weekend, with Sido Jombati returning in place of Dom Gape who was unavailable for personal reasons.
Sam Saunders also missed out through illness, meaning Wanderers named just five substitutes.
Former Wycombe loanee Jonai Donacien, who made just two appearances in a Wanderers` shirt, started at right-back for Accy.
The first chance fell to Saturday`s hat-trick hero Craig Mackail-Smith just five minutes in. A cross-field ball from Joe Jacobson found the striker who chested it down and hit a left footed shot against the ground which bounced up but was saved by Aaron Chapman in the Stanley goal.
This was to prove a rare glimmer of hope for the Chairboys. In the wet and windy weather, Accrington were the only team keeping it on the floor and adapting to the conditions.
Kayden Jackson skipped to the byline but Jombati did well to block as Stanley continued to look the more comfortable of the two sides.
For Wanderers, no-one was able to get on the end of an Adebayo Akinfenwa header across goal, and Matt Bloomfield shot well over from distance.
Blues keeper Scott Brown was then on hand to deny a deflected effort from Jackson, before Mallik Wilks turned a free-kick wide at the other end.
Billy Kee then saw a header blocked by Akinfenwa when Brown probably should have come and claimed the cross.
The hosts were now beginning to dominate. Sean McConville hit a free-kick over the bar from around 20 yards, and his cross moments later found Wilks who forced an excellent save from Brown.
Kee fired over on the half volley before two minutes of stoppage time passed with no further incident. The half finished goalless but with Accy looking the better side and far more likely to break the deadlock.
Ainsworth made a change at half-time with Marcus Bean replacing Mackail-Smith who presumably picked up an injury.
Eberechi Eze then pushed into the front three with Bean slotting into midfield. A slightly baffling substitution when Dayle Southwell, and more specifically Nick Freeman, were both on the bench and surely a more like for like swap.
Bean was quickly into the action however, volleying a half cleared free-kick wide before getting booked when he stopped an Accy break within his first 10 minutes on the pitch.
McConville was beginning to dictate a lot of the game for the hosts, and his curling effort from distance went narrowly wide.
Brown then palmed another good effort from the Accy man away from danger.
Dan Scarr was then introduced in place of captain Adam El-Abd. This was presumably because El-Abd had been booked in the first half. It was difficult to imagine any other reason.
But after just three minutes of Scarr on the pitch the home side did take the lead. It had been coming and it was deserved.
A spell of Accrington pressure with a handful of free-kicks was never properly dealt with, and when one McConville set-piece wasn`t efficiently cleared by Cowan-Hall, Accy were able to keep possession in the box and Kee laid it off to the unmarked Mark Hughes who slotted it beneath Brown from close range with 20 minutes to go.
Hughes seems to be making a habit of scoring the only goal in 1-0 wins against Wycombe. Not bad for a centre-back.
Despite Wanderers being a goal behind, the hosts continued to look the better side and more likely to score another.
Ainsworth introduced Southwell for Jombati in a bid to draw level, with Bean slotting in at right-back and Eze returning to midfield.
Luke O`Nien had a soft header straight at Chapman. Eze had a goal bound effort blocked inadvertently by Bloomfield and deep into the four minutes of stoppage time Akinfenwa headed at Chapman when he maybe could have done better.
The game ended 1-0 and in truth, the scoreline probably flattered the visitors. Accrington were comfortably the better side throughout.
The result means Wanderers drop outside the play-offs, having collected only 8 points out of a possible 30 against teams currently in the top half of the table, a worrying statistic if we harbour hopes of promotion, even via the play-offs.
Next up is a return to Adams Park on Saturday where Yeovil Town are the visitors.
Despite an atrocious history at home to the Glovers, three points are surely a must against the side with the worst away record in League Two.
Brown 7 - Couple of excellent saves to keep Wycombe level and then in the game.
Jombati 6 - Probably not Match fit but did very well at times.
Stewart 6 - A rare Tuesday night performance and did okay.
El-Abd 6 - Couple of vital 1st half interceptions. Taken off presumably because of his booking (which never was).
Jacobson 7 - Thought he had a very good game.
O`Nien 5 - Didn`t look fully fit and largely anonymous.
Bloomfield 5 - Didn`t realise he was playing for the majority of the game. Shame on his 450th appearance.
Eze 6 - Didn`t get into the game due to our tactics and Accrington`s job on him.
Mackail-Smith 6 - Could have done better with early chance. Missed in the second half.
Akinfenwa 6 - Kept quiet for the majority of the game.
Cowan-Hall 5 - Never really got into the match.
Bean 5 - Did OK but not as well as has been.
Scarr 5 - Still not really sure why he came on.
Southwell 6 - Stuck out wide again. No chance to contribute.