Blues down Robins to close gap on Luton
Cheltenham Town 0 Wycombe Wanderers 2
The Chairboys made it seven wins in eight as they beat the Robins 2-0 at Whaddon Road with goals from Adebayo Akinfenwa and Paris Cowan-Hall.
It was a thoroughly professional performance and a first clean sheet since Boxing Day.
Gareth Ainsworth made two changes to the side that picked up an impressive win against Swindon in midweek, Matt Bloomfield and Nathan McGinley replacing Marcus Bean and Dan Scarr.
Wanderers named only six subs as Will De Havilland missed out having joined Maidstone on loan during the week.
The first half was a pretty even affair. Wanderers were far from convincing, and the home side, who won 5-1 at Whaddon Road last weekend, tried to capitalise.
Neither keeper was troubled early on, and the Cheltenham back line, who must have had a combined height of 28 feet, dealt with any aerial threat.
In truth, the first half was uninspiring and a Luke ONien effort from an Akinfenwa lay off was a rare sight of goalmouth action.
The retuning Bloomfield then fired wide on the half volley, as Wycombe began to grow into the game.
Five minutes before the interval Wanderers finally showed their class. Mackail-Smith did brilliantly to dispossess a Cheltenham defender who tried to usher the ball out of play.
After winning the ball he played it to Akinfenwa who rolled his man and fired under Scott Flinders. Many keepers would have saved it, but not Flinders whose track record against Wycombe really is atrocious.
Wanderers may have felt lucky to go in at 1-0 up, but they showed why they`re promotion candidates just before the half-time whistle.
The ball was played in to Akinfenwa. He controlled it and laid it through to Cowan-Hall who calmly took his time whilst in acres of space and slotted past Flinders to double the lead.
Wycombe hadn`t been brilliant but they led 2-0 at the break.
Gary Johnson made two changes during the interval in a bid to get the hosts back into the game. Former Wycombe loanee Jerell Sellars was one of the players introduced.
Cheltenham attempted to make a statement early in the second half but Brian Graham headed wide and Kevin Dawson hit a volley a long way off target as Scott Brown continued to be untroubled.
With 25 minutes remaining, Nathan Tyson came on to replace Cowan-Hall, who had scored his fifth goal in seven games.
The Robins kept trying to get back into the game but the visitors remained solid throughout and Brown was rarely troubled
Curtis Thompson then replaced Bloomfield for his second Wycombe appearance. He certainly showed positive signs, and we`ll hopefully see more of him between now and the end of the season.
Flinders was there to deny O`Nien twice in the closing minutes, but spilled both shots, Mackail-Smith narrowly unable to follow up on the second occasion.
In truth it was a game of little action, but Wycombe showed why they`re in the automatic promotion places. They were far from brilliant, but scored twice in an impressive five minute spell and then saw the game out superbly.
Gavin Ward blew an end to proceedings, and with Accrington only drawing at Barnet, Wanderers climbed to 2nd in the table, three points clear of 4th placed Mansfield.
Next up for the Blues is a home game against Morecambe in a week`s time.
Brown 6 - Untroubled and solid.
Moore 7 - Certainly exciting.
El-Abd 7 - Solid again.
McGinley 7 - Big help towards a rare clean sheet.
Jacobson 6 - Solid.
Gape 6 - Not his best game but solid nonetheless.
O`Nien. 7 - Would grace a higher division. What a player.
Bloomfield 6 - Good shift.
Mackail-Smith 8 - First goal was all about him. Great signing.
Akinfenwa 7 - Pivotal to what we do.
Cowan-Hall 8* - MOM Current form is different class.
Tyson 6 - Useful outlet today.
Thompson 6 - Looked good when he came on.