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Match Reports

REPORT: Wanderers 3 Wycombe 0

Dempsey at the double as superb Whites deliver perfect home lift-off

6 August 2022

Rampant Wanderers announced their homecoming in style as they ended their Wycombe jinx with a flourish.

The Whites had lost all four previous meetings against last season’s beaten League One finalists.

But that record never looked like being extended once two-goal star Kyle Dempsey had given Ian Evatt’s men an early lead.

Aaron Morley added a second before the break as he continued his flying start to the season with his second goal in two games.

And a first home win – lapped up by an excellent crowd of almost 17,500 – was secured 20 minutes into the second half when Dempsey capped an outstanding performance with another lung-bursting run into the box and fine finish.

Kyle Dempsey goal.jpg

There could have been more as the fans and his team-mates urged Dempsey on to a possible hat-trick.

But three on the day were plenty as Wanderers made it 10 games without defeat and again showed that the University of Bolton Stadium could be a tough place to come this season.

Wanderers made three changes to their starting line-up following their opening-day draw at Ipswich, including a debut for Jack Iredale and a place for the fit-again Dempsey.

Injury kept out Dion Charles but Amadou Bakayoko’s return did nothing to blunt a Wanderers’ attack that took the game to Wycombe from the start.

The Whites hadn’t scored in their four previous point-less meetings with Wycombe but it took just 15 minutes to end that drought as their blistering start paid off.

Morley goal.jpg

Conor Bradley was rarely out of the action in an impressive home debut and when he burst forward in typical style and picked out Dempsey, the midfield man did the rest with a composed finish as he passed the ball into the bottom corner to claim his first Bolton goal.

Dempsey might have doubled the lead with a chance he lifted over the top after Wanderers again penetrated down their right flank.

And in a brief spell of pressure Wycombe could have levelled as Sam Vokes failed to convert a David Wheeler cross and Lewis Wing smashed an angled drive against a post.

But in a high-quality contest Wanderers kept making opportunities, Afolayan pulling a shot just wide and then picking out Bradley for an effort he lashed off target.

Morley celebration.jpg

Wycombe struggled to cope with the Whites’ movement and slick passing and four minutes from half-time it paid off again.

Afolayan was once more a magnet for the ball and a cluster of red shirts and after wriggling free he released Morley, who was the coolest man in the place as he ran on to tuck away his first goal on home soil.

There was another let-off at the other end when Anis Mehmeti headed over the top but Wanderers thought they had a third in stoppage time when MJ Williams turned the ball home following a corner before being penalised for a foul.

One more goal would have had the Whites in clear water and after a bright start to the second half from Wycombe, Evatt’s men nearly got it.

Afolayan had proved too hot to handle for most of the afternoon and another driving run and shot again saw the ball slide just past the post.

Dempsey second goal.jpg

With an hour gone, Iredale then produced a bit of trickery wide on the left before delivering a low cross which Bakayoko clipped wide.

But the wait was finally over five minutes later when Dempsey made it 3-0 with another classy goal.

This time Bakayoko was the provider as he capped off an excellent afternoon’s work before making way for Jon Dadi Bodvrasson by threading the ball through for Dempsey, whose run was again perfectly timed to steer the ball past Tyla Dickinson and trigger an out-pouring of joy around the stadium.

There was the chance of a treble for Dempsey with 10 minutes to go but Dickinson beat out his effort before Iredale blasted the rebound wide.

Bodvarsson, Morley and substitute Declan John also went close but as home starts go, Wanderers couldn’t have asked for more.

Evatt smile Atherton.jpg

Wanderers: Trafford; Jones, Santos, Johnston; Williams; Bradley (Sadlier 82), Morley, Dempsey (Thomason 89), Iredale (John 89); Afolayan (Kachunga 82), Bakayoko (Bodvarsson, 70). Substitutes: Aimson, Lee.

Booked: None

Wycombe: Dickinson; Wheeler, Grimmer, Tafazolli, Obita; Gape (Freeman 76); Scowen, Mehmeti (Horgan 69), Wing (De Barr 69); Vokes (Mellor 86), McCleary. Substitutes: Blunkell, Jacobson, Wakely.

Booked: Grimmer, McCleary

Referee: Ben Toner

Attendance: 17,417 (416 Wycombe)


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