REPORT: Wanderers v Wycombe

New Wanderers’ vice-captain Gethin Jones worked overtime but couldn’t help the Whites slow Wycombe’s promotion push.

Jones led by example with his second appearance of the day when he came off the bench in the second half after his comeback from injury in the Reserves a few hours earlier.

And his commitment to the cause will be just what's need after Wanderers battled in vain to end a four-match losing run in their first home game for six weeks.

Despite promising home debuts from Dion Charles and Marlon Fossey, the winning feeling has currently eluded Ian Evatt's men as they failed to turn some decent opportunities into a goal before being punished by Wycombe strikes either side of the break.

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Wanderers - with new signing Aaron Morley waiting in the wings - had a new look and started with a fresh intensity with Charles adding to an early attacking threat as they aimed to build on an unbeaten six-match home run mothballed by the recent COVID outbreak.

His link-up with Dapo Afolayan showed plenty of promise with Afolayan and Amadou Bakayoko playing noticeably further forward in support.

A deflected strike from Afolayan forced Wycombe keeper David Stockdale into action inside the opening 10 minutes, with the loose ball producing an aerial battle which left both Fossey and Jordan Obita requiring lengthy treatment.

Jones briefly warmed up to raise the prospect of a rapid return to first-team action after three months out following his 45-minute comeback in the reserves.

But Wanderers were able to carry on unchanged and after surviving a major scare when Joel Dixon saved well from Gareth McCleary when he was clean through continued to press for the opening goal.

Charles certainly brought a new dimension to the Whites’ forays forward with his pace and movement and after combining with Bakayoko forced Stockdale into another smart save.

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George Thomason then clipped a shot onto the roof of the net but 10 minutes before the scheduled break (not taking into account an incredible 12 minutes of added time) Wanderers’ momentum was stalled as the visitors grabbed the lead.

The visitors had been a threat on the break and when Brandon Hanlon again moved forward from inside the Wanderers’ half he was afforded the time and space to cut inside and fire low into the far corner.

The constant disruptions to play did little to help Wanderers’ rhythm and in a scrappy start to the second half their task became even harder when the visitors doubled their lead through Jack Grimmer’s measured finish as the defender curled an effort into the top corner.

Evatt responded with a first change as Jones did clock on for double time as he came on at right-back to release Fossey into a more advanced position.

And that triggered another positive spell from Wanderers with Fossey - superbly backed up by Jones - playing his part with some piercing runs forward as Ian Evatt’s menthe Whites strove for the goal that would get them back in the contest.

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Wanderers peppered the penalty area and Afolayan saw a shot blocked by Anthony Stewart.

But with Charles still building his way back to full match fitness and not able to go the full 90 minutes they couldn’t find a way through to threaten an end to Wycombe’s climb up the table as they made it just one defeat in nine games to move within a point of top spot.

In stoppage time, Thomason rattled a post when a goal then might have had the visitors hanging on but with the Whites' luck currently out, there was to be no late drama.

Wanderers: Dixon; Fossey (Darcy 84), Santos, Aimson, John; Williams; Bakayoko (Jones 57); Thomason, Lee, Afolayan; Charles (Delfouneso 67). Substitutes: Hutchinson, Johnston, Baptiste, Gordon.


Wycombe: Stockdale; Grimmer, Stewart, Tafazolli, Jacobson (Thompson 73); Mehmeti (Horgan 73), McCleary, Scowen, Obita; Vokes, Hanlan. Substitutes: Przybek, Wheeler, Leathers, De Barr, Pendlebury.

Booked: McCleary, Scowen, Jacobson

Referee: Peter Wright

Attendance: 12,584

Read Time: 4 mins