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Match Report


Posted Tue 24 Nov 09 at 23:23 PM


Wanderers made it two wins in the space of four days on Tuesday evening when they beat Brentford 1-0.

Matt Harrold's penalty three minutes into the second half was enough to hand the Blues the three points and move Waddock's men up another place to 22nd in League One.

Harrold was handed another opportunity from 12 yards 15 minutes later, after Gareth Ainsworth was brought down in the box by James Wilson, but the former Brentford striker's spot-kick was saved by Arsenal loanee Wojciech Szczesny.

Wilson was sent off for his challenge on Ainsworth and with the man advantage the Blues went in search of a second. Stuart Beavon and John Mousinho both went close to closing the game out, before the Wanderers' rearguard held firm in the final stages to claim another vital victory.

Gary Waddock made two changes from the weekend win over Millwall, as Michael Duberry and Matt Harrold returned for injured pair Chris Westwood and Jon-Paul Pittman. Matt Bloomfield was also omitted from the squad with a hamstring injury.

Despite the tremendous performance on Saturday at The Den, the Blues started on the back foot and it was Brentford's John Bostock who notched up the first chance of the game on five minutes. But after good work from the Spurs loanee his shot wasn't up to the same standard and his effort flew high and wide of Scott Shearer's goal.

Moments later, Bostock forced Shearer into a good save away to his left after the 17-year-old let fly from the corner of the 18-yard box, before Charlie MacDonald headed over from six yards following a good surge down the left and cross from Sam Wood.

Wanderers fought back and the midfield began to control proceedings. Their dominance transferred into openings, the first of which fell to Matt Harrold after some neat play down the right-hand side between Tommy Doherty and the tenacious Ainsworth. But after receiving the ball back from the Doc, the QPR loanee's chipped ball into the Blues' number nine was slightly over-hit and all Harrold could do was head on and into the arms of Szczesny.

Then it was the turn of Kevin Betsy to terrorise the Bees defence. Firstly, he won the ball back in the Blues half, made over 50 yards in true Betsy style and then brought a smart save from the Brentford keeper diving away to his left. From the resulting corner the excellent John Mousinho saw his low shot deflected wide.

The Bees were living dangerously. A minute later Betsy was at it again, this time trying his luck from 25 yards on the turn. But, like before, Szczesny was up to the task and pushed over for another corner.

Stuart Beavon replaced the injured Scott Davies and he nearly made an immediate impact just after the half hour following some nice build-up play with Harrold. The former Brentford man chested the ball into the path of 'Bevs' and he tested the Bees keeper from 25 yards.

Betsy was continuing to run riot down the left and the next spell of 20 seconds told you all you need to know about the Southend loanee. Firstly, he showed great tenacity to block Marcus Bean's clearance, he then ran at the Brentford defence and after beating two men with ease, Bean took matters into his own hands and cynically brought the Wanderers winger on the edge of the area. Bean was cautioned.

At the other end, a rare venture forward from the visitors nearly caught the Wanderers out. Bostock was set clear on a counter-attack, but instead of playing the ball left to Wood, he opted to go it alone and ended up firing well wide.

The returning Michael Duberry, who skippered the side for the evening, was strong defensively throughout, but it was his quick thinking going forward that nearly set the Blues on their way. His ball down the right channel into the path of Harrold was timed to perfection but unfortunately the striker could only fire into the side-netting as he entered the penalty area.

After dominating the first 45 the Blues wouldn't have to wait long at the start of the second half before being handed the opportunity to take the lead. Doherty's ball into the box was headed down by Duberry and onto the arm of Bees defender Karleigh Osborne. Penalty Wycombe, thanks to the assistant referee on the far side. Referee Stroud was unsure but his assistant on the Bucks New University stand side wasn't and he indicated penalty.

Harrold, who was four from four from the spot for the Blues, stepped up and fired past Szczesny to claim his sixth goal of the campaign and hand Waddock's men a deserved lead.

The Blues didn't stop there though and within five minutes both Ainsworth and the busy Beavon had gone close to making it 2-0. Firstly, Ainsworth's shot from the edge of the area went narrowly wide of the right post before Beavon headed a foot wide after Betsy's teasing cross had been headed up inside the Bees box.

Bees centre-half Osborne then saw a header comfortably saved by Shearer from a corner before Ainsworth saw his shot deflected into the arms of Szczesny.

Moments later, the complexion of the game changed. Ainsworth was put through one on one on goal before being brought down by James Wilson. Referee Stroud saw this one though and not only correctly awarded another penalty to the Chairboys but also dismissed Wilson for denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity. However, Harrold's second spot-kick of the evening was saved by the legs of Szczesny and the score remained 1-0.

The miss didn't seem to affect the Blues though and they continued to go forward in search of a second. After some fancy footwork, Beavon rolled in Mousinho who, from 25 yards out, sent a rasping shot just inches over the top of the left upright. It would have been a stunner and just what his performance deserved.

In fairness Brentford came forward looking for an equaliser and Andy Scott threw on both former Blues trialist Carl Cort and Cleveland Taylor to see if they could salvage his side a point. However, it was Waddock's men looking the more likely to score and only a last-ditch clearance from Sam Wood denied Matt Harrold a second after a stunning ball across the box from Betsy , before Beavon was thwarted by Sczczesny following some nice play between Craig Woodman, Betsy and Doherty.

Brentford huffed and puffed in the final few minutes but the back five held strong to claim a second clean sheet and a second victory in the space of just four days.

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