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Match Report


Posted Sat 12 Dec 09 at 17:00 PM


Wanderers suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat at Carlisle United on Saturday afternoon as Vincent Pericard's header on the stroke of half-time won the points for the Cumbrians.

Pericard nodded home from Ian Harte's free-kick after the striker had gone to ground easily under a Chris Westwood challenge, and it proved to be enough as the Blues were unable to breach a resolute Carlisle rearguard.

Gary Waddock named an unchanged side from the starting line-up which defeated Stockport last weekend, but the composure with which the Blues comfortably swept the Hatters aside seemed to elude them in the opening ten minutes at Brunton Park as the home side squandered three excellent opportunities in quick succession.

First Pericard shot straight at Scott Shearer when set through one-one-one despite appearing to be at least two yards offside, and moments later Kevan Hurst somehow blasted over the top from inside the six-yard box following a cross from Matty Robson.

Robson then saw a cross-shot bounce back off the far post on ten minutes as the home side looked to break the deadlock early on.

Wanderers' first opportunity came via a Matt Harrold header as the striker leapt highest to meet a Craig Woodman cross, but his header flew a yard high and wide to maintain the deadlock.

Four minutes later, Matt Phillips' cross was deflected goalwards by Carlisle left-back Evan Horwood and required keeper Adam Collin to make two attempts to catch the ball under pressure from Harrold.

Wycombe were improving, and only a last-minute tackle from Danny Livesey denied John Akinde a shooting opportunity after the striker had skipped past his marker and raced into the area.

Former Premiership man Graham Kavanagh constantly sought to test his long-range shooting ability and a couple of efforts went unrewarded in the middle of the half before John Akinde attempted to deceive the keeper with a cheeky casual effort at the near post which was comfortably saved.

The game entered a quiet period and it looked as though the half was destined to remain goalless until Carlisle opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time. Pericard went down easily under a challenge from Chris Westwood on the right wing and Ian Harte's inch-perfect free-kick was nodded in by Pericard, leaving Scott Shearer with no chance.

It was a disappointing end to the half for the Blues but they came out strongly in the second period and saw John Akinde turn and shoot straight at Collin from the edge of the box just two minutes after the break.

Moments later, Kevin Betsy's shot was deflected wide and the same man was involved in a great move on 54 minutes when he left two men for dead on the left wing before sending a low cross which was dummied by Harrold and hammered goalwards by Matt Phillips, although a Carlisle defender was in place to make the block.

The home side occasionally looked dangerous on the counter attack and Matty Robson's low cross on the break evaded everyone as his side looked to put the game to bed.

Tommy Doherty replaced John Mousinho on the hour mark but the next chance came for the Cumbrians and it was Pericard who produced a stunning save from Shearer after Kavanagh's pull-back. The midfielder wriggled into the box and squared it into the six-yard box, only for Shearer to throw himself at Pericard's effort and divert the ball over the bar.

Wycombe could have made them pay on 65 minutes when Scott Davies counter-attacked but with options to his left and his right, his touch was just too heavy and allowed Peter Murphy to recover. However, in the same move, Matt Phillips' deep cross was headed wide by Akinde with the keeper stranded.

Lewis Hunt was almost an unlikely goalscorer on 70 minutes when his header from a Scott Davies free-kick bounced in the six-yard box and needed a defender to clear the ball off the line, and Carlisle made their first change six minutes later when Scott Dobie replaced Peter Murphy.

Jon-Paul Pittman was then introduced for the Blues in place of Matt Harrold as the visitors went in search of the equaliser, having enjoyed plenty of possession around the Carlisle box but been unable to produce many clear-cut chances.

At the other end, Kevan Hurst forced a full-stretch save from Shearer with a bending effort from the corner of the area and Robson then came close to sealing the win when his powerful drive was well kept out by Shearer.

But Wycombe should have an equaliser on the stroke of full-time when John Akinde juggled the ball past Ian Harte and raced into the box with three yellow shirts screaming for the ball at the far post. However, the low cross was easily cut out for a corner, and from the resulting set piece, a Wycombe effort was deflected inches wide for another corner, which saw Pittman's header saved by Collin.

Danny Livesey was injured in the chaos and needed to replaced by Tom Aldred but the home side held on to secure all three points and leave the Blues facing a long journey home wondering what might have been had those late opportunities been taken.

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