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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 26 Dec 09 at 16:59 PM

REPORT: NO CHRISTMAS CHEER

Wanderers suffered a heavy 4-0 defeat at the hands of Yeovil Town on Boxing Day as the home side's clinical streak in front of goal punished the Blues at Huish Park.

A largely even affair in Somerset was settled by three second-half goals from the Glovers after Gary Waddock's side's desperate quest to level the scores allowed the home side to capitalise on defensive frailties.

Kieran Murtagh, JP Kalala, Jonathan Obika and Sam Williams did the damage for Terry Skiverton's men, but only after keeper Alex McCarthy had produced two world-class saves from Luke Oliver and Chris Westwood at 1-0.

There was one bright spot for the visitors however, as Gary Waddock handed a first appearance to 16-year-old Kadeem Harris in the second period, with the winger becoming the club's youngest ever player to feature in the Football League.

Gary Waddock made one change for the clash in Somerset, with Jon-Paul Pittman replacing the suspended John Akinde in attack.

The Blues began by far the better of the two sides, dominating possession in the opening exchanges. John Mousinho was the first to bring a save from either keeper, curling an effort into the arms of Alex McCarthy from the edge of the Yeovil area.

Terry Skiverton's men responded positively and went close through both Nathan Smith and Gavin Tomlin but it was Waddock's men and, in particular, Pittman who should have opened the scoring three minutes later.

Interestingly referee Roger East started the move for the Blues, denying Jean-Paul Kalala's forward pass reaching its target, Kevin Betsy found Pittman unmarked inside the box but the Wanderers no.16 scuffed his shot wide of McCarthy's goal when well placed.

At the other end, Lewis Hunt thwarted former Wanderer Dean Bowditch with a last-ditch challenge after the Yeovil forward had easily beaten skipper Craig Woodman down the right.

The game was proving to be quite an entertaining affair with both sides pushing forward, however, it was a Scott Shearer mistake that nearly allowed the hosts to take the lead. Shearer mis-kicked his clearance up field and it fell to Tomlin 35 yards out, but luckily for the Blues keeper the Glovers midfielder couldn't take advantage of an empty net.

A wonderful flick-on from JP then met a surging forward run forward from Scott Davies, the Reading midfielder took the ball into his stride and past Stefan Stam before forcing McCarthy into a top stop from 15 yards out.

But despite shading the half, Wycombe found themselves behind on 36 minutes when Keiran Murtagh smashed the ball under the reaches of Shearer after the Blues had failed to clear a corner.

Yeovil's tails were up and an audacious effort from Ryan Mason nearly doubled the hosts' lead a minute later. The midfielder picked the ball up from 35 yards out and sent a curling shot just over the top of the Wanderers crossbar.

Wanderers attempted to swing the momentum back into their favour but came up against a stubborn Yeovil back-line and went into the half-time break trailing by one goal to nil.

Within seconds of the restart, Sam Williams looped an effort straight at Shearer from just inside the box as the Glovers looked to extend their lead, whilst at the other end, Pittman's quick burst into the box earned a corner as the impressive Steven Caulker did enough to stand his ground.

It was proving to be a lively start to the second period and Craig Woodman produced a fine block to deny Murtagh a second of the game when Bowditch released Mason down the left flank, and Mason's low ball was met with a low drive by Murtagh, whose blocked shot was followed up with a poor effort by Kalala.

The chances kept coming, and a sublime through-ball sent Pittman through one-on-one with Alex McCarthy, with the keeper racing from his line to force the striker to go wide. Pittman knocked the ball past the Yeovil stopper but a superb sliding challenge from Craig Alcock sent the ball behind with the goal at Pittman's mercy.

With Wycombe making every effort to find an equaliser, there was always going to be space for the Glovers to break forward, and a low cross from Gavin Tomlin was just inches away from the boot of the sliding Sam Williams before Scott Shearer claimed well.

On the hour-mark, Chris Westwood's horror back-pass was seized upon by Bowditch but Shearer was alert to make a tackle on the edge of the box before Mason's low drive was held by the keeper at the second attempt.

Stuart Beavon came on for Matt Phillips moments later and the formation reverted to a 4-4-2 set-up with the new arrival moving up-front with Pittman, whilst the home side also make a change, with Jonathan Obika replacing Dean Bowditch.

JP Kalala then rugby tackled Scott Davies to earn a yellow card, and Luke Oliver came within inches of levelling the scores against his former club with a stunning header from 16 yards, forcing the keeper into an excellent fingertip save to tip it over the bar.

Moments later, it was almost déjà vu as the keeper produced another fine save to deny Chris Westwood's goalbound flick, with the Wanderers really beginning to get a strong grip on the game.

But as so often happens, the home side capitalised on the visitors' missed chances and doubled the lead on 70 minutes. Yeovil took a quick throw after a great tackle from Chris Westwood and outnumbered the Wycombe defence, with Obika's low cross being met by Kalala at the back post to slot home.

It was three moments later, when a routine through-ball was met by a possibly-offside Obika to race through and extend the lead. After a sustained spell of pressure in the Yeovil area, Wycombe found themselves staring at a defeat which was more comfortable in scoreline than it was in reality.

Scott Murray came on for Gavin Tomlin on 75 minutes, and there was a special moment for Kadeem Harris when the 16-year-old youth team product was handed his first taste of senior football when he replaced John Mousinho three minutes later, becoming the youngest ever player to represent the club.

Andy Welsh came on for Ryan Mason's in the final change for the home side, and soon won a free-kick which Scott Murray bent just past the near post after being booked for attempting to take it before the referee was ready.

Wanderers' desperate quest for a consolation was doing more harm than good, and the fourth goal came when Lewis Hunt was caught out of position and Obika's cross from the left was tapped home by Sam Williams on 86 minutes.

Matt Harrold's header went straight at Alex McCarthy and Kalala's long range effort went miles high before the referee brought an end to conclusions, meaning Wycombe must bounce back quickly in time for Monday's visit of Brighton.

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