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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 30 Jan 10 at 17:23 PM

REPORT: BLUES SECURE VITAL WIN

Wanderers collected a crucial three points from a pulsating 3-2 thriller at the Memorial Ground as goals from Matt Harrold, Alex Revell and Stuart Beavon upset the form guide against Bristol Rovers.

Harrold slotted home from the spot to give Gary Waddock's men the lead in the first half, but two long-range strikes from Chris Lines before the break swung the game back in the favour of the Pirates, who had won their previous five matches on home turf.

But the never-say-die attitude that Waddock has instilled in his side worked its wonders in the second half as Alex Revell netted a goal on his debut from the penalty spot, and Beavon headed home with ten minutes remaining to secure a fantastic victory.

Elsewhere in the division, Brighton, Stockport and Yeovil all suffered defeats while fellow strugglers Exeter, Leyton Orient, Tranmere and Gillingham collected draws, meaning that Wycombe were the only side in the bottom half to record a victory.

New signing Alex Revell was handed his debut, replacing the injured Lewis Hunt (calf) in the only change for Gary Waddock's Wanderers.

Wycombe, buoyed by their display at Southend last Saturday, dominated the early exchanges and John Mousinho fired narrowly wide of Mikkel Anderson's goal in the first chance of the afternoon.

Luck hasn't been on the Chairboys' side of late but a penalty for a handball by Stuart Campbell went someway to making up for it. Josh Payne's deflected ball down the line was hooked into the box by Revell and it clearly struck the hand of the Pirates' skipper.

Matt Harrold was handed the responsibility from the spot and he duly obliged, stepping up and drilling past Anderson into the bottom right hand corner to hand the Blues the lead on 15 minutes.

Waddock's men continued to look the better of the two sides and the lively Revell forced Anderson into a fine save after cutting in from the left touchline.

The home side, who had offered next to nothing going forward, created their first opening on 32 minutes. Jeff Hughes wriggled his way past a couple of challenges but the impressive Adam Hinshelwood was on hand to deny the Rovers midfielder an equaliser with an important block.

Despite a better spell from Paul Trollope's Pirates, Chris Lines' 40th minute leveller was harsh on the Blues. However, there was nothing any player in all-black could have done with the strike, as Lines stepped up from 25 yards to beautifully curl a free-kick over the Wycombe wall and into the bottom right-hand corner of Scott Shearer's net.

And it got worse for Wanderers four minutes later. Good work from Hughes and Jo Kuffour down the left created the space and, after receiving the ball from the former, Lines side-footed the ball into the top left-hand corner from the edge of the area to hand the home the advantage going into the break.

But the Chairboys' character would soon come to the fore. And within three minutes of the second half Stuart Beavon earned Wycombe their second penalty of the afternoon. Beavon's fancy footwork tempted Danny Coles into a challenge, one he got horribly wrong. Mr. Shoebridge correctly pointed to the spot and Alex Revell coolly slotted into the bottom right-hand corner to make it 2-2. Game on.

Sensing a third goal, the Blues piled forward and only a wonderful save from Mikkel Anderson kept it level. Kevin Betsy, who was operating so well in a make-shift right-back position, found John Mousinho in the six-yard box but his header was expertly tipped over the bar.

Then it was the turn of Josh Payne to go close for the visitors. His exquisite touch set himself up perfectly for the shot and his 25-yard left-foot drive was only inches wide of Bristol Rovers' goal.

Anderson then saved well twice in the space of just two minutes, firstly again to deny Payne and then to thwart Mousinho from 25 yards.

At the other end, substitute Andy Williams scuffed his effort wide of Shearer's goal after smart play from Darrly Duffy.

Dean Keates' delivery had caused Rovers problems all afternoon so it was no surprise when he picked out Matt Harrold unmarked in the 18-yard box. However, Harrold mistimed his jump and guided his header wide of the target.

A scrappy 10 minutes followed, where neither side were able to enjoy any sort of prolonged possession let alone create any good chances.

However, Keates' delivery did the trick on 80 minutes when his inswinging corner from the right was headed over the line by Stuart Beavon to hand the Blues a crucial 3-2 lead. A nervous wait followed as the assistant referee didn't give the goal, leaving it to the referee to correctly point to the centre circle and award Beavon his second goal of the season but more importantly the Wanderers' third of the match.

Rovers pushed forward late on and Kuffour went within inches of levelling matters with a header, but the Blues held on to claim a richly deserved three points.

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