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Match Report


Posted Sat 03 Apr 10 at 19:46 PM


Wycombe suffered a narrow 2-1 defeat to Huddersfield Town on Easter Saturday, with Dean Keates' first goal for the club proving to be not quite enough to prevent the loss.

Town took a half-time lead courtesy of Jordan Rhodes' clever finish from six yards and doubled the margin when Theo Robinson slammed home from the edge of the box after the break.

But Wanderers showed fight and determination from start to finish, and Jon-Paul Pittman's looped cross was met by the head of Keates, who nodded home to set up a tense finish.

Matt Bloomfield and Kevin McLeod both came close to an equaliser but Town held on for the win and condemned Wycombe to a tenth home defeat of the season.

Gary Waddock made one change to the side that drew 1-1 at Colchester last week, with Kevin McLeod replacing Craig Woodman who had travelled to be with his partner for the birth of their third child.

Wycombe started brightly, and almost had a goal to show for it inside two minutes when John Mousinho fired just wide following good work from Matt Harrold.

But Huddersfield are one of the division's strongest attacking forces and looked lively themselves, with Theo Robinson heading straight at Tom Heaton after the Blues struggled to clear.

Gareth Ainsworth then attempted to score his 100th career goal in style with an audacious lob from 40 yards, but the ball looped just over Alex Smithies' crossbar.

Wanderers were dealt a blow on 18 minutes when Julian Kelly was forced off with an injury, with Matt Bloomfield coming on in his place, and their bad fortune continued four minutes later as they fell behind.

The ball fell to midfielder Michael Collins inside the area and although his initial effort was blocked, he was in the right place to head it sideways to Jordan Rhodes, who finished smartly with an overhead kick from six yards.

Wycombe needed a response, and it almost came courtesy of Matt Harrold, whose close range header from a Dean Keates corner was deflected just wide.

The chances kept coming at both ends, firstly with Neal Trotman heading against the crossbar and then Harrold seeing a header fly just over the top.

A defensive slip in first-half stoppage time almost gifted the Terriers a second, but Tom Heaton reacted superbly to race from his line and deny Theo Robinson, before Danny Drinkwater fired wide.

Wanderers emerged from the tunnel earlier than their opponents for the second half but it was the Terriers who found their feet quickest, and Robinson's low drive across the six-yard box flew just past the post and his onrushing team-mates.

And Robinson was clearly a man on a mission, as he proved with Town's second of the game on 51 minutes. The striker burst forward and held off two challenges before firing home from the edge of the box.

Gary Waddock reacted immediately by bringing Jon-Paul Pittman and Matt Phillips off the bench, replacing John Mousinho and Matt Harrold, while Town introduced Nathan Eccleston to the fray in place of Theo Robinson.

Wycombe's two subs combined to present Pittman with an opportunity on 66 minutes when Phillips' cushioned header picked out his team-mate, but Pittman's headed effort was comfortable for Smithies to hold.

And Pittman had another chance moments later when Ainsworth smashed a low ball across the six-yard box which struck the striker's boot and landed kindly for the keeper with the goal gaping.

That man Pittman was the architect of Wanderers' route back into the game when his determined battle with the Town defence paid dividends. He did excellently to reach the byline and loft a cross to the penalty spot, where Dean Keates rose highest to head home his first goal in Wycombe colours.

Town looked rattled, and responded with a defensive substitution by replacing winger Gary Roberts with holding man Antony Kay in a bid to close out the match.

But they could have had a third when Danny Drinkwater's curling free-kick evaded everyone and looked destined for the corner, before Tom Heaton produced a fine save to divert it behind.

Wycombe believed they could draw level, and Matt Bloomfield's left footed drive from the edge of the box flew just over the crossbar as they continued to trouble the Town backline.

And Kevin McLeod's deflected effort tested the keeper's handling as the clock ticked towards full-time, with the Blues searching desperately for a leveller.

But their hard work was in vain as the referee blew his whistle to confirm Huddersfield's victory and leave Wycombe needing a win at Walsall on Monday to reignite their bid for survival.

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