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Match Report


Posted Sat 23 Oct 10 at 17:02 PM


Wycombe continued their unbeaten away record with a superb 4-3 victory over Rotherham United in an absorbing encounter at the Don Valley Stadium.

Kevin Betsy's close-range finish and Matt Bloomfield's 20-yard drive put the Blues in the driving seat but the Millers fought back through Adam Le Fondre's clinical shot at the near-post and a long-range strike from Jason Taylor.

Ben Strevens' curling shot from outside the box put the visitors in front at the break, but the visitors equalised again when Le Fondre slotted home a penalty following a foul by Chris Westwood.

But there was more drama when Kevin Betsy was tripped inside the area with eight minutes left, and Scott Rendell stepped up to seal the three points from the spot.

Gary Waddock named the same starting XI for the fifth consecutive league game, while Rotherham made one change with Luke Ashworth coming in for captain Ryan Cresswell, who picked up an injury in the warm-up.

Rotherham's Kevin Ellison fired an early warning shot when he sent a dipping volley just over Nikki Bull's bar, while, at the other end, Gareth Ainsworth connected sweetly on the volley from a Matt Bloomfield corner which flew just wide of the top left-hand corner.

Ellison was again involved on eight minutes when he scooped Johnny Mullins' teasing cross over the top from six yards out.

But it was Wycombe who broke the deadlock a minute later after Kevin Betsy capitalised on a defensive mishap by Mullins, slotting home from close range after Ainsworth's cross had cannoned off the Millers right-back and into the path of Betsy.

Then a stunning individual goal from Matt Bloomfield made it 2-0 shortly afterwards. Betsy found Bloomfield who wriggled away from Exodus Geohaghon before arrowing an unstoppable shot past Andy Warrington from 20 yards.

Rotherham reduced the arrears when Adam Le Fondre pounced on a loose ball in the Wycombe box before firing past Bull at the near-post.

Sensing a comeback, the Millers drove forward and Bull had to be at his best to deny Nicky Law's curling free-kick finding the top right-hand corner.

But they didn't have to wait long for their equaliser, with midfielder Jason Taylor drilling home into the bottom corner from 25 yards after Wycombe had failed to spot the midfielder unmarked outside the area following a free-kick.

Wycombe were clearly rattled and should have been behind before the break when Nicky Law somehow fired wide from six yards when Le Fondre's cross found him unmarked at the back post.

And the reprieve seemed to inspire the visitors as they raced up the other end and took a half-time lead in stunning style. Kevin Betsy's shot was blocked into the path of Ben Strevens, and the striker took a touch before curling home a beautiful effort from 25 yards to swing the game back in the Blues' favour.

Both sets of supporters were clearly awestruck by the quality of football they had seen in the opening 45 minutes and the Millers were clearly keen to get stuck in to their opponents after the break, appearing from their dressing room some three or four minutes before the visitors.

But the delay seemed the benefit the Wanderers, who kept their composure and bossed the opening stages of the second half. First Matt Bloomfield headed over from a chipped cross from Gareth Ainsworth, before Kevin Betsy saw his goalbound effort blocked by a diving Luke Ashworth on 56 minutes.

Rotherham's tendency to leave gaps at the back was playing into Wycombe's hands and moments later Matt Bloomfield was inches away from restoring the two-goal cushion when his shot hit the post following his burst from midfield.

There was then a flurry of substitutions, with Scott Davies replacing Matt Bloomfield, who was withdrawn as a precaution following a hamstring injury, with the Millers swapped Nicky Law and Mark Bradley with Marcus Marshall and Danny Harrison.

The changes looked to spark more life into the home side's attacking threat and they were handed a lifeline when the referee awarded a soft penalty against Chris Westwood, with the defender being accused of climbing over a Millers attacker. Adam Le Fondre made no mistake from the spot, sending Nikki Bull the wrong way, and setting up a fascinating final 25 minutes.

On the balance of play, the goal was undeserved, but both sides had genuine confidence that they could go on and take all three points, culminating in a high-tempo affair which was stretched at both ends of the pitch. Nikki Bull kept the scores level with a fine save from a Jason Taylor drive and it proved to be pivotal as Wanderers were soon in front once again.

Kevin Betsy showed fine footwork to dart into the box and was caught by the boot of Luke Ashworth, earning a penalty. The protests from the Millers' defenders prompted the referee to consult his assistant, but the decision remained and Scott Rendell held a cool head to roll the ball home with eight minutes remaining.

Rotherham launched everything at the Wycombe defence as time ran out, but the Blues held out to record their first ever away victory over the Millers and end their unbeaten home record at the same time.


1mins: CHANCE - Kevin Ellison fires a dipping volley narrowly over the top of Nikki Bull's bar.

5mins: CHANCE - Gareth Ainsworth connects sweetly on the volley from a Matt Bloomfield corner which flies just wide of the top left-hand corner.

6mins: CHANCE - Lewis Montrose fires wide after the ball had fallen to him on the edge of the Millers' box.

8mins: CHANCE - Ellison scoops Johnny Mullins' teasing cross over the top from six yards out.

9mins: GOAL - Kevin Betsy slots home from close range after the ball had fallen kindly to the in-form midfielder inside the six-yard box.

16mins: CHANCE - Adam Le Fondre turns Mullins' cross wide from close range.

18mins: GOAL - Matt Bloomfield makes it 2-0 to Wycombe with a stunning 20-yard strike.

22mins: GOAL - In-form frontman Le Fondre reduces the arrears for the hosts with a smart finish from inside the Blues' box.

25mins: SAVE - Nikky Bull pushes Nicky Law's curling free-kick around the post.

35mins: SAVE - Andy Warrington gathers Montrose's deflected drive with ease.

39mins: GOAL - Jason Taylor drills home from the edge of the box to draw the hosts level.

42mins: CHANCE - Nicky Law somehow shoots wide from five yards out after being found by Le Fondre.

45mins: GOAL - Ben Strevens curls in a beauty from 25 yards to turn the game back in Wycombe's favour.

48mins: CHANCE - Matt Bloomfield heads over the bar from a delicate Gareth Ainsworth cross.

56mins: CHANCE - Kevin Betsy bursts forward but sees his shot blocked by the sliding Luke Ashworth.

58mins: CHANCE - Matt Bloomfield hits the post with a fine effort after outpacing the Millers' defence.

61mins: SUBS - Scott Davies replaces Bloomfield while Danny Harrison and Marcus Marshall come on for Mark Bradley and Nicky Law.

66mins: PENALTY - Chris Westwood is punished for climbing over a Millers attacker

66mins: GOAL - Adam Le Fondre dispatches the spot-kick.

72mins: SUB - Scott Rendell comes on for Gareth Ainsworth.

78mins: CHANCE - Andy Sandell deflects Marcus Marshall's shot over the bar.

78mins: SUBS - Ryan Taylor replaces Tom Pope and Dave Winfield comes on for Danny Foster.

79mins: SAVE - Fantastic save from Nikki Bull to deny Jason Taylor's effort from 25 yards.

81mins: PENALTY - Kevin Betsy is tripped and the referee awards a spot-kick after deliberation with his assistant.

82mins: GOAL - Scott Rendell rolls it home. 4-3!

FT: Rotherham United 3-4 Wycombe Wanderers

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