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Match Report


Posted Tue 23 Nov 10 at 21:38 PM


Official attendance: 3,463.

Wanderers suffered their first back-to-back defeats since April as Torquay United came from behind to claim all three points and leapfrog the Blues into sixth place.

An early goal from Stuart Beavon proved to be a false dawn as the Gulls levelled through Nicky Wroe's finish from 18 yards soon after, and the same player put the visitors in front with a solo effort just after the break.

Gary Waddock handed debuts to Josh Parker and Stuart Lewis in a bid to salvage something from the game, but the points were safe when Elliot Benyon squeezed home a third after being sent through on goal.

Wycombe must now look to bounce back to winning ways and avoid an FA Cup upset when Chelmsford City visit Adams Park on Saturday for the second round clash.

Stuart Beavon celebrates
Wanderers failed to capitalise on their bright start

Waddock kept faith with the same starting XI that lost narrowly at Port Vale at the weekend and his decision seemed to be justified within just six minutes as he saw his side go in front.

Kevin Betsy danced around Gulls right-back Joe Oastler as if he wasn't there and laid the ball back for Ben Strevens, whose effort was blocked by former Blues keeper Scott Bevan. Stuart Beavon reacted quickest to stab the ball goalwards and although the keeper clawed it out, the referee ruled that it had crossed the line and the goal stood.

There were early chances at both ends, with Mark Ellis sending a header wide from a corner at one end and Gareth Ainsworth firing a phenomenal volley just over the top of the crossbar.

The home fans were then treated to a tackle from the top drawer on ex-Wanderer Chris Zebroski as Andy Sandell launched into a last-ditch challenge to prevent a goalscoring opportunity.

And it was a sign of things to come, as the Gulls continued to look threatening going forward and clinched a deserved equaliser on 26 minutes when Nicky Wroe lashed home from the edge of the box. Wycombe failed to deal with a corner and when the ball fell to Wroe 18 yards out, he made no mistake in firing through a crowd of players to level the scores.

The only positive from the goal was that it settled the game down and the Blues were able to stop the barrage of attacks, but still the Gulls enjoyed superior spells of possession and keeper Scott Bevan remained untroubled.

It was a moment of inspiration from captain Gareth Ainsworth which almost brought the momentum back into Wycombe's favour, as the midfielder burst through the defence and fired against the base of the post with the keeper beaten. The ball bounced out to Kevin Betsy but with the goal at his mercy, he was unable to shift his feet quickly enough and the ball fell to safety.

Overall it had been a frustrating half for the Blues despite their early goal and they almost put that behind them within seconds of the restart, when Kevin Betsy sent a fizzing effort across the face of goal and just wide of the far post from Stuart Beavon's pass.

And the miss proved costly as Torquay went in front just moments later. Nicky Wroe was given the freedom of the left channel to cut in and pick his spot from 15 yards, giving Nikki Bull no chance with a fierce drive into the corner.

The setback prompted Gary Waddock to make a double change with Scott Rendell and Josh Parker both being given the chance to grab the headlines; Rendell playing against his former club and Parker making his debut for the club he joined just hours earlier.

Their first action was to see Nikki Bull pull off a fine save from Lee Mansell's free-kick and soon after, Stuart Lewis was also handed his debut in place of Lewis Montrose in the middle of the park.

But the changes didn't stop the pattern of the game and Wycombe were finding it increasingly more difficult to break down the visiting defence, or to maintain possession for significant periods of time. It could have been worse had Chris Zebroski converted a simple header on 69 minutes, or if Kevin Nicholson's low free-kick had fizzed the other side of the post.

The visitors' shot count was piling up and after Nicky Wroe twice missed the target, another superb save from Nikki Bull kept his side in the game when Danny Stevens raced through on goal. There was little respite at the other end, and the points were wrapped up with three minutes remaining when Elliot Benyon fired home after being sent through one-on-one, with Dave Winfield unable to stop the ball crossing the line.

The rest of the game was a procession of midfield tussles and a late consolation was not forthcoming for the Blues, who will need to pick themselves up for the visit of Chelmsford City on Saturday.


4mins: CHANCE - Elliot Benyon fires wide from distance.

6mins: GOAL - Stuart Beavon opens the scoring from close range after Ben Strevens' shot was blocked.

13mins: CHANCE - Mark Ellis flashes a header wide for the visitors.

15mins: CHANCE - Gareth Ainsworth's spectacular volley dips inches over the bar.

26mins: GOAL - Nicky Wroe levels matters with a fine strike from 18 yards.

42mins: CHANCE - A moment of genius from Gareth Ainsworth almost puts the Blues in front but the ball comes back off the post.

47mins: CHANCE - Kevin Betsy fires just wide from a tight angle.

48mins: GOAL - Nicky Wroe puts the visitors in front with a low drive.

54mins:SUBS - Scott Rendell and debutant Josh Parker come on for Ben Strevens and Danny Foster.

55mins: SAVE - Nikki Bull denies Lee Mansell from a free-kick.

60mins: YELLOW - Nicky Wroe sees yellow for a foul.

64mins: SUB - Stuart Lewis comes on for Lewis Montrose.

68mins: YELLOW - Dave Winfield goes into the book.

69mins: CHANCE - Chris Zebroski misses a simple header to extend the lead.

71mins: SUB - Ashley Hemmings comes off for Danny Stevens.

72mins: CHANCE - Kevin Nicholson hits a free-kick wide of the far stick.

76mins: YELLOW - Stuart Lewis is punished for a late tackle.

82mins: SAVE - Nikki Bull stays big to deny Danny Stevens when through on goal.

85mins: SUB - Eunan O'Kane is replaced by Billy Kee.

87mins: GOAL - Game set and match and Elliot Benyon seals the win.

90+2mins: SUB - Chris Robertson replaces Elliot Benyon.

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