Skip to main content

Match Report


Posted Tue 01 Feb 11 at 21:40 PM


Wycombe made it five home league wins on the bounce with a deserved 2-1 victory over Cheltenham Town at Adams Park.

Ben Strevens chested home from close range to open the scoring just before the half-hour mark when Alan Bennett's header picked him out at the far post, and Gareth Ainsworth doubled the lead with a terrific volley from the edge of the box on 55 minutes.

The visitors halved the deficit two minutes later when Wes Thomas worked his way into the box and smashed the ball past Nikki Bull at the far post.

But Gary Waddock's side comfortably controlled the balance of play and were full value for their victory, which moves them to within five points of top spot with a game in hand.

New loan signing Anthony Straker had to settle for a place on the bench as Danny Foster replaced the injured Andy Sandell at left-back, while there was a starting berth for Alan Bennett in the centre of defence due to Dave Winfield's suspension.

Despite Wycombe being the brighter of the two sides in possession in the opening exchanges, it was the visitors who created the first real opening and Jeff Goulding should have done better when he sliced wide from eight yards.

At the other end, Gareth Ainsworth ghosted past Steve Elliott to race into the box and deliver a ball across the face of goal, narrowly missing a connection from one of two Robins defenders and the onrushing Stuart Beavon with the keeper beaten.

While chances weren't being created with any regularity, it was an intriguing tactical battle as both teams looked for different ways to carve open the opposition defence, only to be thwarted in a tough midfield battle.

So it won't have come a surprise that the opening goal should come from a set-piece, and Ben Strevens won't have scored one easier in his career. Matt Bloomfield's floated corner was nodded towards the far post by Alan Bennett and Strevens was on hand to chest the ball over the line from a matter of inches.

But their hard work was almost undone by a moment of sloppiness at the back moments later. Danny Foster's attempted backpass was easily intercepted by Jeff Goulding and as the striker bore down on goal, Marvin McCoy appeared from nowhere to clear his lines from just inside the area.

Then Nikki Bull was called upon to keep out Dave Bird's fierce drive from the edge of the area, with the ball looking destined for the bottom corner before the Wanderers keeper showed just why he's recently been rewarded with a new two-and-a-half year deal.

Wycombe remained lively going forward and after Ben Strevens saw his header saved, Gareth Ainsworth attempted a spectacular volley from distance which had to be watched carefully by the visiting keeper.

Jeff Goulding and Stuart Beavon both missed the target as the half drew to a close and Wanderers could be satisfied with their display as they held that one-goal advantage.

But they should have stretched their lead five minutes after half-time when a classic counter-attack resulted in Gareth Ainsworth picking out Matt Bloomfield with an inch-perfect cross, although the midfielder seemed to mistime his jump and skewed his header wide of the post.

Luckily, the Blues weren't rueing that miss for long, as Gareth Ainsworth volleyed home emphatically from a Kevin Betsy cross to double the lead. Ben Strevens missed the original ball but it sat up perfectly for the captain to dispatch it confidently past a helpless Scott Brown.

However, the comfort of a two-goal cushion lasted barely two minutes as Wes Thomas stole in to lash the ball home at the near post to bring Cheltenham back into the game. The pacy striker got the better of Chris Westwood to fire past Nikki Bull and all of a sudden, the Robins could sniff a comeback.

To their credit, Wycombe withheld the pressure from the visitors following the goal and arguably looked the more likely to find the next goal, with Kevin Betsy finding the side-netting with a shot from 20 yards.

The pace of Wes Thomas, coupled with the new threat of substitute Matt Green, caused a few nervy moments in the Wanderers defence, but still the home side threatened and dominated the play.


6mins: CHANCE - Jeff Goulding shoots wide from close range after being picked out by Wes Thomas.

12mins: CHANCE - Gareth Ainsworth skins Steve Elliott and flashes his cross-cum-shot past the far post.

29mins: GOAL - Ben Strevens chests the ball over the line following Alan Bennett's header.

38mins: SAVE - Nikki Bull palms Dave Bird's drive to safety.

39mins: SAVE - Scott Brown clings on to Ben Strevens' header.

42mins: SAVE - A drive from distance is easy for Nikki Bull to hold.

44mins: CHANCE - Jeff Goulding fires wide from 25 yards.

45mins: CHANCE - Stuart Beavon curls an effort narrowly past the far post.

50mins: CHANCE - Matt Bloomfield heads wide from an unmarked position.

55mins: GOAL - Gareth Ainsworth volleys home in style from 20 yards.

57mins: GOAL - Wes Thomas reduces the arrears.

60mins: YELLOW - Danny Andrew's ugly barge on Stuart Beavon earns a booking.

67mins: SUB - Matt Green makes his Robins debut, replacing Frankie Artus.

68mins: CHANCE - Kevin Betsy shoots wide.

73mins: CHANCE - Matt Green lashes well wide.

79mins: SUB - Lewis Montrose replaces Gareth Ainsworth.

85mins: SUB - Anthony Straker comes on for his debut, taking Kevin Betsy's place.

88mins: SUBS - Theo Lewis comes on for Steve Elliott while Scott Donnelly replaces Matt Bloomfield.

    Latest Match Reports