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Match Report


Posted Sat 30 Apr 11 at 17:01 PM


Wycombe can win promotion to League 1 with a victory at home to Southend United next weekend after recording a phenomenal 3-1 win at Bury.

They had to do it the hard way, coming from behind after Ryan Lowe gave the title-chasing Shakers the lead from the penalty spot after his initial shot was handled by Dave Winfield.

Gareth Ainsworth levelled the scores with a smart header from Stuart Lewis' cross and Ben Strevens grabbed the headlines with a match-winning brace after the break.

He put the visitors in front with a close-range finish from Ainsworth's low cross and secured the win late on with a tap-in following Scott Donnelly's corner.

Gary Waddock named the same side that beat Crewe 2-0 on Bank Holiday for the game in Greater Manchester, meaning Ben Strevens continued in attack alongside 18-goal man Scott Rendell. There was also a place on the bench for first-year scholar Oliver Taylor.

A lively start from the Wanderers brought about a chance as early as the second minute, Strevens poking Scott Donnelly's low cross just past the left-hand post.

Andy Sandell then blazed an effort over the bar before Stuart Lewis drew a decent save from Cameron Belford, while, at the other end, the Wycombe defence had to be alert after Kyle Bennett's low drive deflected dangerously into the area.

Bury were awarded a penalty on their next foray forward after Dave Winfield was adjudged to handled Ryan Lowe's goalbound effort in the box. Lowe himself stepped up and made no mistake from the spot, sending Nikki Bull the wrong way to give the hosts the lead on nine minutes.

Despite going behind, the boys in blue continued to enjoy the better of the opening exchanges and Gareth Ainsworth's downward header from Stuart Lewis' pinpoint cross levelled matters 11 minutes later.

That seemed to liven up Bury, who went close through Michael Jones just after the half-hour mark following good work by Lowe on the right touchline.

But it was Wycombe who probably should have gone in at the break in front. Kevin Betsy broke free down the right and delivered an inch-perfect ball to the backpost to pick out Rendell, but the Blues' top scorer directed his header over Belford's bar from eight yards.

The Blues finished the half strongly and enjoyed some decent possession in the Shakers' area at the start of the second period, but it was the hosts who created the first couple of chances, seeing Ryan Lowe's near-post drive saved by Nikki Bull before Peter Sweeney shanked an effort from the edge of the box.

Then it was Wycombe's turn to create chances, seeing Kevin Betsy's effort tipped over the bar by Cameron Belford before the resulting corner caused mayhem inside the area, with Dave Winfield's header ultimately sailing wide.

The pressure was mounting, and the goal arrived. Gareth Ainsworth clipped in a perfect cross from the right-hand side and as Scott Rendell just failed to make contact, Ben Strevens was on hand to bundle it home in front of a euphoric Wycombe faithful.

The visitors needed a response and it almost came when Ryan Lowe guided a header towards the corner which was superbly kept out by Nikki Bull.

At the other end, Scott Rendell supplied Scott Donnelly with an excellent knockdown and the midfielder's first-time volley was fumbled behind by Belford as Gary Waddock's men looked to settle the nerves by doubling their lead.

Nikki Bull held Nicky Ajose's 20-yard shot as the Shakers pegged Wycombe back into their own half, while Gary Waddock responded by bringing on Matt Bloomfield for his 250th Wycombe appearance, with Gareth Ainsworth making way.

It was nervy stuff, but Wycombe kept cool and claimed the all-important third goal as Strevens ensured the Blues remained in control of their own destiny by scrambling home with two minutes remaining. Scott Donnelly's corner found its way to the back post and Strevens was there to make himself a hero amongst the incredible vocal following from High Wycombe.

Shrewsbury's victory at Cheltenham means it will go to the final day, but a win against Southend will secure promotion regardless of Shrewsbury's result.

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