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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 07 Aug 10 at 17:03 PM

REPORT: WYCOMBE 2-0 MORECAMBE

Scott Rendell's penalty and substitute Jon-Paul Pittman's stunning 25-yard drive handed the Blues a deserved victory over Morecambe on the opening day of the npower League Two season.

The Blues bossed the first half and had a one-goal lead to show for their efforts at the break, with Rendell slotting home from the penalty spot after Matt Bloomfield had been tripped in the box.

Morecambe posed more of a threat after the interval and came close to a leveller through Phil Jevons' header and Adam Rundle's volley but the points were sealed when Pittman came off the bench  to power home from distance with six minutes left on the clock.

Wycombe can now look ahead to the visit of Championship side Millwall to Adams Park for the Carling Cup first round fixture on Tuesday evening (k.o. 7.45pm).

Six of Gary Waddock's summer signings were handed roles in the starting line-up for the season opener, and the quick attacking flair that was so prominent in pre-season was on show again in the early stages, with Kevin Betsy at the heart of most of Wycombe's play.

After a series of slick moves around the Morecambe penalty area, the first real opening came on 16 minutes when Betsy latched on to a superb through-ball by Ben Strevens and lifted the ball over the crossbar from the edge of the box, with the keeper looking beaten.

Moments later, Lewis Montrose powered the ball into the side-netting with a fierce drive as the home side began to crank up the pressure, but the visitors were a well-organised and solid unit and weren't prepared to give Wycombe an easy ride.

And they would have taken the lead on 28 minutes had it not been for the bravery of Blues keeper Nikki Bull, who dived at the feet of Adam Rundle to prevent an opener before reacting quickly to thwart Phil Jevons.

But the chance came against the run of play, and Wycombe quickly reasserted their attacking threat when Scott Rendell headed narrowly wide from another superb Betsy delivery.

However, the striker didn't have to wait long for his next opportunity, and he marked his debut with a goal from the penalty spot after Matt Bloomfield was tripped in the box by Chris Shuker. The referee wasted no time in making his decision and Rendell kept his composure to roll the ball home, much to the delight of the home support.

The goal failed to spark Morecambe into life and in fact the lead could have been doubled when Strevens' exquisite curling effort cannoned back off the crossbar and Matt Bloomfield's follow-up was blocked.

At times the football was a joy to watch, and the crowd were on their feet just before the break when a sublime through-ball from Rendell gave Betsy the chance to score, only to be denied by the legs of Roche before Bloomfield's effort flew over the bar.

A second goal was all that was missing from Wycombe's display, and they were almost left to rue that when Morecambe started the second half brightly, firstly seeing Phil Jevons' header flash wide before Adam Rundle volleyed wide following Alan Bennett's hesitation in defence.

At the other end, Gareth Ainsworth could have notched his 100th career goal in stunning fashion when his flicked free-kick was beaten away by Barry Roche before Chris Westwood's glancing header missed the target.

But Morecambe were beginning to sense that they could get back into the game, and the balance of play swung slightly in their favour as the match opened up. Chris Shuker saw a dipping volley fly over the bar as the visitors signalled their intentions, and it prompted Gary Waddock to bring on new signing Keiran Murtagh in place of Matt Bloomfield in the middle of the park.

The substitution seemed to settle the side down, and goalscoring chances became few and far between until the introduction of Jon-Paul Pittman and Matt Phillips helped seal the victory for the Blues.

With six minutes remaining, Pittman collected a ball on the right wing and, keen to impress after being left on the bench despite a prolific pre-season, cut inside superbly and drilled the ball home emphatically from 25 yards, giving the keeper no chance.

Phillips had a chance to make it three following another smart move but the winger could only roll the ball into the keeper's arms as the clock ticked into time added on, and it proved to be the last real action of the match as the Blues went on to celebrate what they hope will be the first of many victories over the next nine months.

Wycombe (4-4-2): Bull; Westwood, Foster, Bennett, Winfield; Ainsworth (Phillips 76), Bloomfield (Murtagh 68), Montrose, Betsy; Strevens, Rendell (Pittman 76).

Subs: Arnold, Johnson, McCoy, Westlake.

Goal: Rendell (pen 35), Pittman (84).

Booked: Montrose (13)

Morecambe (4-1-4-1): Roche; Moss (Mullin 78), Wilson, Parrish, McCready; Scott; Shuker (Duffy 85), Stanley, Drummond, Rundle; Jevons.

Subs: Walker, Hunter, Spencer, Fleming, Haining.


Timeline:

15.00:Wycombe and Morecambe kick off the npower League Two campaign.

5 mins: CHANCE - Kevin Betsy heads Gareth Ainsworth's teasing cross over the bar.

7 mins: CHANCE - Paul Scott nods over the top from a Morecambe corner.

13 mins: YELLOW - Lewis Montrose is harshly booked for a late tackle.

16 mins: CHANCE - Ben Strevens finds Betsy with a fine through-ball and the winger lifts the ball over the top.

18 mins: CHANCE - Montrose's fierce low drive flies just wide.

28 mins: SAVE - Nikki Bull produces two fine saves to deny Adam Rundle and Phil Jevons after a quick break down the visitors' left.

33 mins: CHANCE - Scott Rendell heads wide from an excellent Betsy delivery.

34 mins: PENALTY - Matt Bloomfield has his legs clipped by Chris Shuker and the referee points to the spot.

35 mins: GOAL -Rendell marks his debut with a goal, coolly sliding the ball home from the spot.

38 mins: CHANCE - Ben Strevens hit the bar with a superb curling shot from the edge of the box.

44 mins: SAVE - Barry Roche denies Kevin Betsy with his legs after a superb through-ball from Rendell.

HT: The referee brings the half to a close, with the Blues deservedly in front.

46 mins: CHANCE - Jevons heads wide from eight yards.

50 mins: CHANCE - Alan Bennett's hesitation lets in Adam Rundle but the Morecambe winger wastefully volleys wide.

55 mins: SAVE - Gareth Ainsworth's clever free-kick is beaten out by Barry Roche and Chris Westwood can't convert Ben Strevens' cross from the rebound.

63 mins: CHANCE - Chris Shuker's dipping volley flies over the bar.

68 mins: SUB - Keiran Murtagh comes on for his debut, replacing Matt Bloomfield.

76 mins: SUBS - Matt Phillips and Jon-Paul Pittman come on for Gareth Ainsworth and Scott Rendell.

78 mins: SUB - Paul Mullin comes on for Darren Moss as the visitors switch to 4-4-2.

84 mins: GOAL - Pittman ends the game as a contest with a stunning effort from 25 yards after collecting the ball on the right-wing.

85 mins: SUB - Mark Duffy comes on for Chris Shuker for the visitors.

89 mins: SAVE - Matt Phillips' low effort is comfortable for Roche.

FT: Wycombe Wanderers 2-0 Morecambe.

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