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Match Report


Posted Fri 22 Apr 11 at 17:37 PM


Wycombe held on for a point in an entertaining stalemate at Plainmoor as Torquay United were made to pay for a host of missed chances.

Blues defended resolutely throughout but rode their luck at times and were grateful to see Guy Branston and Ronan Murray's efforts bounce back off the woodwork, while Nikki Bull was also called upon to make several fine saves.

Billy Kee squandered two great chances late on as the Gulls pressed for a winner, while Wycombe were restricted to efforts from distance as they struggled to create opportunities up front.

Wanderers are now two points ahead of Shrewsbury in the chase for promotion, although the Shrews head to Hereford on Saturday for their game in hand.

Gary Waddock made two changes for the crunch clash on the English Riviera, with
Gareth Ainsworth and Matt Bloomfield being recalled to the starting line-up in place of the injured Jon-Paul Pittman and Lewis Montrose, who dropped to the substitutes' bench. Chris Westwood and Stuart Beavon also missed out through injury.

Backed by their biggest league crowd of the season, Torquay began firmly on the front foot and Nikki Bull was called into action as early as the fourth minute, saving well from Chris Zebroski inside the 18-yard box.

The Blues steadied the ship, though, and Matt Bloomfield saw a long-range effort deflect wide of Scott Bevan's goal as they gained a foothold in the game.

However, it was the hosts who were still enjoying the better of the opening exchanges, something that was nearly rewarded when Jake Robinson sent an over-head kick wide of the right-hand post from Lee Mansell's cross.

Former Wanderer Chris Zebroski was one of Torquay's main threats early on and his pass set-up a chance for Gavin Tomlin but, after making a yard for himself, he blazed his effort just over Bull's crossbar from 15 yards.

Wycombe edged their way back into the game and produced their best move of the match on the half-hour mark. Nice link-up play between Scott Rendell, Bloomfield and Kevin Betsy set-up Donnelly, whose 20-yard effort took a nick off Guy Branston and went behind for a corner.

Looking to capitalise on a spell of pressure at the end of the half, Bloomfield drew a save from Bevan after wriggling away from Craig Stanley's challenge inside the Torquay box before Stuart Lewis - still looking to add to his first goals for the club in the 4-1 win over Burton in February - arrowed a low drive whistling past the left-hand post from distance.

There was a scare for the Blues just moments after the break when Guy Branston crashed a header against the post from a deep corner while at the other end, Gareth Ainsworth squandered an opportunity to create a chance on the break when his cross to Kevin Betsy was just too long.

Wycombe were showing more attacking intent than in the first half and the game began to swing from end to end, with the introduction of Billy Kee giving the hosts an attacking outlet on each flank whilst keeping two strikers up top in a 4-2-4 formation.

Chris Zebroski was denied twice in one attacking move when his first shot was blocked by Leon Johnson and he was then denied by Nikki Bull, before the keeper made an even better save to deny Guy Branston's powerful header from the resulting corner.

The Gulls cranked up the pressure and saw Jake Robinson's long-range piledriver hit the side-netting before Billy Kee wasted the best chance of the game, lashing wide from just 12 yards with just Nikki Bull to beat.

Gavin Tomlin then fired narrowly over the top with a powerful shot on the turn, before Scott Rendell came within a whisker of connecting with Kevin Betsy's floated cross with the ball evading his header and drifting to safety.

Substitute Ronan Murray almost made an immediate impact when his glancing header hit the crossbar before Billy Kee clipped over the top under pressure from Andy Sandell.

Wanderers held on in the closing stages and secured the point which keeps them five points above the Gulls in fifth.

Attendance: 4,009 (497 Wycombe fans)

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