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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 06 Aug 11 at 17:03 PM

REPORT: WYCOMBE 1-1 SCUNTHORPE

Wanderers are off the mark for the new npower League 1 season with a hard-fought point against Scunthorpe United, drawing 1-1 at Adams Park.

Debutant James Tunnicliffe opened the scoring with a precise header from Scott Donnelly's corner midway through the first half, but Michael Nelson responded five minutes before the break with a header of his own.

Gareth Ainsworth hit the post after the interval with a fine volley before Nikki Bull was called upon to make a series of fine saves to prevent a defeat.

Ben Strevens was sent off in stoppage time for a second yellow card following a tussle with Sam Togwell, ruling him out on Tuesday's Carling Cup clash at home to Colchester United.

Gary Waddock handed debuts to three of his summer signings in a 4-4-2 formation but found his side under pressure from the outset, struggling to keep possession and keep the Iron at bay.

Jordan Robertson should have opened the scoring when he blazed a volley over the bar on 12 minutes, finding space 10 yards out to meet Chris Dagnall's cross from the right.

Mark Duffy then fired wide of the near post after Andy Sandell was caught in possession inside his own penalty area, but the let-off seemed to inject some life into the hosts as they began to settle.

They made the breakthrough on 23 minutes and it was defender Tunnicliffe who found the net, rising highest to head Scott Donnelly's corner past keeper Josh Lillis and celebrating in style with his team-mates in front of the Woodlands.

Scunthorpe pressed for an immediate response but it was the Blues who carved open the next chance, seeing Gareth Ainsworth's back-post header miss the target following a deep cross from Andy Sandell.

Nikki Bull was called into action for the first time on 34 minutes, reacting quickly to keep out Jordan Robertson's header after United broke quickly from a Wycombe corner.

The visitors were causing problems down the right and when they won a corner of their own, Michael Nelson stooped to head home the equaliser on 40 minutes, with the ball somehow creeping past a number of bodies on the line.

It was a blow to the hosts but they snatched back the momentum at the start of the second period, with Gareth Ainsworth's low drilled volley hitting the base of the post before Scott Donnelly fired over the top from distance.

Andy Sandell then sent his effort over the bar after a surging run forward and Donnelly attempted a lob from 60 yards as the Blues looked to regain the lead, while Chris Dagnall's glancing header went close at the other end from Mark Duffy's cross.

The game soon developed into a niggly midfield scrap, with a number of late tackles adding an edge not seen previously in the pre-season campaign, and Scott Rendell could have been awarded a penalty after being dragged back inside the area.

Nikki Bull then thwarted Mark Duffy's well-hit volley before stopping Michael O'Connor's feeble effort after the midfielder burst through the middle. The pressure was starting to mount.

The Wycombe keeper then had to be at his finest to tip Michael O'Connor's free-kick over the bar before getting a strong palm to Chris Dagnall's goalbound strike, showing the same class and ability that saw him win the club's player of the year awards last season.

He was at it again in stoppage time, diving low to turn away Dagnall's curling effort, before a 20-man confrontation saw Strevens harshly dismissed for his second yellow card despite being dragged across the floor by Sam Togwell.

Dagnall thought he'd won it with the last action of the game, heading home from close range only to see the linesman's flag deny his side all three points.

50/50 Draw: Winning Number - 107505. Prize Fund - £546.00.

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