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Match Report


Posted Mon 26 Dec 11 at 17:00 PM


Marcello Trotta and Nikki Bull grabbed the headlines on an unforgettable day of drama at Adams Park as Wycombe climbed out of the bottom four with an excellent 3-1 victory over Exeter City.

Cheered on by his family, Italian striker Trotta scored the first of a stunning hat-trick inside 31 seconds, slamming home from Anthony McNamee's pass, before Danny Coles found the net following a corner to level the scores.

Trotta smashed home his second from a tight angle before the break but Wycombe were then reliant on Bull to make a superb double-save from Guillem Bauza's penalty and follow-up early in the second half.

Then came the cherry on the cake as Trotta fired home his sixth goal in four Wycombe appearances in the closing stages, capitalizing on hesitant defending to crack home the goal which secured the Blues' exit from the relegation zone.

The match got off to the most spectacular start when Anthony McNamee raced down the left and played the perfect ball for Trotta to slam home with just 31 seconds on the clock. The Italian's family were paying their first ever visit to see him play in England and leapt to their feet as their boy made a beeline to celebrate in front of them.

Wycombe continued with a spring in their step, pressing Exeter high up the pitch and using each of their front six to full effect in attack, combining neatly for a number of openings, although further clear-cut chances weren't easy to come by.

Stuart Lewis had a great sight of goal on 17 minutes when Trotta and Beavon combined to send a through-ball into the midfielder's path, but keeper Artur Krysiak dashed from his line to block a toe-poked effort and the ball bounced to safety.

However, the Grecians began to get a foothold in the game and scored a basic equaliser when Danny Coles powered home a header from a corner when left in acres of space at the back post on 23 minutes.

Wanderers responded well and saw Stuart Beavon and Trotta both denied at the near-post by Krysiak, before Nikki Bull made a superb save to keep out Guillem Bauza's powerful drive after Anthony McNamee had squandered possession in a dangerous position.

From the resulting corner, the home defence allowed Troy Archibald-Henville to put the ball on a plate for Bauza with a cushioned header, but the Spanish striker blazed over the bar when it seemed easier to hit the target.

Wycombe quelled the pressure and regained the lead on 41 minutes when Trotta worked his magic yet again, receiving the ball on the left of the box, deceiving the defender with quick footwork and smashing home from a tight angle, celebrating nonchalantly as if his fantastic ability simply came naturally to him.

Beavon was denied by the keeper with a low shot after good work from Joel Grant before the interval, with Exeter's defence seemingly preoccupied by the relentless threat posed by Trotta.

There was incredible drama shortly into the second period when Jake Taylor went down in the area under a challenge from Nikki Bull, who had dived at the attacker's feet. It appeared as though Bull made contact with the ball first, but a penalty was awarded only for the keeper to make a superb save from Bauza's spot-kick as well as the follow-up from the Spaniard.

However, Bull was clattered in the collision and was forced to play on in the absence of a substitute keeper, despite clearly feeling the effects of his injury.

Stuart Beavon fired narrowly wide from 20 yards on the hour-mark but the game was slipping into a lull, with Exeter enjoying more possession but struggling to break through a Wycombe defence which was seemingly growing in strength as the game went on.

The introductions of Martin Rowlands and Gareth Ainsworth from the bench helped to shore up a midfield which had performed superbly throughout the game, with the partnership of Stuart Lewis and Matt Bloomfield guaranteeing boundless energy and committed tackles whenever Exeter found any inch of space.

And then came the fairytale ending. Marcello Trotta collected the ball on the left of the box, casually strolled inside and lashed home with supreme confidence just as the Exeter defence backed off. The Italian was ecstactic - as were his family - and the yellow card he received for revealing a t-shirt declaring "Per te pappa" ("For you Dad") was totally worth it.

The six minutes of injury time came and went with no major incidents and the Adams Park faithful were left to reflect on a truly special day which will live long in the memory.

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