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Match Report

 

Posted Tue 04 Oct 11 at 18:53 PM

REPORT: WYCOMBE 1-3 CHELTENHAM

Wanderers exited the Johnstone's Paint Trophy at the second round stage with a 3-1 defeat to Cheltenham Town at Adams Park.

Despite a bright start to the game, the hosts fell behind when substitute Darryl Duffy volleyed home with his first touch eight minutes before half-time.

Brian Smikle finished smartly after the break to double the lead although Kevin Betsy gave Wycombe hope following a smart pass from Jordon Ibe.

However, Duffy made the victory safe with 15 minutes left on the clock and the Blues were unable to muster a comeback.

Gary Waddock made five changes to the side that lost 2-1 at Rochdale on Saturday and told his replacements to impress him to be in with a chance of making the starting XI against Walsall at the weekend. In came Betsy, Marvin McCoy, Ben Harding, Scott Rendell and Elliot Benyon, while Joel Grant, Gareth Ainsworth and Stuart Beavon were given a break from action altogether.

Betsy was denied a goal inside three minutes when he stooped to meet Kadeem Harris' inviting cross only to see keeper Scott Brown make a superb reflex stop from point-blank range.

The same pair combined on 11 minutes when Harris bombed forward down the middle and supplied the perfect pass for Betsy, who stayed onside but rolled the ball wide with only the keeper to beat.

Betsy and Harris were the architects of every Wycombe attack although the hosts could've fallen behind when the ball fell kindly for Jeff Goulding in space just inside the area, but he inexplicably chose to attempt a chip which fell easily into the arms of Nikki Bull.

However, the breakthrough came just moments later and it was Goulding's new strike partner, Darryl Duffy - on as a substitute for the injured James Spencer - who opened the scoring in style with his first touch. Wycombe struggled to deal with a high ball and when it fell to Duffy, the former Hull City striker sent an unstoppable volley past Bull from 20 yards on 37 minutes.

Scott Rendell came close to levelling three minutes later when his floated header sailed just wide of the target from Danny Foster's deep cross, before Brian Smikle almost found a second goal for the Robins when his low cross-shot from Jeff Goulding's excellent pass was deflected to safety.

Keith Lowe fired wide and Duffy saw a header comfortably saved as the Robins looked to put the game to bed early in the second half, before the second goal arrived courtesy of Brian Smikle on 50 minutes when he collected a through-ball just inside the area and clipped home comfortably.

Smikle could have made the game completely safe with a header from a tight angle after excellent work from Bagasan Graham down the left, before Gary Waddock responded with a triple substitution, bringing on Matt Bloomfield, Ben Strevens and Jordan Ibe.

Ibe was in the thick of the action almost immediately, keeping the ball in play by the corner flag before wriggling away from a host of defenders and fizzing a shot just over the bar from the corner of the box.

The visitors continued to create chances, seeing Keith Lowe send his dipping volley over the top from 20 yards, but Ibe continued to shine, supplying the pass for Kevin Betsy to halve the deficit just past the hour-mark with a crisp finish from six yards.

Wycombe were rejuvenated after their goal and came so close to completing the comeback, seeing Scott Brown make another excellent save from Ben Strevens' bullet header following another cross from Ibe.

He almost had a goal to show for his efforts when he fired over from 20 yards after being picked out by Bloomfield, before Harris darted in from the right wing but lashed his effort into the stand.

The missed chances came back to haunt the Blues when Darryl Duffy sealed the Robins' place in the area quarter-finals at the second attempt, seeing his first effort stopped by Nikki Bull before tapping into an empty net after another defensive slip from the hosts.

Bull had to be alert to deny the striker a hat-trick when he headed goalwards on 87 minutes before he thwarted Jeff Goulding's low shot as the visitors ended the game looking the likelier to add to the scoreline, leaving the Blues rueing the missed opportunity to collect a morale-boosting victory ahead of the important league visit of Walsall on Saturday.

Winning 50/50 Draw Number: 100533 | Prize Money: £203.00

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