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Match Report

 

Posted Wed 17 Jul 13 at 11:40 AM

Paris Cowan-Hall’s second-half brace added to a Jo Kuffour strike as the Wanderers twice came from behind to beat Torquay United 3-2.


Blues were below par in the first half and trailed 2-1 at the break, but Gareth Ainsworth’s men turned on the style after the restart and man-of-the-match Cowan-Hall twice headed home to secure all three points.


Wanderers were unchanged from Tuesday’s fine victory over Bristol City with Dean Morgan and Leon Johnson again missing out with thigh injuries. Steven Craig, Matt McClure and Gary Doherty were all unavailable because of illness.


Nick Arnold blasted the first chance of the game over the bar in the sixth minute after Paris Cowan-Hall had seen an effort blocked on the edge of the area.


Scowen, who heavily involved early on, almost set up the opener in the 18th minute, when his corner was met by Cowan-Hall, but the forward’s header deflected off a defender and drifted wide.


The visitors came close to taking the lead in the 22nd minute when Karl Hawley diverted a wayward shot towards goal, however, the striker got underneath the ball and sent it flying over the bar when he should have tested Matt Ingram.


Torquay didn’t have to wait much longer to make the breakthrough though as Blues failed to deal with a deep Kevin Nicholson cross and former loanee Azeez fired low past Ingram.


Wanderers’ response was immediate and Kuffour levelled less than 60 seconds later. The striker was played through on goal and then showed impressive strength to hold off Krystian Pearce, who was pulling his shirt, before shooting past Rice from six yards.


Blues almost added a stunning second 10 minutes before the break. Neat link-up play on the left saw Knott receive the ball midway inside the Torquay half and the midfielder dinked a delightful ball over the defence which Cowan-Hall hit first time, but his well-hit strike went wide of the far post.


The visitors restored their advantage two minutes later when Ingram misjudged a Lee Mansell corner and Pearce headed home at the far post, despite the best efforts of Scowen on the line.


Knott saw a clever free-kick comfortably saved by Rice soon after the restart as the Wanderers looked sharper in attack and the Wanderers drew level in the 52nd minute.


Bloomfield turned his man wide on the left before sending over an inch-perfect cross that Cowan-Hall headed home from six yards for his second goal in the famous quarters.


Wood cleared Pearce’s header off the line as the visitors again threatened from a set-piece and the game was becoming increasingly stretched with Knott’s audacious first-time effort flying agonisingly wide of the far post with Rice beaten.


Ainsworth made his first change on the air, bringing on Jon-Paul Pittman for Kuffour, and it was the Chairboys who had the next chance when Cowan-Hall stung the palms of Rice from 25 yards.


Rice made a fine instinctive stop to deny Anthony Stewart from close-range and Wood then saved a certain goal at the other end by cutting out Chapell’s cross as the Gulls broke quickly.


The game was swinging end to end and Pittman was the next to be denied as his powerful drive was expertly tipped over by Rice after being found in the area by Bloomfield.


Shouts for a penalty were turned down 20 minutes from time when Pittman appeared to be fouled after a neat interchange with Nick Arnold saw the striker find space in the area.


Max Kretzschmar was introduced five minutes later and the Blues took the lead for the first time within 60 seconds when Scowen’s driven corner was superbly headed home by Cowan-Hall via the angle of post and crossbar.


Cowan-Hall was substituted in the 80th minute to a standing ovation with Matt Spring replacing the two-goal man.


Ingram made a simple save low to his right to deny Jordan Chapell as Torquay pushed forward in search of an equaliser.


Wanderers: Ingram, Arnold, Wood, Hause, Stewart, Bloomfield (Kretzschmar 74), Lewis (c), Scowen, Cowan-Hall (Spring 80), Knott, Kuffour (Pittman 60).

Subs: Horlock, McCoy, Fletcher, Morias.

Torquay: Rice, Tonge, Nicholson, Pearce, Cruise, Lathrope (Craig 82), Mansell (Cameron 90), Chapell, Hawley, Azeez, Benyon (McCourt 74).

Subs: Poke, MacKenzie, Sullivan, Hutchings.


Attendance: 3,466 (255 Torquay)

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