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Match Report

 

Posted Wed 17 Jul 13 at 11:45 AM

A battling display from Wanderers saw them secure a thoroughly-deserved draw at promotion-chasing Scunthorpe. 

 Chairboys were never fully tested thanks to an excellent defensive display, and they could have taken home all three points had Max Kretzschmar kept his first-half shot down from five yards.

Gareth Ainsworth handed a debut to Danny Rowe, who joined Wanderers on loan from Rotherham United on Thursday. Skipper Stuart Lewis, Max Kretzschmar and Steven Craig also came in with Leon Johnson and Anthony Stewart missing with hamstring injuries.

The hosts came into the clash on the back of a 23-game unbeaten run with boss Russ Wilcox looking to break a 125-year Football League record by going the first 24 matches in charge of a side without tasting defeat.

Chairboys started well and neither side took control of the contest early on, but it was Scunthorpe who had the first chance as Eddie Nolan headed Terry Hawkridge’s corner wide in the 11th minute. Gary McSheffrey was next to try his luck, but he was also off target from 20 yards.

Wanderers’ firs chance came in the 18th minute when Rowe almost marked his debut with a goal. Kretzschmar drew a foul out Canavan on the left and United failed to clear their lines before the ball was drilled back in to Rowe, who was unable to react quickly enough.

Chairboys’ best early passage of play come in the 20th minute when Bloomfield beat his man on the right, before picking out Craig, who powerfully headed over from 10 yards.

The game was starting to become stretched and Ingram had to be alert to superbly keep out David Mirfin’s header, before diverting the rebound behind for a corner.

David Syers saw a shot blocked following another corner, but Wanderers were still defending well with set-pieces the only way Scunthorpe were getting a sight of Wycombe’s goal. That proved to be the case again in the 36th minute but Ingram was equal to Syers’ header from Hawkridge’s corner.

Ainsworth’s men should have taken the lead seven minutes before the break when the ball fell to Kretzschmar after Scowen had cleverly dummied Bloomfield’s low cross. The midfielder turned Mirfin well, but his left-footed strike cleared the bar from five yards.

McSheffrey shot well over the bar in first half injury-time following Sam Winnall’s clever pass and that was the first time that Wanderers had properly been opened up by the Iron.

Half-time: Scunthorpe 0-0 Wycombe

The hosts were fast out of the traps after the restart and Paddy Madden headed a corner over when he should have done better.

United were seeing more of the ball with Wanderers content on defending deep, and top scorer Winnall had his first sight of goal in the 52nd minute. Mirfin’s long ball out of defence picked out the striker, but his first-time shot was dragged well wide.

Wilcox made his first change three minutes later, brining on former Wycombe loanee Paul Hayes for left-back Williams and Wanderers immediately took advantage of the extra space on their right. A neat flick by Lewis released Bloomfield, but his low cross was well blocked behind by Mirfin with both Craig and Scowen lurking for a tap-in.

Scunthorpe were forced into their second change on the hour when Sean McAllister was unable to continue after taking a knock in an aerial challenge and had to be replaced by the experienced Matt Sparrow. Wilcox made his final substitution five minutes later when Hakeeb Adelakun was introduced for Hawkridge.

McSheffrey was a coat of paint away from giving the hosts the lead in the 69th minute, but it would have been in fortuitous circumstances as his driven cross from the left clipped the bar with Ingram struggling.

That was to be his last involvement as the winger limped off three minutes later, and with Scunthorpe having already used all three subs, they were forced to play the remainder of the game with 10 men.

Pierre headed Arnold’s corner well over the bar, but United went up the other end and Hayes’ first-time effort forced Ingram into a save low to his right.

Kretzschmar was denied a fine goal in the 80th minute after clever link-up play with Scowen saw him break into the box and beat one defender, only for Sam Slocombe to save with his feet.

Scunthorpe piled on the pressure in search of a late winner, but the inexperienced centre-back partnership of Aaron Pierre and Rowe excelled, with superb support from the rest of the side.

It was in fact Blues who had the final chance when a short corner found Wood, but his low shot was easy for Slocombe.

Scunthorpe United: Slocombe, Nolan, Mirfin, Canavan, Williams (Hayes 55), Hawkridge (Adelakun 65), Syers, McAllister (Sparrow 60), McSheffrey, Winnall, Madden. 
Subs: Severn, Ribeiro, Sparrow, Hayes, Adelakun, Waterfall, Alabi.

Wanderers: Ingram, Arnold, Wood, Pierre, Rowe, Togwell, Bloomfield, Lewis (c), Scowen,  Kretzschmar, Craig. 
Subs: Horlock, McCoy, Jeffrey, Kuffour, Morgan, Pittman, Styche.

Attendance: 3,867 (116 Wycombe)

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