Wed 17 Jul 13
at 11:46 AM
Wanderers secured a vital three points in the battle against the drop with a dominant 2-0 victory over 10-man Dagenham and Redbridge at Adams Park.
After an entertaining but goalless opening, the game really came to life when Daggers defender Scott Doe was sent off for an altercation with Steven Craig just before the break. The hosts made the extra man count and won a penalty shortly after the interval, with Craig converting after a foul on Stuart Lewis. Max Kretzschmar sealed the win with an excellent finish before the hour-mark, and the Blues saw the game out comfortably to end an unwanted winless streak.Gareth Ainsworth made one change to his starting line-up from the side that impressed in the 0-0 draw at Scunthorpe last week, and it was a positive one, bringing Matt McClure into the strikeforce at the expense of midfielder Sam Togwell. It was from the midfield that the first sight of goal arose inside three minutes, but just as Max Kretzschmar was poised to pull the trigger after a mazy run to beat two men, he was denied a shooting opportunity by a well-timed challenge 18 yards out. There was a scare at the other end on 12 minutes when Matt Saunders’ cross was met by the head of Brian Saah and, with Matt Ingram in two minds about coming for the ball, McClure was forced to clip the ball away from just inside the post. Medy Elito saw a shot blocked and Luke Norris’ low drive was parried by Ingram as the Daggers occasionally caused danger on the break, but generally the Blues held the upper hand and looked threatening from crosses, with McClure and Steven Craig eager for the ball to land in their path. Matt Bloomfield had keeper Chris Lewington worried with a swerving effort from distance before the midfielder was forced to depart through injury, with Marvin McCoy taking his place and Nick Arnold moving to the right wing. But the major drama of the half was saved for the 41st minute, with a red card for the Daggers’ Scott Doe following an incident with Steven Craig. The Scotsman stretched to meet a through-ball and may have caught the keeper in doing so, but Doe reacted furiously and raised his hands to the Blues striker, forcing referee Eltringham to reach for his pocket and brandish a yellow to Craig and a red to Doe. With the adrenaline no doubt still pumping, Craig came close to opening the scoring moments later with a left-footed shot on the turn which Abu Ogogo instinctively turned away for a corner with a smart block. He wasn’t made to wait long for his goal though, and it arrived a minute into the second half when Stuart Lewis was tripped inside the box and Craig fired home, beating the keeper who had dived the right way. It gave the home crowd the boost they needed and they were treated to more attacking intent from the side, with Craig twice being denied when the ball fell to him following a corner. What’s more, the goal gave the team confidence, and they began to camp in the opposition half, seeing Matt McClure hit the bar from Josh Scowen’s cross before Kretzschmar doubled the lead on 57 minutes. Josh Scowen laid the ball off for Sam Wood whose cross was chested down by the young midfielder and drilled into the far corner, celebrating emphatically in front of the terrace before being mobbed by team-mates. Wycombe were in total control although the goalscoring chances began to dry up, while Aaron Pierre and Danny Rowe remained effortlessly unbeatable at the back, frustrating the men in red and blue. Craig received a standing ovation from the home fans when he was replaced by Jon-Paul Pittman with ten minutes remaining, while Matt McClure was given similar treatment five minutes later as Reece Styche entered the field. As the game entered stoppage time, Stuart Lewis came close to a wonder goal against his former club, seeing his drive whistle just over the bar, but by that point the game was won and a dominant Wycombe had taken a positive step on the road to League 2 survival.