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Report: Wycombe 0-1 Luton

Posted: Sat 06 Feb 2016
Author: Andy Wilkins
Image by: PRIME Media Images

Wycombe fell to a 1-0 defeat against Luton Town in a scrappy game at Adams Park.

Cameron McGeehan’s 40th minute wonder goal proved to be the moment of magic that won it for the Hatters in a game that lacked real quality.

There was one change to the Blues’ starting line up from the 1-0 win at Plymouth last week, with new loan signing Ryan Allsop making his debut in goal and Barry Richardson reverting back to his more familiar spot on the bench.

Wycombe had much of the early running, with Paris Cowan-Hall cutting inside from the left wing to hit a tame shot straight at Elliot Justham in the Luton goal, and a Joe Jacobson free kick causing problems as a Luton defender narrowly flicked a header past his own post with his keeper beaten on 8 minutes.

Jason McCarthy nearly scored the goal of the season from the resulting corner as Jacobson’s deep delivery found the Southampton loanee arriving unmarked at the back post to hit a sweet volley which crashed into the side netting, with many fans in the Beachdean Stand already celebrating.

Michael Harriman then created a brilliant chance through his own hard work on 12 as he sprinted around 30 yards to close down Hatters centre back Alan Sheehan. He dispossessed him to have a run on goal but screwed his left footed effort wide from the edge of the box.

The Chairboys had another glorious chance on 15 as Cowan-Hall, this time on the right wing, beat his man to cross to the near post where the arriving Matt Bloomfield flicked an effort across goal, only for it to graze the far post and go wide.

It was Bloomfield again making the break from midfield on 19 as intricate play from skipper Paul Hayes found Blooms on the edge of the box. He beat his man but couldn’t get a clean strike on goal as Wycombe dominated the opening stages.

But in their first meaningful attack on 40 minutes, Luton took the lead thanks to a wonderful strike from Cameron McGeehan.

The Hatters’ central midfielder received a bouncing ball on the corner of the Wycombe box and hit a sumptuous dipping half volley over the helpless Allsop and into the top corner.

That goal brought Luton to life and Jack Marriot’s run down the right wing found Stephen O’Donnell on the edge of the box, but the full back’s shot was blocked by.
There was a strong shout for a handball in first half injury time, as Harriman’s cross was blocked by the arm of Luton captain Scott Cuthbert, but referee Seb Stockbridge waved away claims for a penalty as the first half ended 1-0 to the visitors.

The first chance of the second half fell to Luton on 47, as Alex Lawless’s cross to the back post was knocked down by Joe Pigott, but after a brief scramble Allsop dived on the ball one yard off his goal line before McGeehan could convert.

The referee was the busiest man as the opening to the second period was a physical affair, with both sides committing fouls and breaking up play and the game stretching as Wycombe pushed for an equaliser.

Paris Cowan-Hall thought he had brought the Blues level on 59 as he met Jacobson’s looped cross at the back post with a superb header, only for Mr Stockbridge to blow his whistle for a foul on keeper Justham as the Blues celebrated.

Pigott broke the offside trap on 62 and his low cross looked destined for the feet of Jack Marriot six yards from goal, only for Jacobson to put in a fantastic last ditch challenge just as the Hatters midfielder was about to shoot.

Bloomfield’s raking ball into substitute Garry Thompson was a little too hard as the forward couldn’t quite get enough purchase on his header on 68, and Craig Mackail-Smith skipped past Aaron Pierre before firing an effort across goal as both sides created chances.

Ryan Allsop was forced into his first meaningful save on 71 as he made a fine point blank save from Marriot, who arrived at the back post to hit a volley from Jake Howells’ cross.

Wycombe struggled to create any clear openings as the game closed out. Sido Jombati headed tamely at goal from a Jacobson free kick, with Luton looking the more likely to get the game’s second goal on the break.

They almost did just that on 87 as Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu got in behind Jacobson who did remarkably well to get in a challenge. But his tackle played the ball into the path of Paul Benson, who slid an effort in from the tightest of angles against the post.

Luton were able to see the game out and take all three points back to Bedfordshire, while the Blues will be disappointed not to have taken something from the game.

Line up: Allsop, Jombati, Jacobson, McCarthy, Pierre, Harriman, Cowan-Hall (Amadi-Holloway 75), Bean, Bloomfield, Hayes (O’Nien 78), Ugwu (Thompson 63)
Unused Subs: Richardson, McGinn, Stewart, Wood

Attendance: 4,597
Away: 1,038

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