Wycombe recorded a sixth successive home victory in all competitions, seeing off Newport County with a 2-0 win at Adams Park on Boxing Day.
The hosts returned to winning ways following the disappointment of a 3-2 loss at Coventry, taking the upper hand when Nathan Tyson skipped past his man before finishing smartly in the first half.
Adebayo Akinfenwa wrapped up the points with a clinical finish from Joe Jacobson’s free-kick before the Welshmen finished with 10 men following a second yellow card shown to their captain Joss Labadie.
Gareth Ainsworth was without regular centre-halves Adam El-Abd and Anthony Stewart, who were sidelined due to injuries picked up before Christmas, so Dominic Gape returned at right-back while Ebere Eze and Paris Cowan-Hall were called into the starting line-up.
Wanderers began well, winning an early corner which was headed over by Adebayo Akinfenwa, before Dan Scarr lashed over the top from 20 yards and Cowan-Hall’s close-range effort was blocked for a corner after a clever pass from Eze.
It was that man Eze who was involved in the goal that broke the deadlock, with his sublime back-heel setting the Chairboys up for a run at goal, led by Luke O’Nien. The midfielder – on his 100th appearance for the club – passed left to Nathan Tyson in space who took his time to jink inside his marker and tuck home past Joe Day with 16 minutes on the clock.
Newport were struggling to find their feet but did fashion a shot on target when Matty Dolan struck low from 20 yards, though Scott Brown was able to hold comfortably, as he did two minutes later when Frank Nouble headed a cross at goal.
The Exiles then came closer when Nouble flashed a low shot across the face of goal with no-one able to convert as the ball skimmed past the far post, before action swung to the other end with Eze’s swerving shot from distance being held by the keeper.
There were no further chances before the interval, with the Blues satisfied with their lead, though their advantage was almost wiped out 20 seconds into the second period when Joss Labadie sent a rocket crashing against the crossbar from 25 yards, with the ball bouncing to safety.
Dangerous free-kicks at either end from Joe Jacobson and Matty Dolan flashed across goal to safety before Jacobson performed heroics at the other end, arriving from nowhere to take the ball off of Nouble’s toes as he prepared to pull the trigger from McCoulsky’s pass.
Newport’s first change arrived when Robbie Willmott took the place of Scot Bennett and a second substitution followed shortly after when Lamar Reynolds replaced David Pipe.
Ebere Eze’s last action of note was to shoot goalwards from 20 yards but see it held by Joe Day before Matt Bloomfield took his place in midfield with 15 minutes remaining, and the Exiles made their final switch as Padraig Amond entered the field at the expense of McCoulsky.
But within seconds, their task was made even tougher by Wanderers’ second goal, and Akinfenwa’s 12th strike of a remarkable season so far. Jacobson’s free-kick was pinpoint, enabling the striker to chest the ball down for himself and lash home with his right foot past a helpless Day.
There was still work to be done to secure the three points, and Dominic Gape played his part by heading an effort off the line as the Exiles threatened from a corner.
Gareth Ainsworth swapped Craig Mackail-Smith for Nathan Tyson before Newport’s misery was compounded by a red card shown to captain Joss Labadie for collecting a second caution.
Attendance: 4,629 (261 from Newport)
50/50 matchday draw numbers:
Blue £1 - 18635 (£674.00 prize)
Orange £2 - 32101 (£93.00 prize)