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Report: Oxford 0-1 Blues

6 April 2013

Joel Grant’s stunning first-half effort secured the Blues a hard-fought 1-0 victory at near-neighbours Oxford.

minute when he bamboozled one defender on the edge of the area before jinking past another and drilling the ball across Luke McCormick. thGrant settled the contest in the 18

Both sides had chances after that, but Wanderers were superb at the back in the final 20 minutes to see out time.

Gareth Ainsworth named an unchanged line-up  with the only alteration to last Monday’s victory at Morecambe coming on the bench where Jesse Kewley-Graham replaced Dennis Oli.

Former Wanderers Michael Duberry, Scott Davies and Jon-Paul Pittman started for the hosts with ex-loanee Josh Parker on the bench.

Oxford started brightly and Gary Doherty bravely blocked a powerful effort from the edge of the area before Stuart Lewis picked up an early booking for a mis-timed challenge. Davies curled the resulting free-kick over the bar. James Constable then shot harmlessly wide from the edge of the area.

Matt Ingram was called into action for the first time in the 10th minute, but he comfortably saved Constable’s 20-yard effort after the striker had cut in from the right.

Blues began to grow into the contest and Jo Kuffour tried to lob Luke McCormick from fully 40 yards after a poor clearance, but the keeper recovered to save.

Wycombe’s increased pressure was rewarded in the 18th minute when Grant jinked his way past one challenge on the edge of the area, before riding another one and drilling low and hard across McCormick from 10 yards.

Tom Craddock came close to replying within 60 seconds, but he headed Pittman’s cross over from four yards and Wanderers broke quickly before Lewis had a shot deflected narrowly wide.

Pittman was denied by the woodwork in the 26th minute when his cross-shot rebounded back off the far post after a prolonged spell of Oxford pressure.

Andy Whing mis-hit when in a promising position following Damian Batt’s run down the right and the ball trickled wide of Ingram’s goal.

Wood had an effort blocked a minute before the break after Scowen had dispossessed Jake Wright on the byline and that was the final chance of the first half.

Kuffour should have doubled the advantage eight minutes after the restart when he was played in on goal by Scowen’s excellent flick, but McCormick stayed big and got enough on the ball to deny the striker.

Alfie Potter had an even better chance at the other end two minutes later when he and Constable combined with the former breaking through on goal and under no pressure, only to shoot straight at Ingram. Pittman then hooked an effort over the bar from close-range.

Grant had a 20-yard strike saved by McCormick after being set up by Scowen following Kuffour’s superb crossfield ball.

Scowen almost added a second in the 79th minute when he read Batt’s backpass and intercepted, but McCormick saved to rescue his right-back.

Chairboys were excellent in seeing the game out, nullifying any Oxford threat and Ingram was largely untroubled until injury-time when he dropped the ball from a throw-in, but recovered just in time to stop it crossing the line.

Wycombe: Ingram, Harriman, Dunne, Winfield (c), Doherty, Spring, Lewis, Grant, Scowen, Wood, Kuffour.

Subs: Harrison, McCoy, Johnson, Kewley-Graham, Ainsworth, Andrade, Morias.

Oxford: McCormick, Batt, Whing, Duberry, Wright, Davis, Potter, Davies, Pittman, Constable (Parker 72), Craddock (Smalley 52).

Subs: Crocombe, Heslop, O'Brien, O'Dowda, Long

Attendance: 6,777 (1,132 Wycombe)

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