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Match Reports

Report: Gills 0-1 Blues

4 February 2013

Matt McClure struck six minutes from time to earn the Blues a superb 1-0 victory at high-fliers Gillingham.

Wanderers were the better side for large periods and created numerous fine chances before substitute McClure found the bottom corner in front of the travelling Wycombe faithful.

Gareth Ainsworth named an unchanged side with Jordan Archer lining up behind a defence comprising of Michael Harriman, Charles Dunne, Anthony Stewart and skipper Dave Winfield.

Joel Grant, former Gillingham man Stuart Lewis, Josh Scowen and Sam Wood made up the midfield and another former Gill, Jo Kuffour, partnered Dean Morgan in attack.

Top scorer Matt McClure was back in squad and on the bench after missing the 1-0 victory over Dagenham & Redbridge last time out due to the birth of daughter Layla.

Former Wanderer Steven Gregory had a shot in the second minute, but his effort from just inside the area was high and wide. Wycombe responded well and Winfield beat his marker to a Scowen throw-in, but could only head at Stuart Nelson.

A fine challenge from Stewart prevented Cody McDonald getting a shot off from Deon Burton’s cut-back and Myles Weston then shot straight at Archer after cutting in from the left.

Charlie Lee volleyed just wide from distance in the 17th minute as the Blues were guilty of dropping off a bit too much. Archer then saved from Burton after the striker had turned well on the edge of the area.

Stewart did brilliantly to head over his own bar whilst under pressure from McDonald and Archer did even better from the resulting corner, producing a finger-tip save to parry away Leon Legge’s header.

Grant was just unable to take in Morgan’s clever pass after a quick break down the left and McDonald broke up the other end and fired into the side-netting at Archer’s near post.

Wood was inches away from netting his second goal-of-the-season contender 10 minutes before the break, but was denied by a stunning save from Nelson. The ball broke to the winger 25 yards out and he struck first-time left-footed, only for Nelson to dive full length to his right and tip the ball over.

Wanderers had a great chance to take the lead with two minutes of the first half remaining. A quick break from Grant saw the Blues outnumber the hosts, but the winger shot himself when Morgan was better placed and Nelson saved well.

The hosts started the second half brightly and Winfield took a knock to the face after clearing the ball off the line following a goalmouth scramble.

Nelson came to the home side’s rescue in the 53rd minute, making himself big to deny Kuffour who had been played through on goal after neat work from Morgan and Wood. Winfield eluded his marker to get to the resulting corner, but his header was cleared off the line.

Gillingham’s keeper made an even better stop from Kuffour seven minutes later. Wood was tripped on the left-hand edge of the area and Kuffour had time to control Scowen’s free-kick five yards out, but shot straight at the keeper with the goal at his mercy.

Morgan was denied by Nelson’s feet with 19 minutes remaining after picking up the ball on halfway and showing a great turn of pace to burst past Legge.

McClure replaced Kuffour with 15 minutes remaining and he came close to opening the scoring three minutes later. Grant beat Joe Martin down the Wycombe right and cut back to McClure who was denied by Adam Barrett from close-range. It was a great opportunity, but the striker failed to get a decent connection on the ball as it was fired across at pace.

The Northern Ireland U21 international had an even better chance with six minutes remaining, but he shot wide after being played through on goal by Lewis’ inch-perfect pass.

However, McClure made amends for his miss and got the goal Wanderers’ play deserved  a minute later. Scowen won the ball in midfield and found McClure on the edge of the area and he flicked the ball over one Gillingham defender before firing inside the near post from eight yards.

An incident involving a Gillingham supporter invading the pitch and barging over Archer threatened to overshadow the victory, but Ainsworth’s were worthy winners.

Wanderers: Archer, Harriman, Dunne, Winfield (c), Stewart, Grant, Lewis, Scowen, Wood, Morgan, Kuffour (McClure 75). 
Subs: Harrison, McCoy, Hause, Spring, Ainsworth, Andrade.

Gillingham: Nelson, Fish, Martin, Legge, Barrett (c), Weston (Whelpdale 62), Gregory, Frampton (Robinson 46) Lee, Burton (Kedwell 66), McDonald. 
Subs: Forecast, Davies, Allen, Birchall.

Attendance: 4,758 (87 Wanderers)

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