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Report: Rovers 1-0 Blues

16 February 2013

Wanderers were left frustrated by a stubborn Rovers rear-guard as they fell to a harsh defeat at the Memorial Stadium.

Ryan Brunt’s first half strike proved the difference with the chances few and far between in the opening period.

The Chairboys took the game to their opponents after the break and Jo Kuffour had two penalty shouts turned down, but Rovers held on to secure the points.

Gareth Ainsworth made two changes to the Wanderers side with Marvin McCoy replacing Josh Scowen and Jo Kuffour in for Dean Morgan.
Scowen missed out through suspension after collecting his 10th booking of the season in Tuesday’s game against Bradford City, while Bruno Andrade was ruled with the ankle injury he picked up in that match.

QPR loanee Michael Harriman moved from right-back to central-midfield to fill in for Scowen with McCoy slotting in at the back.

Wanderers started well and Joel Grant saw an effort deflected wide in the third minute after a quick break involving Sam Wood and Kuffour found the winger on the edge of the area. Kuffour then hit the side-netting from the resulting set-piece as skipper Dave Winfield flicked on Wood’s corner.

Rovers’ first chance fell to Ryan Brunt in the sixth minute, but he shot straight at Jordan Archer from the edge of the area after Fabian Broghammer’s low cross reached the striker.

McClure had a powerful strike deflected wide from distance before Oliver Norburn crashed well over the bar from 20 yards as both sides struggled to create space close to goal.

Kuffour was denied by Mark McChrystal’s last-ditch block in the 33rd minute after the striker had turned his man after collecting Grant’s cross.

However, the hosts took the lead two minutes later against the run of play. Joe Anyinsah did well to get a cross in from the right which deflected into Brunt’s pass and the striker expertly volleyed into the far corner, giving Archer no chance.

Lee Brown then tested Archer from fully 25 yards as the hosts finished the half in the ascendancy. Blues had more than matched their opponents in the opening period and enjoyed more possession, however, chances were few and far between for Ainsworth’s men with McClure and Kuffour getting little change from the Rovers rearguard.

Kuffour came close to levelling the scores three minutes after the restart when he did superbly well to control Wood’s driven cross on his chest to make space, before slicing wide from six yard from an acute angle.

Norburn then dragged a shot wide from the edge of the area before Kuffour and Lewis were off target for the Chairboys as the second half started with more attacking intent from both sides.

McClure saved a certain second goal when he brilliantly headed Broghammer’s corner off the line in the 55th minute.

Ainsworth made a double change in the 62nd minute with Morgan replacing Grant and Matt Spring coming on for McCoy. The substitutions meant that the Wanderers switched to a 4-3-3 formation with Morgan, Kuffour and McClure in attack and Wood, Spring and Lewis in midfield. Harriman reverted to right-back.

McClure had an effort blocked in the 72nd minute before Anthony Stewart burst forward from halfway but fired over the bar from 20 yards.

Wanderers had a strong appeal for a penalty turned down 12 minutes from time when Kuffour got in front of Michael Smith and appeared to be hauled down by the defender. However, the referee immediately signalled that it wasn’t a foul and waved play on.

Kuffour had another shout for a spot-kick four minutes later after latching on to Morgan’s clever flick before going down in the area, but again the official was having none of it.

The Chairboys continued to press in search of an equaliser and Dunne hit the side-netting four minutes from time after being found by McClure’s pin-point lofted through ball.

Wycombe piled on the pressure late on and Morgan, Stewart and Kuffour all had shots in a goalmouth scramble before the ball fell to Wood who shot over. That was the final chance for the Blues who created more in the second half, but were ultimately left frustrated.

Attendance: 7,234 (388 Wycombe)

Subs: Gough, Woodards, Harrison, Hitchcock.
Rovers: Mildenhall, Smith, Brown, Parkes, McChrystal, Clucas, Norburn (Clarkson 66), O’Toole, Anyinsah (Richards 80), Broghammer (McDonald 90), Brunt.

Subs: Harrison, Johnson, Hause, Ainsworth.
Wycombe: Archer, McCoy (Spring 62), Dunne, Stewart, Winfield (c), Grant (Morgan 62), Lewis, Harriman, Wood, Kuffour, McClure (Oli 88).

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