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Report: Blues 0-2 Rochdale

22 March 2014

Second-half goals from Jamie Allen and Peter Vincenti helped league leaders Rochdale secure a 2-0 success at Adams Park.

Wanderers had the better of the first half with Reece Styche firing against the post, but the visitors took the lead five minutes after the restart when Jamie Allen fired home a fine volley from the edge of the area.

The points were made safe in the 74th minute when Vincenti scrambled home from close-range after Matt Ingram had denied Olly Lancashire.

Gareth Ainsworth made three changes to his side with skipper Stuart Lewis, Dean Morgan and Reece Styche coming in for Nick Arnold and injured duo Matt McClure and Steven Craig (both hamstring).

Matt Bloomfield was fit enough to start after recovering from the knee injury that forced him off against Cheltenham on Tuesday.

Neither side could get into their groove early on with the majority of play confined to the midfield area.

However, Wanderers were a coat of paint away from taking the lead in the 10th minute. Matt Ingram’s long clearance was flicked on by Morgan to Styche. The striker turned past one defender and into space before shooting with the outside of his boot against the post with Josh Lillis beaten all ends up.

Bloomfield was then just unable to get a touch on Sam Wood’s driven cross as Blues upped the pressure. From the resulting Max Kretzschmar corner, Morgan headed over.

Kretzschmar’s fierce free-kick was tipped over by Lillis as Chairboys continued to possess the greater attacking threat.

Wanderers were almost made to pay for not taking their earlier chances in the 39th minute, but Ingram came to their rescue with a stunning close-range save to tip over Peter Vincenti’s well-struck effort.

The visitors had come back into the contest as the half progressed, but Morgan and Styche remained a threat in attack for Ainsworth’s men.

Scowen shot wide in time added on in the first half after intercepting play near halfway and breaking forward. That was to be the last meaningful action of an opening 45 minutes that saw Chairboys create much more than the leaders.

Half-time: Wanderers 0-0 Rochdale

Blues were fast out of the traps after the restart as Bloomfield’s quickly-taken free-kick found Morgan and his left-wing cross was headed over by Lewis from eight yards.

Kretzschmar was next to come close as his first-time effort from McCoy’s long throw just cleared the bar.

Dale took the lead against the run of play in the 51st minute and it was a moment of quality that broke the deadlock.

Wood did well to head away a dangerous cross from the left, but the ball fell to Jamie Allen who crashed an unstoppable volley past Ingram from outside the area.

Johnson headed Wood’s free-kick wide on the hour, but it was the visitors who came close to doubling their advantage eight minutes later when Michael Rose’s fine left-footed strike was superbly tipped against the crossbar by the impressive Ingram.

That lead was added to in the 74th minute when Vincenti scrambled home from close-range after Ingram had originally denied Lancashire and Blues failed to clear their lines.

Anthony Jeffrey replaced Kretzschmar in the 78th minute before Sam Togwell was introduced for Lewis a minute later for his home debut.

Scowen was unfortunate to fire straight at Lillis after a scramble in the Dale area.

Morgan was denied by Lillis from a Wood corner before the winger delivered again from the left and this time only a fine last-ditch challenge prevented Johnson from reducing the deficit.

Jon-Paul Pittman was introduced with three minutes remaining, but Dale had defended well since taking the lead and saw time out for the win.

Wanderers: Ingram, McCoy, Wood, Johnson, Stewart, Scowen, Lewis (c) (Togwell 79), Bloomfield, Kretzschmar (Jeffrey 78), Morgan, Styche (Pittman 87).

Subs: Horlock, Pierre, Arnold, Kewley-Graham, Togwell, Jeffrey, Pittman.

Rochdale: Lillis, Rafferty, Rose, Lancashire, Eastham (Bennett 88), Vincenti, Cavanagh (c), Allen, Done, Bunney (Donnelly 74), Henderson.

Subs: Thomson, Bennett, Hery, Tanser, Donnelly, Porter, Cummins.

Attendance: 3,594 (347 Rochdale)

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