Wycombe moved into the top six thanks to a fine 2-0 Boxing Day win at Luton Town.Goals from strike duo Garry Thompson and Paul Hayes were enough to earn Gareth Ainsworth’s side all three points at Kenilworth Road.
The Blues starting line-up was unchanged from last week’s derby victory over Oxford, with Sido Jombati returning to the matchday squad on the bench having missed the last two games.
The first attempt of the game came from Luton’s top scorer Cameron McGeehan, who pounced on a slip by Matt Bloomfield but fired his effort harmlessly over on 3 minutes.
Wycombe looked the livelier side in the opening exchanges, harrying Luton’s backline and not showing any signs of over-indulgence at Christmas.
Jason McCarthy broke clear on the right wing on 17, and came along the byline but his drilled low cross was deflected clear from the arriving Sam Wood who would have had a simple tap in. Wood then had an opportunity on 19 as he nipped in to take the ball from Olly Lee 25 yards from goal, but his attempt sailed wide.
A driving run by Lee on 24 led to the centre midfielder carving open the Blues’ defence with a reverse through ball which Craig Mackail-Smith latched on to. The forward crossed to the back post where Paul Benson was lurking but he could only direct his header wide.
Hayes made Mark Tyler in the Luton goal work for the first time with an effort on 29 minutes after Michael Harriman played him through, but the pass forced Hayes wide making it difficult to beat the veteran keeper.
Wycombe finished the first half strongly and came close to taking the lead on 43.
More good play down the Wycombe right led to McCarthy getting behind the back of the Luton backline. His pull back from the byline found skipper Hayes on the penalty spot, but his goalbound effort was well blocked and prevented the opening goal.
From the resulting corner, Anthony Stewart was just beaten to the ball with the goal at his mercy, and a corner from the other side fell to Aaron Pierre at the back post, but he fired a half volley wide.
Wycombe came out of the blocks at the start of the second half and created the first opening on 48. Wood was played through down the left and his pull back found Garry Thompson, but his effort was deflected agonisingly wide.
But Thompson was not to be denied as he gave the Chairboys the lead after 51 minutes.
A ball out wide to Harriman from Wood found the winger in plenty of space. He whipped in a cross which Luton captain Scott Cuthbert miscontrolled, allowing Thompson the chance to pounce. He calmly rounded Tyler and stroked home for his seventh goal of the season.
A Wycombe break saw Harriman driving at the retreating Luton defence on 56, but he was ushered out by a Hatters defender, and Bloomfield did well to divert a cross from Danny Green behind his own goal a minute later as both sides launched counter attacks.
A lengthy break in play because of an injured linesman appeared to help the Blues after a period of Luton pressure, and moments after play restarted on 66 minutes skipper Hayes doubled the lead.
Thompson was freed down the right wing by Hayes who sprinted into the box to meet his strike partner’s cross at the back post and head low past the helpless Tyler from six yards.
The Chairboys were 2-0 up but the Hatters were almost instantly back in the game with a moment of magic from Mackail-Smith. He turned on a bouncing ball around 30 yard from Matt Ingram’s goal and hit a dipping half-volley which sailed over the stranded Ingram and narrowly wide of his right-hand post.
The Hatters made a triple change on 71 to try and change the game, but the non-stop running of Thompson continued to pester the Luton defence. He was played in on goal by a superb Wood through ball but couldn’t escape the clutches of Cuthbert who recovered well to clear.
The final stages – including 8 minutes of injury time – passed without much incident as Wycombe shut out Luton and didn’t allow them space or time to create anything that would threaten Ingram’s clean sheet.
Another fantastic win on the road in front of fantastic travelling support lifts the Chairboys up to sixth and into the play-off spots ahead of the visit of Crawley Town on Monday.
Line up: Ingram, McCarthy, Pierre, Stewart, Jacobson, Harriman, Bloomfield (McGinn 90), O’Nien, Wood, Hayes (Kretzschmar 83), Thompson
Subs: Lynch, Jombati, Rowe, Amadi-Holloway, Udumaga