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Report: Wycombe 2-1 Hartlepool

5 September 2015

Michael Harriman scored twice to extend Wanderers' fantastic start to the new campaign.

The midfielder netted a goal in each half to make it four wins and two draws from the opening six games, with Carl Magnay equalising for the hosts in between before seeing red late on.

Gareth Ainsworth had to shuffle his pack with Aaron Pierre missing due to international duty while Sam Wood and Aaron Amadi-Holloway were injured and Stephen McGinn dropped to the bench.

However, it didn’t take long for the new-look side to settle, with Michael Harriman squandering a decent chance inside four minutes when Garry Thompson’s cross picked him out at the back post, only for Harriman to shoot wide under pressure.

Thompson then missed the target with a chance of his own from Paul Hayes’ clever through-ball and Marcus Bean volleyed over when Pools only half-cleared the danger, before Jake Carroll’s powerful drive at the other end was well saved by Matt Ingram.

Wycombe turned on the pressure again with shots off target from Harriman and Hayes before Thompson’s near-post chance was saved by the keeper, and Janoi Donacien’s clever flick from the resulting corner was cleared off the line by a defender.

It only seemed a matter of time until the first goal arrived and it was little surprise to see Harriman break the deadlock given the impressive extent of his involvement so far. The midfielder converted from close range inside the box for his first ever Wycombe goal, and after Harry Worley’s unmarked header was cleared from a Pools corner, Jason Banton couldn’t sort out his feet to convert a loose ball 12 yards out.

Wanderers continued to carve open opportunities but were hit with a sucker punch soon before half-time when Carl Magnay’s shot was deflected into the net at the end of an impressive passing move to level the scores.

By the time the second period started, the hosts’ superiority had been nullified and the game was much more even, with Pools possibly having more of the ball in the opposition’s final third.

But you can never rule out the Chairboys finding a goal from somewhere, and it was that man Harriman again who restored the lead on 57 minutes. He received the ball 25 yards out, cut onto his left foot on the corner of the box and drilled a shot which took a deflection and looped over the keeper and into the net.

A succession of susbtitutions took the tempo out of the game slightly although Rhys Oates had a good chance only to be denied by Ingram as the forward failed to direct his shot towards the corner of the goal.

Things got heated when Max Kretzschmar went down under a challenge by the keeper only for the referee to award a corner, but Pools’ defenders appeared to accuse the substitute of simulation which sparked a coming-together.

The match was finely balanced and a fourth goal was never out of the question, with sub Kudus Oyenuga putting a difficult chance wide before Ryan Sellers’ shot was blocked after he carved open some space in the area.

Following the earlier altercation, the game retained an edge and Carl Magnay went a step too far when he lashed out at Ryan Sellers off the ball right in view of the fourth official, earning a straight red card.

That enabled Wanderers to keep hold of the ball cleverly during the closing stages, denying Pools a chance to find a leveller, ensuring Wycombe racked up an eighth straight win over their north-east opponents.

Wycombe: Ingram, Donacien, Jacobson, Jombati, Rowe, Harriman, Bean, O’Nien, Banton (Sellers 75), Thompson, Hayes (Kretzschmar 61).

Unused subs: Lynch, Bloomfield, McGinn.

Hartlepool: Bartlett, Magnay, Jones (Oyenuga 69), Harrison, Worley, Oates, Woods, Featherstone, Carroll, Bingham, Paynter (Fenwick 58).

Unused subs: Denton, Nelson-Addy, Hawkins, Smith, Boyce.

Referee: Mr D Deadman

Attendance: 3,468 (187 from Hartlepool)

Winning 50/50 Draw Number (Blue £1): 0838
Prize Money: £511.00

Winning 50/50 Draw Number (Orange £2): 1911
Prize Money: £118.00

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