Wycombe lost out on derby day, succumbing to a 2-0 defeat to Colchester United at Adams Park.Second-half goals from Chris Porter and Sammie Szmodics gave the U's the win on a day when Wanderers were unable to find a remedy for their goal shortage, ultimately succumbing to two clinical United efforts.
Gareth Ainsworth was forced into a change at left-back with Joe Jacobson picking up a knock in training, so Sam Wood and Dayle Southwell came into the side in a 4-4-2 formation with Nick Freeman also dropping to the bench.
Wanderers threatened in an early spell of pinball in the United box, but the ball just wouldn’t fall for Dayle Southwell and Adebayo Akinfenwa after Aaron Pierre had headed it into danger.
Then Marcus Bean curled over from 20 yards after a smart lay-off from Akinfenwa, before Colchester’s first chance arrived when a low cross was cleared only into the path of Chris Porter, who stumbled as he tried to react and could only bundle it wide.
Southwell was denied by a last-ditch clearance as he raced on to Aaron Pierre’s knockdown in the six-yard box, and then Pierre missed a golden chance when Danny Rowe whipped in a glorious cross only for the defender’s glancing header to fly narrowly wide.
The hosts were enjoying the better of the play and Drey Wright’s first-time volley from distance almost came out of frustration at his side’s lack of creativity thus far, but the shot landed straight in the arms of Jamal Blackman.
United attacked again moments later when Brennan Dickenson saw a shot blocked after the ball deflected into his path, and all of a sudden the Blues were on the back foot, reliant on the imperious Pierre and Anthony Stewart to make a series of well-timed clearances.
Garry Thompson collected a yellow card for simulation after darting into the box, instantly apologising to the referee and surrounding players as he went down in anticipation of a foul, and then Michael Harriman followed him into the book as both he and Dickenson slipped whilst attacking a high ball and the winger tripped over the defender en route to the area.
Drey Wright shot wide from distance before Danny Rowe’s shot was blocked by a handball just outside the box which went unnoticed by the referee in one of a number of decisions which caused frustration amongst the home ranks.
A deep free-kick early in the second half just missed the head of Porter at the back post, but then Wycombe gained momentum with a succession of set-pieces into the box, one of which saw Akinfenwa beat his man to the ball but send his header wide.
But the breakthrough came at the other end, and after all of Wycombe’s efforts to deliver successful balls into the Colchester area, they were undone by the same approach when Chris Porter nodded a diagonal ball into the path of Sammie Szmodics, whose cross was then turned home by Porter from close range just after the hour-mark.
Pierre headed wide from Thompson’s deep cross as the hosts made a strong start in their attempts to get back into the game, and then Marcus Bean’s goalbound shot nicked off the head of Luke Prosser and bounced behind after Akinfenwa had showed immense strength to create the chance from Southwell’s cross.
The introduction of Paul Hayes came with 20 minutes remaining as Sam Wood made way, before Akinfenwa headed over from Jombati’s deflected cross.
The over-zealous referee carded Akinfenwa and Blackman was called upon to make a rare save as Dickenson drilled a chance towards the near post, prior to the arrival of Matt Bloomfield and Nick Freeman in place of Danny Rowe and Garry Thompson.
But they were unable to make any impact before the second Colchester goal arrived, and it was a screamer from Sammie Szmodics. He collected a lay-off 20 yards out and hit it first-time, leaving Blackman with no chance as it flew into the net in front of his adoring fans.
That goal settled the contest, although Sam Walker produced a wonder save from Dayle Southwell in stoppage time, and Wanderers must look to pick themselves up for Tuesday's trip to League 1 Northampton in the Checkatrade Trophy.
Wycombe: Blackman, Harriman, Jombati, Stewart, Pierre, Thompson (Freeman 81), Bean, Rowe (Bloomfield 81), Wood (Hayes 71), Akinfenwa, Southwell.
Unused subs: Richardson, McGinn, Bloomfield, Freeman, De Havilland.
Colchester: Walker, Brindley, Kinsella, Prosser, Eastman, Wright, Lapslie (Slater 87), Szmodics (Wynter 85), Dickenson, Porter (Johnstone 84), Guthrie.
Unused subs: Bransgrove, Vincent-Young, Bonne, Sembie-Ferris
Referee: John Brooks
Attendance: 3,439 (including 503 from Colchester)