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Report: Notts County 0-0 Wycombe

28 March 2016

A stunning last minute Ryan Allsop save secured a point for Wycombe as they battled to a 0-0 draw at Notts County.

In difficult conditions, the quality of football was not the highest but both sides were committed and neither team could break each other down.

The result means that the Chairboys have reached the targeted 61 points as the end of the season approaches.

Gareth Ainsworth made two enforced changes to his starting line-up from the 1-0 win over Mansfield on Good Friday. Luke O’Nien and Sam Wood both picked up knocks so in came Max Kretzschmar and Gozie Ugwu.

The first opportunity of the match fell to County’s Adam Campbell after 2 minutes, as he pounced on some hesitation in the Wanderers’ defence to fire a strike which Allsop turned round his near post.

Graham Burke’s effort stung the palms of Allsop on 10, and he fired another long-range effort just wide on 23 as both sides struggled to build any rhythm in the strong winds, rain and a sodden Meadow Lane pitch.

The Chairboys first effort on goal came from the right boot of Kretzschmar, as he hit a free kick from 30 yards which bobbled in front of Scott Loach, but the County keeper managed to claw it away from danger.

Notts were looking to play the ball forward quickly and were in on goal on 33 minutes as Jon Stead and Campbell combined, but Jason McCarthy did well to recover and block the diminutive forward’s effort.

Another block, this time from Ugwu, prevented Stead from giving Notts the lead after he shot from a well worked corner on 37 minutes.

Curtis Thompson, recovered from his earlier head injury, had another chance when he cut inside from Liam Noble’s lay off and bent an effort over, and Burke had another speculative long-range effort in added time as the home side finished the first half on the front foot.  

It was more of the same at the start of the second half as County captain Stead found a yard of space to get a header in on goal but it looped on to the roof of the Wycombe net, and Haydn Hollis should have done better with his headed attempt from a Noble free kick.

Wycombe’s Thompson, returning to his former club, almost had a big stroke of luck as he charged down Loach’s kick, but it ricocheted wide of the goal.

Hayes had a half chance for the Blues on 54 after Ugwu and Kretzschmar linked up well down the right, with the former teeing up the latter to cross for the skipper, but he flicked an effort straight at Loach.

The visitors began to exert some pressure on the home defence, with Aaron Pierre having two efforts blocked in quick succession, and Hayes forcing Loach into a flying save on 66 from a well hit volley from the edge of the area.

The introduction of Ronan Murray and Izale McLeod shifted the balance in favour of the home side, as the Chairboys defence put in a few last ditch challenges to keep them at bay.

And it was the two subs who combined for the most clear-cut chance of the game on 84. McLeod raced on to a through ball from Murray with only Allsop to beat, but his lobbed effort from the edge of the box drifted wide of the far post.

Hollis rose highest to head a Noble free kick goalwards, but a stunning save from Allsop kept the scores level as he dived to his right to claw out the effort as everyone in the ground expected the net to bulge. 

Both sides had to settle for a point in the end in a keenly contested match. The Blues maintain their place in the top seven heading into the final seven games.

Wycombe: Allsop, McCarthy, Jacobson, Stewart, Pierre, McGinn, Harriman, Kretzschmar (Jombati 79), Hayes, Thompson (Sellars 67), Ugwu (Liburd 58)
Unused subs: Siegrist, Sellers

Notts County: Loach, Hollis, Thompson, Noble, Campbell (Murray 67), Burke (Snijders 84), Atkinson, Stead (McLeod 67), Audel, Aborah, Edwards
Unused subs: Pilkington, Milsom, Hewitt, Banton

Attendance: 4,452
Away: 579

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