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Report: Wycombe 1-0 Stevenage

12 March 2016

A brilliant Luke O’Nien strike proved to be the difference as Wycombe ran out 1-0 winners against Stevenage.

A fine individual goal from the midfielder capped off a good performance from the Chairboys as he was the match-winner for the second home game running.

Gareth Ainsworth made three changes to the Blues line up that lost 1-0 to Newport last week. Anthony Stewart, Matt Bloomfield and Garry Thompson all returned in place of Sido Jombati, Sam Wood and Stephen McGinn.

Starting in an attacking 4-3-3 formation, the Chairboys had the early running as they created several chances inside the opening 10 minutes.

Luke O’Nien volleyed a deep corner goalwards which visiting keeper Jamie Jones kept out, before Stewart and Rowan Liburd, on his home debut, both narrowly missed with headers.

The width of a post denied Paul Hayes as he flicked an effort towards goal inside the six yard box following a scrappy corner and Thompson had a placed effort from the edge of the box saved by Jones as he flung to his left to keep it out.

Tom Conlon had Stevenage’s first effort on goal on 17 minutes as he hit a curling effort from 25 yards which flew over Ryan Allsop’s goal, and McCarthy did well to cover as Tom Pett bore down on goal a minute later as Stevenage began to settle.

Both sides cancelled each other out as the first half went on, with the defences on top and not many chances being created.

The final effort of the half fell to Jason McCarthy in stoppage time, as a well-worked move worked its way from left to right but the right back fired an effort over Jones’ goal as the two sides went in goalless.

The second half began in much the same vein, with Wycombe looking the more threatening side going forward.

Liburd was looking lively has he fired a shot over just after the restart and on 52 he came closer as a surging run from Michael Harriman fed the on-loan forward who tried to dink an effort over the on-rushing Jones, only for the Boro keeper to smother his attempt.

Half time substitute Luke Wilkinson had the best chance for Stevenage, as he narrowly headed wide from a corner on 60 when he should have tested Allsop in the Wycombe goal.

A teasing cross from the right almost found its way through for Stevenage, via a deflection from Stewart, as the visitors started to threaten going forward. But following that attack the Blues went up the other end to carve the best chance of the match on 64.

Neat play from Thompson found Hayes in acres of space on the right, and he ran around 30 yards with the ball before a pin-point cross to the back post where Liburd was arriving. He crashed a header towards goal but straight into the arms of the grateful Jones.

But the Blues weren’t to be denied as Luke O’Nien scored a superb goal to give the Chairboys a deserved lead on 70 minutes.

A cross into the box was cleared and O’Nien picked up the loose ball on the edge of the box. He did well to control a bouncing ball and take it past one defender, then shimmied round another before firing a sweet left-footed strike into the bottom corner.

Stevenage were forced to come out of their shells and responded strongly to going behind, when a bouncing ball wouldn’t sit in the Wycombe penalty area and Ben Kennedy acrobatically struck the ball. A wicked deflection off Aaron Pierre looped over Allsop but thankfully onto the roof of the net.

A fantastic stop from Allsop kept Wycombe ahead on 87, as Dean Parrett was left unmarked on the left wing after he took a corner. He cut inside a struck a sweet shot that was flying towards the top corner, only for Allsop to stretch out his left hand and tip it over the bar.

Wycombe were able to see out the five minutes of added time, with a late chance for substitute Gozie Ugwu proving to be the last bit of action.

The Blues picked up their third home win on the bounce and jumped to eighth in the table ahead of two long away trips to Accrington and Carlisle next week.

Wycombe: Allsop, McCarthy, Jacobson, Stewart, Pierre, Harriman, O’Nien, Bloomfield (Bean 85), Thompson, Hayes, Liburd (Ugwu 77)
Unused subs: Richardson, Jombati, McGinn, Wood, Sellers

Stevenage: Jones, Henry (Wilkinson 45), Okimo, Franks, Wells, Cox (Luer 81), Tonge, Parrett, Pett (Harrison 55), Kennedy, Conlon
Unused subs: Day, Hedges, Marrott, Gorman

Attendance: 3,715 (Away 251)

50/50 Draw
Blue £1 ticket – 07276 £664.50
Orange £2 ticket – 17453 £68

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