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Report: Oxford 3-0 Wycombe

7 May 2016

Wycombe succumbed to a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Oxford on the final day of the season.

The U’s sealed the three points they needed to win promotion to League One and the Chairboys ended the season with defeat.

Gareth Ainsworth made two changes to the side that lost out to Accrington last week – Ryan Allsop returning in goal in place of Benjamin Siegrist, and Stephen McGinn coming in for Jerell Sellars.

The teams emerged from the tunnel to a wall of noise and roared on by a capacity crowd, the home side started on the front foot. Danny Hylton forced a corner inside the first 2 minutes and he stabbed an effort narrowly wide from inside the six yard box from the resulting cross.

And it was Hylton again who tested the Wanderers back line, breaking away from Aaron Pierre’s challenge after 8 minutes to find a yard of space on the edge of the box, but he dragged his shot wide.

Danny Rowe had a couple of speculative efforts from range, the second a more promising opportunity following a knock down from a free kick, but both efforts went over the bar as Wycombe played some good passing football going forward.

Chris Maguire fired an audacious effort from 25 yards just over on 16 minutes, and Garry Thompson almost rounded Oxford keeper Benji Buchel from the next passage of play, but the stopper smothered the effort well.

Wycombe’s defence started resolutely, with Hylton and Pierre in particular clashing on a number of occasions as the home side looked for the important opening goal.

And it nearly came on 30 minutes as Hytlon found a yard of space in the area again, this time he met a low cross from Kemar Roofe but steered his effort just wide of the far post.

A swift counter attack from a Wycombe corner on 32 led to Maguire shooting from range, but his effort fizzed past the same far post as the U’s took a stranglehold on the match.

The teams went into the break all square, but the game was hung in the balance with both sides looking threatening when they came forward.

The first chance of the second half fell to the Chairboys, a deep free kick by Michael Harriman wasn’t claimed by Buchel. The ball landed at the feet of Anthony Stewart who drilled an effort goalwards, only for the covering John Lundstram to clear it off the line.

The home side came back strongly, and short passing on the edge of the box found Hylton, he turned and shot but Stewart bravely blocked, but Oxford weren’t to be denied for long as the found the crucial opener on 53 minutes.

From the resulting corner Maguire swung in a dangerous cross and centre back Chey Dunkley arrived to head past the helpless Ryan Allsop and into the corner of the net.

It was almost a fortuitous second for Oxford on 56 as a loose pass from Stephen McGinn landed at the feet of Liam Sercombe, who drove forward and his deflected shot wrong footed Allsop but trickled past the post.

Oxford looked to press their advantage and score the second, but home fans’ hearts were in their mouths on the hour mark as Rowe hit a speculative effort, which McGinn did well to control and spin inside the area, but U’s keeper Buchel bravely smothered at his and Pierre’s feet as both looked to pounce on the loose ball.

Allsop was made to work by Kemar Roofe on 63 as a smart flick by Hylton put him through on goal, but the Wycombe stopper was equal to his volleyed effort, and the on-loan Bournemouth man was called into action again on 68 as he tipped a Maguire free kick round the post.

But he couldn’t deny the Scotsman a second time as Maguire made it 2-0 from the penalty spot.

Hylton played the ball into Roofe inside the area, and he went down after under pressure from Pierre. Referee Keith Stroud pointed to the spot and Maguire stepped up to send Allsop the wrong way.

Substitute Gozie Ugwu almost sneaked a goal back in a rare foray forward for the Chairboys on 78, as he charged in between Dunkley and Wright and lofted an effort goalwards, but it landed the wrong side of the post. 

Oxford substitute Callum O’Dowda put the rubber stamp on the game and promotion as he made it 3-0 in added time, beating Sido Jombati to the ball on the byline before lifting an effort over Allsop.

A defeat for the Chairboys but a lot of positives can be taken out of this campaign, with a lot to build on over the summer.

Wycombe: Allsop, McCarthy, Jombati, Pierre, Stewart, Harriman, Bean, Rowe, McGinn (Kretzschmar 60), Hayes (Liburd 71), Thompson (Ugwu 60)
Unused subs: Siegrist, Sellers, Sellars

Oxford United: Buchel, Kenny, Ruffles, Dunkley, Wright, Macdonald (O’Dowda 76), Maguire, Lundstram, Sercombe, Roofe (Waring 84), Hylton (Bowery 83)
Unused subs: Slocombe, Mullins, Ashby, Roberts

Attendance: 11,815
Away: 1,054

Referee: Keith Stroud

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