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Match Reports

Report: Stevenage 0-0 Wycombe

Read the report from the Lamex Stadium.

9 December 2017

Wycombe left the Lamex Stadium with a point following a 0-0 draw with Stevenage.

Despite a first half effort from Scott Brown which could or could not have crossed the line, and a dominant second half display, it was to remain honours even with the Chairboys perhaps deserving more for their efforts.

Gareth Ainsworth made two changes to the starting XI for this one, with Ebere Eze and Nick Freeman coming in for Sam Saunders and Dayle Southwell who dropped to the bench. There was also a spot in the squad for Nathan Tyson after two months out with a knee injury.

On a bitterly cold afternoon, Stevenage fashioned the game’s first opportunity on seven minutes as Matt Godden flicked a header wide from the penalty spot after a diagonal ball from deep found him in space.

At the other end, Freeman found a yard after Adebayo Akinfenwa laid it back on the edge, but his shot was comfortably stopped by Boro keeper, Joe Fryer.

A calamity at the back almost gifted the Chairboys the opener on ten minutes, as Fryer and Jack King collided as the former went to claim Joe Jacobson’s cross. The ball was spilled and went trickling towards the goal only for Fryer to dive on the loose ball at the last minute.

Then confusion at the other end, as Anthony Stewart sent a header under no pressure into the path of Godden, only for the defender to regain his composure and block the shot behind for a corner with 19 minutes played.

The first real chance went to the home side halfway through the first period, after clever work from Alex Samuel down the right to get away from Adam El-Abd and cut it back to Godden. His shot was then blocked into the path of Tom Pett who fired just over the bar.

Back came Boro, but they still failed to test Scott Brown when King got away from his marker as Joe Martin’s free-kick was whipped in from the right. The defender got a toe on it but couldn’t get it on target.

Both sides were struggling to find rhythm as both tried to force the issue. The Chairboys would go closest next, as Luke O’Nien stole a march and connected with Jacobson’s corner at the front-post only for Fryer to deny him with a solid save.

With just over five minutes remaining of the half, Craig Mackail-Smith showed great pace to get away from the defence. The ball broke into the path of Freeman after a 50/50 challenge with the keeper, but he fired wide.

Mackail-Smith was proving a thorn in the side of Stevenage as he looked to continuously get in behind the Boro backline. Freeman went close next however, with a drive to the near-post before a real moment of confusion, where for a minute it looked as though Brown, yes Scott Brown had given Wycombe the lead.

In added time, the Chairboys stopper’s long punt sailed over the head of Fryer, hit the underside of the bar and was cleared off the line. Incredible, but no goal given.

Half-time: Stevenage 0-0 Wycombe

Freeman tested the palms of Fryer in the crisp Stevenage air with the second half barely minutes old; the Stevenage keeper doing well to get down to his right to deny the forward.

Joe Jacobson got the game’s second booking after Pett had seen yellow in the closing stages of the first half. The Blues full-back brought down Samuel on halfway.

The hosts hit the side-netting on 53 minutes as Chris Whelpdale missed the target after being picked out by Martin at the back-stick.

Gareth Ainsworth then made a double switch on the hour mark, as Saunders and Tyson came on in place of Freeman and Eze. Stevenage themselves also made a change - Danny Newton on for Samuel.

Mackail-Smith continued to be a handful, this time sending a rasping low drive towards goal from 20-yards, which Fryer did well to hold on 66 minutes. Back he came again a couple of minutes later, driving at the Boro defence and seeing his shot deflect behind.

Wanderers were enjoying a strong spell, whipping balls into the danger zone with two corners and a free-kick with just over 15 minutes left to play. No winning ticket was found and Stevenage continued to survive.

Closer the Chairboys came; Sido Jombati crossing with precision to find Tyson, though he could only nod it wide on 79’.

Stevenage tried to regain control in the middle of the park, by bringing Tom Conlon on for Pett with ten minutes remaining.

The post was next to deny Wycombe as they looked to make it a grandstand finish. Brown’s free-kick from just inside his half found Akinfenwa in the box; with his back to goal he flicked it beyond Fryer but it smacked the woodwork.

With time running out, Jombati could only head wide from a corner before three minutes were added on at the end of the game.

0-0 was how it finished though as Wycombe stopped the rot on the road with a strong performance.


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