Report: Stevenage 3-0 WycombeGoals from Steven Schumacher, Matt Godden (penalty) and Tom Pett condemned the Chairboys to just a second league defeat in four months on a disappointing afternoon in Hertfordshire.
Wanderers never looked like recovering from a two-goal half-time deficit and paid the price for two particular defensive errors which gifted Boro a comfortable victory.
Gareth Ainsworth was able to recall Aaron Pierre and Dominic Gape to the starting-line up after missing the midweek Checkatrade Trophy defeat through injury and ineligibility respectively, while Sam Wood, Adebayo Akinfenwa and Scott Kashket also returned to the starting line-up.
Steven Schumacher and Charlie Lee combined twice from set-pieces early on, first winning a corner from a free-kick, and then the latter skewed a first-time shot over the bar from the former’s set-piece.
Then Josh McQuoid fired high over the top from distance before Luke O’Nien’s low shot from 25 yards bobbled awkwardly but keeper Jamie Jones got his body behind it to keep it out.
Sam Saunders curled a free-kick narrowly wide after Scott Kashket was tugged to the ground 25 yards out, before Jamal Blackman was called upon to make a fine save to tip Jobi McAnuff’s curling effort around the post after the ball landed in his path from Aaron Pierre’s tackle on McQuoid.
But the opening goal came midway through the first half and it was a simple header for Steven Schumacher, rising high enough to nod Matt Godden’s flick-on into the net after Jobi McANuff had twisted smartly past Sido Jombati to deliver a cross.
Chances dried up after the goal, with Boro seeking to soak up the visitors’ attacking threat in numbers, and look to play on the break with the long ball forward. One such counter-attack resulted in a low shot by McQuoid being saved from the corner of the box after the referee played an advantage following a foul.
Stevenage were gifted the chance to double their lead in first-half stoppage time when Wycombe were found guilty of over-playing it by their own corner flag, losing the ball and conceding a foul in the box when Dominic Gape was alleged to have tripped Tom Pett. Godden made no mistake, crashing home the penalty to give the Wanderers an uphill struggle in the second period.
And that challenge was made even tougher just three minutes after the break. There was no threat when Jamal Blackman had the ball in his hands, but he rolled out it to Dominic Gape who had nowhere to go, and was caught in possession on the edge of his box. Tom Pett strolled onto it, rounded the keeper and tapped home to make it 3-0.
Wycombe brought on Alex Jakubiak and Myles Weston for Luke O’Nien and Scott Kashket as they looked to get at least a goal back to show for their efforts, although Godden came close to making it four when the ball found his path following a surge from Connor Ogilvie down the left.
Myles Weston was then forced off with an injury, leaving his field clutching his hamstring to be replaced by Garry Thompson, and the new arrival almost conjured up a consolation strike but his knockdown was volleyed over the bar by Saunders.
Wanderers continued to knock at the door for at least a goal to show for their efforts, but Stevenage held firm to become the first side to keep a clean sheet against the Chairboys since Barnet in October.
On to Crewe.