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Match Reports

Report: Solihull 0-2 Wycombe

Chairboys progress to Emirates FA Cup second round.

5 November 2017

Wycombe overcame National League side Solihull Moors to progress to the second round of the Emirates FA Cup, with both goals in a 2-0 win coming in the first half.

Nick Freeman converted the first after Craig Mackail-Smith turned the ball into his path from a long ball into the area, before Mackail-Smith himself doubled the lead, firing home a rebound after Adebayo Akinfenwa hit the bar with a header.

Scott Brown produced smart saves from Oladapo Afolayan and Jermaine Hylton as the Moors looked for a route back into the game, while Marcus Bean came close to a first Wanderers goal at the other end, firing narrowly wide from inside the box.

Gareth Ainsworth recalled Dan Scarr and Anthony Stewart to the defence after the pair had been sidelined through injury, while Matt Bloomfield captained the side in midfield with Ebere Eze unable to play for the Chairboys in the FA Cup under the terms of his loan spell from QPR.

Solihull provided an early scare when Darren Carter took a quick free-kick down the left side of the penalty area and a low cross-shot from Jermaine Hylton was denied by the legs of Scott Brown, with the ball bouncing to safety.

At the other end, the hosts struggled to clear Joe Jacobson’s free-kick and after Sam Saunders won possession back high up the pitch, Anthony Stewart’s shot was deflected behind for a corner.

The breakthrough came 16 minutes in and there was a touch of fortune about it as a long ball into the box missed to head of Adebayo Akinfenwa and the ball took a fortuitous touch to change direction across the six-yard box before being turned into the bottom corner by Nick Freeman.

The lead was almost doubled on 27 minutes after a flowing move down the right from the Chairboys, with Matt Bloomfield’s fierce low cross being turned goalwards on the volley by Akinfenwa but keeper Charlie Bannister flew to his right to palm it away superbly.

But it didn’t take long for the second goal to arrive, and it was a case of third time lucky after Anthony Stewart and Adebayo Akinfenwa struck the woodwork with headers before the ball fell to Craig Mackail-Smith to stab home from close range.

Sean St Ledger should have done better when Darren Carter’s free-kick remained in danger and found the defender at the back post, but he took too long to get his shot away and Wanderers were able to retain their two-goal advantage.

Mackail-Smith then collected Joe Jacobson’s excellent diagonal pass and curled wide from just inside the area, before Stewart stung the palms of Bannister with a powerful low drive from 20 yards.

Moments later, Mackail-Smith twisted his man inside and out before shooting at goal only for his effort to deflect behind for a corner, and had another shot before the interval, firing straight at the keeper from Bloomfield’s assist.

A rare chance presented itself to the Moors when Akwasi Asante curled high over the bar from a Darren Carter pass, while Oladapo Afolayan shot harmlessly wide after the break, with no changes from either side during the interval.

Solihull’s first change arrived on the 55th minute when Chris Camwell replaced Ashley Sammons, and they almost halved the deficit when Oladapo Afolayan cut in onto his right foot and bent a shot goalwards which deflected and looped over the head of Scott Brown, only for the keeper to fly backwards and tip it brilliantly over the bar.

Wycombe’s first change saw Paris Cowan-Hall come on for Freeman, and then Joe Jacobson’s low free-kick curled all the way into the arms of the keeper with any deflection likely to have taken it into the net.

However there was a blow when Anthony Stewart was forced off with an injury on 75 minutes, with Adam El-Abd taking his place in defence, while there was almost a first Chairboys goal for Marcus Bean when he collected Cowan-Hall’s cute pass in the area but fired wide as he attempted to bend it into the corner.

It would have wrapped up the win, but minutes later it was nearly 2-1 when Asante broke free down the right and his low cross sparked a spell of pinball, which involved Jermaine Hylton’s effort being denied at point-blank range by Brown. Then Afolayan struck low from the corner of the area, but again couldn’t beat the keeper.

The Moors winger was replaced by George Carline shortly after, before Akinfenwa poked over the top after meeting Cowan-Hall’s knockdown around the penalty spot.

Dayle Southwell came on for Mackail-Smith in the 90th minute and was involved in a move which saw Bloomfield break into the box only for the ball to ricochet unkindly for a goal-kick, while Hylton raced goalwards in stoppage time but Dan Scarr’s presence put him under enough pressure to enable Brown to save comfortably.

That was that, and Wanderers will now look out for ball number 35 when the second round draw is made on Monday evening from 7pm.

Attendance: 1,545 (807 from Wycombe).

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