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Match Reports

Report: Wycombe 0-4 Accrington

League leaders run riot.

21 April 2018

League leaders Accrington Stanley moved to within a whisker of the League Two title with a stunning 4-0 win at Wycombe, who remain third with two games to go.

Kayden Jackson tapped home the opener before Scott Brown volleyed home an exquisite second before the break, and Sean McConville and Offrande Zanzala's penalty wrapped up the victory after the interval.

Gareth Ainsworth was forced to do without Luke O’Nien and Adebayo Akinfenwa through illness and injury respectively, but Dominic Gape returned in midfield as Scott Kashket and Paris Cowan-Hall came into the attack.

A fast start saw Billy Kee shoot at goal straight from the kick-off, though his effort sailed high and wide, before Nathan Tyson met along ball and lofted it narrowly wide from 25 yards with the keeper stranded after changing his mind about whether or not to attack it.

Wycombe kept up the tempo and carved out an excellent chance when Dominic Gape won back possession and fed Tyson, who skipped past his man down the left and delivered a cross which was met by the head of the diving Paris Cowan-Hall, only for the keeper to divert it onto the post.

But the breakthrough was made at the other end, and it was Kayden Jackson who was left with the simplest of finishes when he prodded a through-ball out of the hands of Brown and tapped into an empty net, with the Blues keeper claiming he was in possession of the ball with both hands.

In the absence of Akinfenwa up front, Wanderers were opting for a more patient, passing approach, though Stanley stood firm to deny further opportunities, and looked to play on the counter-attack, with Jacobson doing well to deny Jordan Clark a shooting chance after a dangerous spell at the other end was cleared.

And then the second goal came. The lively Jackson did excellently down the right to deliver a low ball and although Marcus Bean got a boot to it to half-clear it to the edge of the box, Stanley’s Scott Brown volleyed it impeccably into the top corner to double the lead.

It could’ve got worse when a cross from the right sailed onto the top of the crossbar on 36 minutes, and Sean McConville fired straight at Brown from distance.

Dominic Gape was substituted on 40 minutes, having perhaps not fully recovered from the virus that had sidelined him in midweek, as Randell Williams’ introduction prompted a switch to a 4-4-2 formation.

Wycombe’s continued efforts in attack earned plenty of first-half corners, though Accrington were well-equipped to deal with the threat, though they were lucky to survive a penalty shout when referee Darren Drysdale adjudged that a handball took place just outside the box from Adam El-Abd’s cross.

Then Matt Bloomfield was tripped just outside the area but referee Drysdale waved the appeals away, to the disbelief of all inside Adams Park, as the half ended with the Chairboys being handed a huge uphill struggle.

Gareth Ainsworth swapped Scott Kashket for Craig Mackail-Smith at the interval, and there were promising signs when Adam El-Abd lost his man to meet Joe Jacobson’s dangerous free-kick, butt he centre-back’s header flew over the bar.

But for the most part, the game was stagnated which suited the visitors, with neither keeper being troubled. Paris Cowan-Hall collected a yellow for a foul, before the points were wrapped up on 67 minutes when the ball was squeezed through to Sean McConville inside the box, and he kept his cool to slot it home past Brown.

There was signs of battling qualities from a Chairboys side that had recovered from the dead on a number of occasions previously in the season, but Stanley will be champions for a reason, standing firm, winning key headers and displaying the hunger to cling on to their clean sheet.

Nick Freeman replaced Cowan-Hall with 13 minutes remaining, before Stanley made a rare substitution, giving Offrande Zanzala an opportunity in attack in place of Billy Kee.

Freeman had a low shot at goal which was collected by Chapman, before Stanley made two further changes as the clock hit 90. They earned a penalty with virtually the last kick as McGinley tugged back Zanzala in the box, and the striker himself stepped up to make it 4-0, sending Brown the wrong way.

Exeter’s draw with Crawley means the Chairboys stay third, and require two wins from two games to guarantee promotion.

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