Torquay United 1 Wycombe Wanderers 2
The Chairboys ended a run of three consecutive defeats by coming from behind to beat the Gulls, who have now lost seven games in a row.
Manager Gareth Ainsworth made two changes to the side that lost to Southend on Saturday, Josh Scowen and Bruno Andrade replacing Matt Spring and Anthony Stewart who both dropped to the bench.
Stewart’s absence saw Charles Dunne move to central defence and Sam Wood to left-back. Joel Grant swapped sides to play on the left-wing and Andrade replaced him on the right.
Wycombe set about the Gulls straight from the kick-off and completely dominated the opening 25 minutes.
The home side’s lack of confidence was there for all to see, but when the Blues failed to make their constant pressure count, the Gulls gradually came out of their shell and were rewarded with the opening goal and a half-time lead that beggared belief.
Their confidence duly boosted, Torquay gave as good as they got in the early stages of the second half, and with their lead still intact with only 15 minutes to go, most Wycombe fans would have snatched your hand off for a draw.
What they got was even better. Rejuvenated by the introduction of 39 year-old Ainsworth, the Blues found their second wind, and goals from Wood and McClure gave the Bucks contingent at Plainmoor a victory they fully deserved.
As far as the action is concerned, during the opening onslaught, Wood and Andrade had decent efforts on goal but the cream of the crop were Josh Scowen’s scorcher that was brilliantly saved by Michael Poke, and McClure’s header that crashed against the outside of the post with the Gulls’ keeper beaten.
A jinking run from Dean Morgan ended with a tantalising ball across the face of goal that no-one was able to convert, but with the chances coming thick and fast, it seemed like only a matter of time until the Gulls cracked.
The Home side were awarded their first corner after 20 minutes and not long afterwards their first effort on goal came from Billy Bodin who was their biggest threat throughout.
Indeed it was Bodin who created the Gulls’ opening goal after 36 minutes, weaving his way into the box before laying the ball back for Ryan Jarvis to side-foot it high into the net.
Andrade responded with a daisy-cutter that Poke saved with his feet, but Torquay came even closer with a Bodin free-kick that Archer did well to tip over the bar.
When the teams trooped off at half-time with Wycombe having dominated but Torquay ahead, it looked like it might be another one of those days.
Five minutes into second half, Joel Grant was injured and replaced by Ainsworth, but the Gulls had the next two opportunities, with Rene Howe heading wide and Elliot Benyon having a shot blocked at the near post.
With an hour gone, Andrade went off injured to be replaced by Stewart, with Dunne moving to left-back and Wood to his familiar left-wing position.
Both substitutions had a positive impact.
Morgan was having a particularly good game anyway, but when he linked up with Ainsworth on Wycombe’s right flank, good things began to happen.
One of Morgan’s crosses saw McClure toe-poke the ball past the post, and Wood sent a peach of a pass across the face of the goal but again no-one could apply a finishing touch.
At the other end Dave Winfield made a superb block to deny that man Bodin.
Wycombe’s endeavours were finally rewarded after 76 minutes when Morgan created the equalising goal with a darting run and cross that saw an initial shot blocked before Wood pounced on the rebound and fired the ball home.
Morgan was also involved in the winning goal, dinking a delightful pass into the path of Ainsworth who rolled an inviting ball into the heart of the Gulls’ box where McClure collected it, turned, and rifled it past Poke.
Scowen nearly made it 3-1 with a fine run and rasping shot that Poke saved with his feet, while at the other end Wycombe comfortably saw out the game to record a welcome and well deserved victory.
That’s 34 games now. The first 17 yielded just 13 points and left Wycombe at the bottom of the league. The second 17 games have yielded a remarkable 32 points which gives the Blues a total of 45 points and 12th place in the table as things stand tonight.
Vital Man of the Match – Dean Morgan
Line-up & ratings
Archer (7), Harriman (7), Winfield (7), Dunne (7), Wood (7), Grant (6) (Ainsworth 50 (8)), Scowen (8), Lewis (8), Andrade (6) (Stewart 59 (6)), McClure (7), Morgan (8*)
Blues come from behind to shoot down Gulls
Torquay United 1 Wycombe Wanderers 2