Fleetwood Town 0 Wycombe Wanderers 1
Vital Wycombe would like to thank regular guest writer Dale Jenkins for the following report.
An early goal by Bruno Andrade and a resilient rearguard performance secured Wycombe`s third win in a week and their first clean sheet away from home since a trip to Torquay United in April 2011.
Wanderers hadn’t kept a clean sheet anywhere in 23 games since Colchester visited Adams Park in March, but had looked far more likely to do so since Gareth Ainsworth became caretaker manager and shook up a previously unmotivated, ailing, underachieving squad. There`s no denying that every player is giving their all to try and secure Ainsworth the job on a full-time basis, and today`s magnificent result will go a long way to doing just that.
It also appears that Ainsworth may now be able to concentrate most of his efforts from the dugout, having already made a seemingly astute signing in Bruno Andrade. This is certainly the case if his fine goal today is anything to go by. On nine minutes, Andrade picked the ball up on the wing, cut inside and fired a superb low drive into the far corner past a helpless Scott Davies.
It is interesting to note that Ainsworth has picked the same back four in every League game he has overseen. Today, Danny Foster and Charles Dunne put in solid if unspectacular performances and the central defensive pairing of Gary Doherty and Leon Johnson were sensational.
The backline restricted the Fleetwood attack to speculative long range efforts in the first half, before nullifying the threat of Jon Parkin in the second period, a striker who has caused great pain for many a Wycombe supporter in the past.
In truth, this would have been a more comfortable victory if Wycombe had taken their chances. In the first period, Joel Grant fired wide after being put through perfectly by Morgan, before Andrade was inches from connecting to a dangerous Grant cross.
Jo Kuffour is doing all the right things and it’s just a shame he hasn`t got off the mark yet as he really deserves it. In the first half one effort went wide and he was later denied by a double save from Davies following great approach work by Andrade. It was telling that goalkeeper Davies was named Man of the Match for Fleetwood.
Dean Morgan was putting himself about and chasing down lost causes, and only his finishing tarnished what was a great individual performance. In the 74th minute he broke clear one-on-one but was denied by another fine Davies save.
Fleetwood enjoyed plenty of possession but struggled to create chances throughout, with only a couple of meaningful efforts on goal. Junior Brown was the most wasteful, shooting way over the bar on three occasions. Substitute Steven Gillespie crashed a wonderful effort off the bar in the closing stages and with the last touch of the game a Youl Mawene header found the side netting with the Chairboys` fans hearts in their mouths.
It was great to register a long overdue clean sheet and watch another committed performance where everyone threw their heart and soul into the match. Listening to the travelling contingent singing a rendition of Chairboys Barmy Army with Ainsworth even joining in at the end was fantastic, and if the squad keeps up the hard work, the good times might just be returning to Adams Park.
I will provide the usual individual ratings but in truth this was a team performance and everyone played their part.
It might be worth holding fire for a couple more games, but if the results and performances continue in the same vein, then the job can only be Ainsworth`s. The turnaround from the AFC Wimbledon debacle, and even since the Dagenham game, has been quite remarkable.
Ratings: Bull 7, Foster 7, Johnson 9, Doherty 9, Dunne 7, Andrade 7, Lewis 7, Scowen 8, Grant 7 (Spring 78 n/a), Morgan 8, Kuffour 7
Writer: Dale Jenkins