Morecambe 0 Wycombe Wanderers 3
Vital would like to thank Soton Exile for the following report.
A breathtaking spell of 10 minutes at the end of the first half yielded three goals without return which sealed a comfortable win for Wanderers at Morecambe`s new Globe Arena on Saturday.
The game kicked off at the earlier time of 1pm due to the England international at 3pm and an impressive following of around 250 made the long trip up north to the Seaside. Matt Bloomfield was ruled out with a groin injury and replaced by Scott Donnelly, whilst Ben Strevens was unavailable through illness.
The first half-hour was a fairly even affair with few clear cut chances. Morecambe got off to the better start with Jevons being denied by Bull after a deflected header, whilst Danny Carlton had a low shot well blocked around the post by Leon Johnson. Wycombe slowly began to come into the game and the midfield finally began to push a little further upfield to test the opposition.
On 30, a raking 70 yard crossfield ball by Lewis Montrose was kept in by Gareth Ainsworth in Wycombe`s best moment to date but no one could apply the finish. However, soon after, a well worked move involving Beavon and Ainsworth saw the latter fall under a clumsy challenge from behind. The ref pointed to the spot, and although there were a few groans there was nothing too angry about the sparse home crowd`s complaints. Scott Rendell coolly slotted to Roche`s left as the keeper went the wrong way.
After the goal Wycombe immediately set about playing better football and were soon rewarded thanks to Ainsworth`s persistence. The ageing winger ran fully 40 yards to chase a through ball and after being aided by some indecisive defending he slotted accurately into the far corner past a sliding Roche.
Wycombe could sense blood and conjured up a couple of excellent team moves. The last of which saw Donnelly, McCoy, Beavon and Rendell all involved before Donnelly cut the ball back for Rendell, who in plenty of space dispatched a third into the bottom left corner.
The ten minute spell clearly shocked Morecambe and they came out a few minutes early clearly set on an improved second half performance. However it was Wycombe looking to extend the lead and they came close through Donnelly, Betsy and Ainsworth.
Wycombe were now playing swiftly on the counter attack on a 3 goal cushion and Morecambe were struggling to deal with the pace and incision of Betsy who was fouled numerous times with no bookings given. Winfield narrowly missed after a corner was arrowed in before another flowing move saw Ainsworth denied by Roche.
Morecambe competed much better in the final 20 minutes with a number of efforts, one of which saw sub Chris Shuker strike the woodwork. Bull repelled a number of efforts to keep the clean sheet in check, before McCoy cleared Andy Parrish`s header off the line.
Late substitutions saw Jon-Paul Pittman get a run out, Kieran Murtagh return in the centre midfield and a first appearance in a Wycombe shirt for youth prospect Josh Scowen, in place of Ainsworth, Donnelly and Betsy.
It turned out to be a convincing and comfortable win on the Seaside and Gary Waddock will be very pleased with the efficient performance and hope that this will be replicated in the final 8 fixtures.
The defence looked very assured as a unit today and the confidence is clearly helped when you have such a reliable shot-stopper in Bull. Donnelly and Betsy had some nice build up play and looked a genuinely constant threat, and the front two both worked like Trojans and this deserves praise. Captain fantastic Ainsworth was perhaps the pick of the bunch though as he continues to roll back the years with some excellent play whilst proving to be a vital leader at the same time.
Bull 7, McCoy 7, Johnson 6, Winfield 6, Foster 7, AINSWORTH 8 (Murtagh 5), Montrose 6, Donnelly 6 (Pittman 5), Betsy 7 (Scowen n/a), Beavon 8, Rendell 8