Wycombe Wanderers let slip a first half lead to lose 3-2 to Yeovil Town at Adams Park on Tuesday evening. Manager Gary Waddock made two changes to the side that had lost at Sheffield United last time out with winger Gareth Ainsworth making a speedy recovery from a knee injury and winger Anthony McNamee given his first start since signing a permanent deal. Danny Foster and Ben Strevens dropped to the bench.
Both sides were looking to climb clear of the relegation zone and it was the visitors who started the better but were unable to test goalkeeper Nikki Bull despite pumping a number of balls into the box.
The hosts were nearly gifted an opener after 13 minutes when Matty Whichelow`s cross was almost turned into his own by defender Nathan Jones. Goalkeeper Sam Walker scrambled desperately to claw the ball out with appeals that it had crossed the line falling on death ears.
Ninety seconds later the Wanderers took the lead against the run of play. Whichelow took advantage of a mistake from defender Luke Ayling and showed a cool head to lay the ball into the path of Stuart Beavon who fired clinically into the bottom corner from just inside the box.
The remainder of the first half followed a distinct pattern. Yeovil enjoyed most of the possession whilst the hosts piled men behind the ball. Both Gavin and Andy Williams sent efforts off-target as they struggled to find an opening. The home fans had to endure a series of aimless clearances up-field with Whichelow and Beavon given the thankless task of chasing numerous lost causes.
Nevertheless the ends justified the means as half-time arrived with the lead intact. Yeovil did find the net a minute before the break when Bull came racing off his line and flapped at a Gavin Williams` free-kick. Defender Bondz N`Gala played the ball back across goal for Lawson D`Ath to tap home but the goal was ruled-out for offside.
The visitors came out after the break and soon began to dominate possession again. Bull was fortunate that no Yeovil player was nearby when he patted out Gavin Williams` snapshot but he was beaten on 58 minutes when the home defence was found wanting from a simple throw-in. Striker Jonathan Obika was able to side-step a half-hearted challenge to shoot low and Bull could only parry the ball out to Andy Williams who tapped home to make it 1-1.
Obika should have given his side the lead shortly afterwards but despite being left completely unmarked just six yards from goal he sent his header high over the bar. It proved to be a temporary reprieve for Wycombe. Midfielder James Harper conceded possession on the half-way line and Dean Parrett slipped Andy Williams through and he slotted low past Bull with Obika providing a crucial distraction.
Obika almost scored himself soon after, his volley whistling just wide, but it wasn`t long before the Glovers made it 3-1. Dave Winfield`s clumsy foul on Ed Upson earned him a booking and from the resulting free-kick he found substitute Kieran Agard who was again left completely unmarked to head past a helpless Bull from eight yards.
Waddock responded with a triple substitution, and one of those thrown on reduced the deficit with just over ten minutes remaining. Joel Grant received a fine slide-rule pass from midfielder Matt Bloomfield and shot low across Walker and inside the far post. The home side huffed and puffed in search of an equaliser but it never looked like coming despite five minutes of injury-time.
Referee Trevor Kettle`s whistle ended the home fans’ misery. They had endured yet another gutless, clueless, hopeless and pointless performance. This season has lurched from one nadir to another. Whilst the Yeovil players and supporters celebrated a crucial victory, the Wycombe players and supporters sloped away into the cold February night.
Man of the Match: Andy Williams – Yeovil Town