Date: 14th April 2017 at 7:57pm
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Wycombe Wanderers 0 Mansfield Town 1

The Chairboys dropped into the bottom half of the table after failing to win at home for the seventh time in a row.

Billed as a must-win match against play-off chasing rivals, it failed to live up to expectations, with Wanderers’ first shot on target not arriving until the 74th minute.

The Stags were less than impressive themselves, but leapfrog the Blues courtesy of a scrappy goal from Krystian Pearce after only 13 minutes.

Gareth Ainsworth made five changes to his starting line-up, with Sido Jombati, Marcus Bean, Luke O’Nien, Adebayo Akinfenwa, and Scott Kashket all returning to the side.

Dominic Gape and last week’s man of the match Nick Freeman dropped to the bench, while Will De Havilland, Sam Wood and Dayle Southwell were left out of the squad altogether.

After last week’s six-goal thriller with wingers, the soul-sapping formation was back, with Bean, O`Nien and Bloomfield in a combative but narrow three man midfield.

The first-half was an evenly matched affair but the visitors created the better chances, their first arriving after only two minutes when Danny Rose stung Jamal Blackman’s palms with a fierce shot from 20 yards.

The opening goal was the next action of note, Pearce heading Joe Byrom’s free kick against the post and reacting quicker than anyone else to nod home the rebound.

Michael Harriman fired a free kick over the bar for the hosts, and was soon in action at the other end making a last-gasp tackle to deny Alfie Potter.

Another Stags breakaway saw Potter thwarted again when Aaron Pierre saved the day with a spectacular goal-line clearance.

Wanderers best effort of the half came from Akinfenwa who controlled the ball beautifully before firing a dipping volley inches over the Mansfield crossbar.

The second-half was almost all Wycombe, but without the creativity required to turn possession into goals.

Akinfenwa was the main threat. He had a back-post header deflected for a corner, another saved at point blank range after 80 minutes, and a third turned round the post by the impressive Jake Kean with just two minutes remaining.

The only other efforts of note were a Jacobson free kick, saved by Kean, and a shot from Kashket which was heading for the net until a Stags defender deflected it wide.

It was a poor game played in a strangely muted atmosphere given what was supposed to be at stake.

Ainsworth didn’t make any changes until the 76th minute, when Freeman replaced Bloomfield and gave another impressive cameo.

The late introduction of Weston and Jakubiac made little difference, the Watford loanee blotting his copybook with a less than brave attempt to convert a late chance.

The defeat leaves Wycombe 4 points adrift of the play-offs with six teams to overtake and only four games to play.

Man of the Match – Sido Jombati

Line-up & ratings
Blackman (6), Harriman (6), Jombati (8), Pierre (7), Jacobson (6), Bean (6), O`Nien (6), Bloomfield (5), Thompson (6), Akinfenwa (7), Kashket (6)