Wycombe Wanderers 1 Sheffield Wednesday 2
It was the same old story at Adams Park this afternoon, plenty of effort, but no points.
Some disappointing defending helped the Owls to condemn Wycombe to their tenth league defeat of the season, but even without the generosity of the Blues’ back four, the visitors did enough to deserve their victory on the balance of play.
As they watched their side lose a third consecutive game, the Wycombe fans were at least treated to the sight of two home-grown starlets mixing it with the big boys and doing more than enough to justify their selection.
When the teams were first read out, the bewilderment at James Tunnicliffe replacing Leon Johnson, was at least offset by the news that 15 year-old Jordan Ibe was about to make his first start in a league game.
The Blues’ exciting 18 year-old winger Kadeem Harris kept his place in the side, veteran Gareth Ainsworth returned at the expense of Joel Grant and Martin Rowlands replaced Matt Bloomfield as manager Gary Waddock elected to persist with a 4-4-2 formation.
The Owls flew out of the traps and laid siege to the Wycombe goal for the first five minutes albeit without managing to trouble keeper Nikki Bull.
The Blues eventually calmed things down but it was Wednesday who came close to opening the scoring after 14 minutes when a full-strech Bull turned Chris Lines’ goalbound shot round the post for a corner.
Wycombe’s first effort came three minutes later when Ainsworth volleyed a crossfield ball straight at Owls’ keeper Stephen Bywater.
Bull then parried a shot from Ryan Lowe, but the former Bury striker was to prove a thorn in Wycombe’s side when he created the Owls’ first goal and later scored their second.
A neat interchange of passes on the left bamboozled the Blues’ defence and allowed Lowe a sight of goal after 23 minutes. His first effort was blocked, but his second struck the post and rebounded into the danger area where Jose Semedo reacted first to slot the ball home.
The Owls very nearly made it two just moments later when a cross from the left caused chaos in the Blues’ penalty area and a shot from Chris O’Grady was deflected narrowly wide.
A few moments later Wednesday’s James O’Connor fired a rasping shot over the bar, but the Blues were about to level things up in spectacular fashion.
Collecting the ball thirty yards out, Ibe powered his way into the Owls’ penalty area before unleashing an explosive shot into the top right hand corner of the net.
Running seventy yards to celebrate with his family at the side of the pitch, as you might expect a 15 year-old to do when he’s just scored his first league goal in front of 2,000 Sheffield Wednesday fans, Ibe was booked for his trouble by referee Chris Sarginson.
Sadly for the Blues, the euphoria was short lived, and having hauled themselves level, they tossed it away just five minutes later when Lowe nodded home Semedo’s cross having been left totally unmarked in acres of space on the left side of the penalty area.
Stuart Beavon had Wycombe’s third and final shot on target after 39 minutes but Bywater was equal to it at the near post.
The Owls had a goal disallowed for offside early in the second half when Bull fluffed a cross and was stranded as Marshall chipped the ball back into the danger area where O’Grady nodded it home.
O’Grady then fired one narrowly wide, and Marshall crashed a free kick against the crossbar as Wednesday continued to dominate in front of goal.
Beavon ran fifty yards before setting Ibe up for a shot that sailed over the crossbar, but that was it for Wycombe, who lost any hope of getting something from the game when Ainsworth was given his marching orders for a needless second yellow card after 72 minutes.
Joel Grant came on for Danny Foster as the Blues changed to three at the back in an attempt to salvage a point, but they were unable to create anything of note and yet again it was the away fans who were celebrating when the final whistle sounded.
Wycombe line-up & ratings
Bull (5), Foster (4) (Grant 80 (4)), Winfield (5), Tunnicliffe (4), Basey (5), Harris (7), Lewis (7), Rowlands (7), Ainsworth (5), Beavon (7), Ibe (6).
Ibe’s super-strike can’t stop the Owls
Wycombe Wanderers 1 Sheffield Wednesday 2