Date: 18th February 2009 at 2:21am
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Wycombe Wanderers got back on track with a crucial 1-0 win over Dagenham & Redbridge at Victoria Road this evening.

The Chairboys went into tonight’s game needing a boost and they surely came away satisfied. A clean sheet against the division’s top scorers and an away win over a promotion rival with your newly signed striker scoring the winning goal. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Manager Peter Taylor made two changes to the side which battled so hard against Bradford on Saturday. John Mousinho came in for the suspended Chris Zebroski and Jamie Young replaced Scott Shearer in goal.

Wycombe lined up in a 4-4-2 formation as follows:


Casement McCracken Johnson Woodman

Mousinho Holt Doherty Bloomfield

Harrold Pittman (81)

Subs: Shearer Oliver Spence Phillips Vieira (81)

There is much to admire about Dagenham’s style of play. Their success this season is based upon their attacking flair and it didn’t take long for them lay siege to the Wycombe goal.

Sam Saunders found space on the left wing after only 6 minutes and played a superb cross into the Wycombe box, only for John Nurse to glance his header wide with the goal at his mercy.

In the 8th minute Jamie Young dived to his left to turn a Ben Strevens shot out for a corner.

Two minutes later and the Chairboys failed to deal with another teasing cross, this time from the right wing, and there was Strevens to bundle the ball into the net. To the relief of the Wycombe fans behind the goal, the home crowd’s celebrations were quickly cut short when the linesman flagged for offside.

The Daggers kept up the early pressure and their lively and mobile midfielders were running the show. Dangerous crosses were flying in with regularity and it took good concentration from Wycombe’s excellent central defensive pairing of McCracken and Johnson to keep the home side at bay.

Slowly but surely Wycombe clawed their way into the game. Doherty began to impose himself in midfield, the ball was spending more time on the deck and Dagenham were becoming aware that the nippy Jon-Paul Pittman clearly posed a threat to their defence.

However, with Wycombe only managing a few half-hearted attempts at goal during the first 45 minutes and Dagenham looking far more menacing on the attack, the home side would have gone in at half time disappointed to only be on level terms.

The second half was only 4 minutes old when Jon-Paul Pittman gave Wycombe the lead with a superbly taken goal. Taking a pass from Tommy Doherty with his back to goal, Pittman turned on a sixpence to lose his markers and fired his shot low into the net. The newly signed striker was beaming as he wheeled away in delight to begin celebrating in front of the visiting supporters.

It was end-to-end stuff now and an improved Wycombe were giving as good as they got.

The next notable chances fell to Dagenham on the hour mark. Doug Loft forced a save from Jamie Young and Matt Richie’s follow-up shot was cleared off the line by Leon Johnson.

Four minutes later Gary Holt surged forward and shot, forcing a diving save from Daggers keeper Tony Roberts.

Only a minute later, Richie forced another save from Jamie Young at the other end.

Hero of the hour JP Pittman was replaced in the 81st minute by Magno Vieira. If Pittman keeps playing the way he has in his two games so far, the young striker will prove to be a great signing for the Blues.

Wycombe managed to see the game out despite some heavy pressure from Dagenham towards the end. There were five minutes of stoppage time thanks to an injury to one of the linesmen and during that spell, even keeper Roberts was joining the Daggers attack as the home side threw caution to the wind in their attempts to equalise.

The final whistle went to a great roar of delight and a little bit of relief from the travelling support.

Dagenham will feel a little hard done by that they didn’t get something from this game but you don’t always get what you deserve as we found out against Bradford on Saturday. Their fans must get a lot of excitement from watching their side play with such an attacking mentality and I hope it’s rewarded with at least a play-off spot.

Wycombe needed this victory and fought hard to get it although their performance wasn’t as good as Saturday’s against Bradford. The Chairboys started the season playing 4-5-1 with two natural wingers and took the league by storm. Now they find themselves playing 4-4-2 with no natural wingers at all and at times tonight they struggled and looked a little slow and predictable in midfield compared to their energetic and fluid hosts.

The star performers for Wycombe tonight were the same as Saturday with the addition of Jamie Young, whose agility, quick reflexes and good shot-stopping ability helped keep the clean sheet.

Special Mentions.

David McCracken & Leon Johnson

Had their work cut out tonight and didn’t put a foot wrong.

Jamie Young

Good comeback performance.

Tommy Doherty

Dragged us back into the game.

Man of the Match

Jon-Paul Pittman