Oldham Athletic 2 Wycombe Wanderers 0
Vital Wycombe would like to thank guest writer Adam Clift for the following report.
An inept Wycombe performance was duly punished as goals from James Wesolowski and Dean Furman gave Oldham a comfortable 2-0 victory.
The Blues fielded the same eleven that played so well to claim a 3-1 victory at Hartlepool yet their performance today never matched that of last week. The hosts were without ex Wycombe loanee Rueben Reid who had a thigh strain but started with journeyman striker Shefki Kuqi.
Wycombe never got a foothold in the game and it was Oldham who always looked the more likely of the two sides.
Despite never seriously threatening the Wycombe goal in the first half, efforts from Chris Taylor and Robbie Simpson narrowly missed the target, while the occasional corner or cross into the box that Wycombe managed to make were easily cleared by Oldham`s man mountain at the back Jean Yves Mvoto.
The game was proving to be quite a physical affair with both Martin Rowlands and Dave Winfield picking up bookings for mistimed sliding tackles yet Oldham players throwing in similar challenges seemed to avoid a booking from an incredibly fussy and dodgy referee.
One major decision the referee did miss was in Wycombe`s favour as he failed to spot Grant Basey hauling Shefki Kuqi down at the back post much to the disgruntlement of the home fans who were denied a clear penalty.
Despite this setback it was Oldham who continued to create half chances with Nikki Bull having to save from Chris Taylor, while Martin Rowlands and Danny Foster made blocks. Oldham had their clearest chance of the half late on when Grant Basey knocked the ball across his own 6 yard box straight to Simpson forcing Bull into a fine save.
The half-time whistle came as a relief to the away fans as Wycombe were easily second best in what had been a drab opening forty-five minutes.
Any hope that the half-time interval would spark a Wycombe revival was soon dampened as the second half began as the first half had finished. Donnelly and Winfield were forced into blocks and Bull saved again from Mvoto.
It was on 58 minutes that the deserved breakthrough came. Danny Foster was wrong footed on the wing by Chris Taylor and his cross was turned in by James Wesolowski.
This sparked some urgency into Wycombe`s game but crosses into the box weren`t creating chances and Oldham keeper Alex Cisak barely had to touch the ball. A double substitution which saw Kadeem Harris and Joel Grant come on for Gareth Ainsworth and Scott Donnelly provided an injection of pace but whenever Harris beat his man and sent in a cross there was nobody there to meet it.
15 year old Jordan Ibe came on for his second league appearance as a replacement for the injured Rowlands after 73 minutes and moments later fellow youngster Harris had his name taken by referee David Webb for a tackle similar to those made by Rowlands and Winfield in the first half.
Dave Winfield then had to make a goal line clearance after Jordan Ibe was dispossessed despite what seemed like a clear foul on him. Robbie Simpson ran through and beat Bull but Winfield was there to clear head his effort away.
Despite the odd save Nikki Bull wasn`t having his best afternoon in a Wycombe shirt with some very suspicious looking kicking. As another ball was laid back to him he mis-kicked his clearance so badly that the ball spun behind for a corner. Wycombe left four forward in a bid to catch their opponents on the break but nobody who was back picked out Dean Furman on the edge of the area.
The corner was duly laid back to Furman who was waiting to drill the ball home and secure the three points for the hosts.
Wycombe continued to attack without any real danger and when Joel Grant found himself in acres of room he tried squaring the ball to nobody when shooting would`ve been a lot easier. It was a moment that summed up an incredibly disappointing afternoon for Wycombe.
The full-time whistle prompted a few unnecessary boos from sections of the away end as well as chants from fans calling for the return of Kevin Betsy who yet again failed to make the squad.
But there was no getting away from the fact that the performance wasn`t good enough and the fans’ frustration stemmed from the fact that the same eleven players had proved last week what they`re capable of.
Things don`t get any easier for Wycombe though as they face a home tie against table toppers Charlton on Tuesday before games against 3rd and 4th place Sheffield Wednesday and Notts County.
Nikki Bull – 4
Danny Foster – 5
Dave Winfield – 5
Leon Johnson – 5
Grant Basey – 4
Gareth Ainsworth – 3
Martin Rowlands – 4
Stuart Lewis – 4
Scott Donnelly – 4
Stuart Beavon – 6
Ben Strevens – 5
Writer: Adam Clift