Morecambe 0 Wycombe Wanderers 1
Vital would like to thank guest writer Dale Jenkins for the following report.
A 55th minute drive from midfielder Stuart Lewis earned Wanderers a narrow 1-0 win this afternoon at a blustery Globe Arena.
Gareth Ainsworth shored up the midfield following Friday`s defeat to Accrington by returning Matt Spring to the line up in place of the hamstrung Matt McClure. The other changes saw Winfield and Dunne replace Johnson and McCoy, who both disappointed when given a chance to prove their worth by Ainsworth against Stanley.
The five man midfield worked a treat as Wycombe restricted Morecambe to aimless long balls and regular punting to the anonymous Jordan Burrow and the diminutive Jack Redshaw. Wycombe`s game was again besotted with aerial clearances, but with more midfield runners providing support to the improved Jo Kuffour, a different type of threat was evident today.
On 12 minutes Kuffour did well to battle past a defender whilst being fouled and cut the ball across to Lewis on the edge of the box but his drive was beaten away by Arestidou. Ten minutes later Spring also found space but his shot was weak and straight at the keeper. Kuffour was inches from giving the visitors the lead on the half hour mark, but his strike across goal was cleared off the line by Robbie Threlfall. The final chance of the half again fell to Kuffour but he failed to anticipate Spring`s excellent free kick and the ball hit him before deflecting just wide.
Having failed to threaten for the opening period, Morecambe created their first chance on 47 minutes as Ryan Williams` swerving drive struck the post and Ingram did superbly to recover and tip Burrow`s rebound header onto and over the bar. Wycombe were still shading proceedings though, and took the lead when Spring`s free kick was headed across the box by Doherty. Kuffour then missed his kick but Lewis strode in to seize the day and blast the ball in the corner to the delight of a noisy 158 Wycombe supporters in a sparse home crowd of 1702.
Wycombe came close to doubling their lead; Grant shooting straight at the home keeper before the winger`s tantalising cross was headed behind by Andrew Wright with Sam Wood lurking at the far post.
Morecambe failed to seriously test Ingram as the time ticked on, with many of their launched crosses and passes over-hit in a strong wind that carried the ball beyond attackers and out of play.
Wycombe now sit in 15th place with 52 points from 40 games and will hope to secure safety at local rivals Oxford on Saturday. Credit must be given to Gareth Ainsworth for using a plan B to good effect today, and more or less securing the Chairboys place in the football league after the early season struggles.
Ratings: Ingram 7, Harriman 6, Doherty 8, Winfield 8, Dunne 7, Grant 6, Scowen 7, Lewis 8, Spring 8*, Wood 6, Kuffour 7