Wycombe Wanderers 1 Cheltenham Town 3
More bad news from the temple of gloom.
Seven defeats in eight league games and turfed out of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy by a lower division outfit – It really is no fun being a Wycombe fan at the moment.
The only positive to come out of tonight’s game was the performance of 15 year-old Jordan Ibe who put most of his professional colleagues to shame.
There was the usual fighting talk before the game, but yet again the Blues failed to deliver and it was all too easy for the Robins who probably deserved to win by an even greater margin.
The Blues did start brightly and twice in the opening ten minutes Kevin Betsy and Kadeem Harris combined to create a goalscoring opportunity.
Harris was the provider on both occasions. Firstly crossing to the far post where Betsy’s close range header was brilliantly saved by Scott Brown, and secondly rounding-off a mazy run with a superb through ball that Betsy fired wide when it seemed easier to score.
Slowly but surely the Robins grew in confidence and they took the lead after 36 minutes when substitute Darryl Duffy volleyed the ball past Nikki Bull with his first touch of the game.
Five minutes after the break, Brian Smikle gleefully waltzed through the Wycombe defence to make it 2-0.
Blues’ boss Gary Waddock immediately responded with three substitutions. It was no surprise to see the woefully ineffective ‘strikeforce’ of Rendell and Benyon hauled off in favour of Strevens and Ibe, but Matt Bloomfield replacing Stuart Lewis and not Ben Harding was harder to fathom.
Ibe’s introduction was a real tonic. Almost immediately the youngster dribbled past a trio of defenders before lashing a shot over the crossbar, and after 62 minutes he created Wycombe’s only goal of the game, combining well with Betsy who fired the ball home in style.
Suddenly it looked like the Blues might salvage something from the game. Strevens had a header brilliantly saved and Ibe fired another shot over the bar, but the threat was short-lived and Cheltenham sealed their victory after 75 minutes when Harding was dispossessed and Duffy broke clear to score a third despite Bull’s best efforts to thwart him.
Only a couple of excellent saves from Bull and some wayward shooting from the Robins kept the score respectable as the Blues defensive shortcomings were again brutally exposed.
All in all, it was another sorry performance.
Wycombe line-up & ratings
Bull (6), McCoy (5), Tunnicliffe (5), Johnson (6), Foster (5), Harris (6), Lewis (6) (Bloomfield 55 (5)), Harding (5), Betsy (6), Rendell (4) (Strevens 55 (5)), Benyon (4) (Ibe 55 (6)).