Wycombe Wanderers 3 Bristol Rovers 6
A Scott Rendell hat-trick was irrelevant to the result as the Blues were knocked out of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy after being thoroughly outclassed by a Rovers’ side they did the double over last season.
The fans arrived hoping to see Wycombe improve their dismal home-form. They departed grateful to have only conceded six goals as it could easily have reached double figures with Rovers thwarted by the woodwork on three separate occasions.
Manager Gary Waddock made six changes to the side that won at Hayes & Yeading on Saturday and the Blues lined up as follows:
McCoy Bennett Johnson Foster
Strevens (Harris 65) Bloomfield Murtagh Betsy
Rendell Beavon (McClure 65)
With right-back Danny Foster playing out of position on the left, Marvin McCoy and Leon Johnson both short of match practice and Alan Bennett woefully out of form, the Wycombe back-four were vulnerable and Rovers took full advantage.
Jo Kuffour and John Akinde were too much for them to handle all game, while Wayne Brown ran riot in the first-half – firing two shots against the post and one just over the crossbar.
As early as the first-minute, Bennett dawdled on the ball at the edge of his area and was easily dispossessed by Kuffour who fired his shot wide.
Two minutes later, Wycombe’s McCoy went on a great run from inside his own half before seeing his shot deflected behind for a corner, and that was the best the Blues’ had to offer in the opening forty-five minutes.
Kuffour opened the scoring after 22 minutes with a close range header before making it two after 40 minutes when he was allowed to turn and shoot from a couple of yards out.
Rendell got one back 9 minutes after the break with a fine header, but any hopes of a comeback were dashed just a minute later when Kuffour slotted his hat-trick after outfoxing Bennett.
Wycombe’s tendency to back off instead of making a challenge allowed Rovers to cross at will throughout the game, and after 62 minutes Chris Lines took advantage of their aversion to the tackle by strolling through unchallenged to fire home the visitors’ fourth goal. It was embarrassingly easy.
Number five came from the penalty spot after Bennett brought down Kuffour and Jeff Hughes converted.
Rendell made it 5-2 after 83 minutes when he slotted home his fourth spot-kick of the season, and he grabbed his hat-trick six minutes later – heading home a Matt Bloomfield free-kick to make it 5-3.
It between the two goals, Kuffour rattled the Wycombe woodwork again.
Ben Swallow then scored Rovers’ sixth from 25 yards in stoppage time.
One positive to take from tonight’s game is Rendell’s hat-trick. He took his goals well and worked hard all night. Hopefully, it will have done his confidence the world of good.
Marvin McCoy looked good going forward and substitute Kadeem Harris impressed on the right wing.
Other than that, it was a night to forget. If we do get promoted this season, we won’t last long in League One without a new defence.
Wycombe Man of the Match – Scott Rendell