Wycombe Wanderers 0 Tranmere Rovers 2
Vital would like to thank Adam Clift for the following report.
An inspired display by Owain Fon Williams and a dominant midfield performance by Max Power ensured Wycombe’s 100% start to the league campaign came to an end with a 2-0 home defeat to Tranmere Rovers.
Ainsworth’s men didn’t reach the level of performance shown on Saturday, but were still vastly improved on many of last season`s performances, and but for Fon Williams they could have taken something from the game.
Ainsworth named the same starting line-up for the fourth game in a row, the only change to the squad being Stuart Lewis taking a place on the subs bench ahead of Junior Morias.
The visitors had the first chance of note when Marcus Holness directed a free header straight at Ingram from a Jason Koumas corner.
Fon Williams made his first contributions of the evening shortly afterwards. First he saved a low Max Kretzschmar drive before wonderfully clutching a mis-guided Michael Ihiekwe’s header out the air. This save was the pick of the bunch and he’ll do well to pull off a better one anytime soon.
Rovers were a threat themselves though, and everything flowed through the thoroughly impressive Max Power. And he was heavily involved for the opening goal of the game. It was his cross that picked out Cole Stockton and his intelligent strike beat Ingram to put Wanderers behind in the league for the first time of the season.
The goal panicked the hosts and Tranmere began to take control of the game without threatening Ingram, mainly down to the defensive strength of Aaron Pierre, and the again impressive Joe Jacobson.
Kretzschmar saw a low drive sail past the post and five minutes before the break he forced another superb save from Fon Williams who flew to his right to palm away a free-kick and ensure his side went into the interval ahead.
The Blues came out the traps fast in the second period and Fon Williams was again on hand, this time to deny Sam Wood’s fierce drive. Paul Hayes also had a golden opportunity but couldn’t get a shot away after linking up with McClure.
Wycombe were made to pay for these missed chances shortly afterwards. A couple of half challenges and clearances were punished as that man Power drilled into the bottom corner from the edge of the area to send the visiting supporters into raptures.
Matt McClure’s night was summed up shortly afterwards as he headed a Kretzschmar corner wide and was deservedly replaced by Aaron Holloway. Holloway put himself about and had a penalty claim turned down when he seemed to be heading through on goal before taking a boot to the head.
Tranmere offered little other than the goal in the second half, but stood strong at the back to round off what was a superb away performance. Holness was on hand to block a Hayes attempt before a Jacobson shot from 25 yards went narrowly wide. Fellow full-back Jombati also tried his luck from distance but could only find the back of the terrace.
Ainsworth introduced Danny Rowe and Steven Craig into the action as they replaced Kretzschmar and Cowan-Hall respectively but they couldn’t inspire a comeback.
Wycombe did almost get a late consolation, but an excellent Hayes volley from distance was once more superbly saved from Fon Williams as he plucked the ball out the air in some style.
Rovers defended resolutely and blocked brilliantly from Wood and Rowe in quick succession before Fon Williams was called into action one final time to deny Craig.
It was a slight reality check for the Blues after their opening two victories, but the performance was far from disastrous. Chances were created, but the man to take them may still be the missing link after another uninspiring performance from McClure. The players will be hoping to bounce straight back though, with the short trip to Stevenage on Saturday.
Ingram 6, Jombati 6, Mawson 6, Pierre 7, Jacobson 8, Cowan-Hall 6 (Craig 6), Kretzschmar 5 (Rowe 6), Murphy 6, Wood 6, Hayes 7, McClure 4 (Holloway 6)
Rovers burst Blues’ bubble
Wycombe Wanderers 0 Tranmere Rovers 2