Wycombe Wanderers 0-1 Accrington Stanley
Wycombe Wanderers’ 2015/16 season continues to peter out disappointingly as Gareth Ainsworth`s side went down 1-0 to Accrington Stanley in the Chairboys final home match of the season at Adams Park.
Despite shading both the possession and the territory on the day, it was the visitors that had the more dangerous attack, worked the goalkeeper more and had more to play for, which eventually told on the day.
Ainsworth handed goalkeeper Benjamin Siegrist an experimental debut and it turned into a very positive one. There was one other change to the team that lost 2-1 at Portsmouth with Garry Thompson replacing Gozie Ugwu up front.
After just three minutes Wycombe should have taken an early lead but after Aaron Pierre muscled his way in front of goal the defender could only blaze over with the goal at his mercy.
There was a scare minutes later when a long backpass to Siegrist almost spelt disaster when the goalkeeper lost his footing, but the youngster managed to adjust and volley clear while on the floor. There was then a long protest from the away side after Buxton went to ground under contact from Harriman but referee Michael Bull surprisingly waved away the appeals.
McCarthy scooped a shot narrowly over and Harriman could only fire wide, but those were the only other noteworthy efforts from the Wanderers in the opening period, apart from a couple of woeful Hayes and Thompson efforts.
Stanley weren’t seeing much of the ball, but presented a far greater goal threat than the hosts who relied on goalkeeper Siegrist to keep them in the game.
Rangers-bound Josh Windass found space to glide past a couple of challenges and see a shot beaten away by the Wycombe goalkeeper, before Reading loanee Fosu then had his goalbound shot tipped over the bar.
Windass and Halliday then had further attempts pushed to safety by Siegrist before the most clear cut opening of the half was wasted by Stanley after 36 minutes, as Fosu weighted a perfect through ball for Halliday who had made a lung busting run but could only shoot wide with the goal gaping.
The second half began with Harriman sending in a teasing cross that was just too far ahead of Thompson, before another Stanley chance went begging as Kee’s free kick was headed wide from close range by defender Ben Pearson.
Danny Rowe had held his own again in midfield and sent a rising effort well over before Wycombe nearly conjured up a moment of magic with Thompson finding Hayes who struck a fantastic effort inches over the bar.
Harriman then lost his footing at the worst possible moment, allowing Neal Etheridge to gather when it looked like Wanderers would finally break the deadlock. The goalkeeper was probably relieved to grab the ball as he had nothing else to do all afternoon. Ainsworth then introduced Ugwu in place of Thompson in an attempt to mix up the attack.
A clever dinked free kick from Hayes almost set Harriman clear but a last ditch tackle denied the midfielder before John Coleman replaced winger Piero Mingoia with Shane McCartan.
Almost immediately the deadlock was broken on 78 minutes when an excellent free kick from Windass was superbly tipped onto the post by Siegrist, but defender John Hughes was perfectly positioned to steer home the rebound and send the Stanley contingent wild.
There was almost an inevitability about the goal and Wycombe couldn’t muster a response – or even shot on target – in reply, despite the late introductions of Kretzschmar and Sellers.
In many ways this match was symptomatic of Wycombe this year; generally dependable at the back, hard working all over the pitch but lacking quality in the final third, lacking goals and lacking points. Thankfully the Chairboys still sit 10th courtesy of an impressive first half of the season, and thankfully Gareth Ainsworth knows it’s the paltry 45 goals Wycombe have scored this season that needs addressing for season 2016/17.
Ratings: Siegrist (8*), McCarthy (6), Pierre (6), Stewart (6), Jombati (7), Harriman (7) (Kretzschmar 86′), Bean (7), Rowe (7), Sellars (6) (Sellers 86′), Thompson (5) (Ugwu 72′), Hayes (6)
Single goal defeat in Wycombe`s final home game
Wycombe Wanderers 0-1 Accrington Stanley