Wycombe Wanderers 4 York City 0
The Chairboys cruised to their biggest win of the season with two first-half goals from Dean Morgan and one each for Joel Grant and Dave Winfield after the break.
It’s a result that takes Wycombe into the top half of the table for the first time since August 24th.
The form team in League Two, Gareth Ainsworth’s side have won nine of their last thirteen games and kept seven clean sheets during the same period.
Today’s clean sheet was the third in a row for keeper Jordan Archer (19) and defenders Michael Harriman (20), Dave Winfield (24), Anthony Stewart (20) and Charles Dunne (19) – Average age 20.4.
In fact, Wycombe’s starting eleven this afternoon had an average age of just 22.4 with Dean Morgan the veteran at 29 and Sam Wood the next oldest at 26.
The Blues are now only five points below the play-offs and eight points below the final automatic promotion place currently occupied by Burton Albion who have played two games more.
Ainsworth’s men have at least one game in hand over six of the ten teams currently above them in the table.
Yes, it’s all going unbelievably well, and if you’re one of the thousand or so fans missing from Adams Park this season, my advice would be to get back down there and witness what has been a remarkable transformation from the horrors of early season.
The Blues are a joy to watch right now. Even at 4-0 up this afternoon their work rate didn’t drop, with the likes of Sam Wood, Stuart Lewis and Josh Scowen continuing to snap at the Minstermen’s heels.
The team spirit is almost tangible but there’s a certain panache too. The Dean Morgans and Joel Grants of this world can be frustrating at times, but then they reward your patience with snippets of skill and solo goals of a quality not normally found in division four.
So that’s the Wycombe recipe, 100% effort, a great team spirit, a sprinkling of flair, and a manager who inspires his players and appears to be getting his tactics just right.
Following Monday’s epic win at title-chasing Gillingham, there was always a danger that today would be an anti-climax but when Morgan darted into the box and was brought down after just two minutes, the Blues made the perfect start.
Morgan took the spot-kick himself, lashing the ball into the net, high and to the keeper’s left.
A couple of early attacks from York were snuffed out by Dunne and Harriman before they came close enough to trouble Archer in the Wycombe goal.
Grant fired a shot wide for the Blues before causing panic in the York defence with a tantalising cross that led to a goalmouth scramble and Sam Wood almost doubling the home side’s lead.
In a decent spell for the visitors, Jason Walker put a header past the post and Matty Blair fired a shot high and wide from a difficult angle.
Wycombe regained control and finished the first-half strongly with Grant heading a Harriman cross wide and Morgan breaking clear and forcing a fine save from York keeper Michael Ingham.
Another teasing cross from Grant was just missed by McClure with Lewis firing the loose ball goalwards only to see his shot blocked by York captain Chris Smith.
The resulting corner saw Anthony Stewart rise above everyone but his powerful header was always off target.
With 45 minutes on the clock Grant made a run into the York penalty area and went to ground under a challenge from Jamal Fyfield. The linesman immediately flagged for a penalty and Morgan gleefully lashed it home to double the Chairboys’ lead.
York came out strongly in the second half and Daniel Parslow headed an early corner wide of the target.
The next notable action was a wonder goal from Grant who finally put the game out of the Minstermen’s reach after 59 minutes.
Collecting the ball a long way out, the winger drifted goalwards, ghosting past several defenders before delightfully planting it beyond Ingham and into the back of the net.
If they didn’t know it already, York realised it wasn’t their day when Walker missed an absolute sitter a few moment later, smashing Alex Rodman’s pinpoint cross over the bar with the goal at his mercy.
Wycombe substitute Bruno Andrade made an early impression with a superb run and cross that flashed across the face of goal, Morgan and Wood tangling as they tried in vain to apply the finishing touch.
You could sense that the Blues had another goal in them, and from the resulting corner Dave Winfield crashed a powerful header against the crossbar and the ball was scrambled behind by the Minstermen.
Another corner then, and before the big centre-half had a chance to reflect on his misfortune, he was planting this one firmly into the back of the net to give his side a 4-0 lead after 78 minutes and a comfortable victory on the day
Seriously, if you were put off by last season’s fare or the pitiful start to the current campaign, come back. You won’t regret it, it’s your club, and it needs you.
Line-up & ratings
Archer (7), Harriman (8*), Stewart (7), Winfield (8), Dunne (7), Grant (7) (Andrade 63 (6)), Lewis (7), Scowen (7), Wood (7), Morgan (7) (Kuffour 77 (6)), McClure (7) (Ainsworth 80 (n/a))
The Wycombe express thunders through York
Wycombe Wanderers 4 York City 0