Date: 6th February 2010 at 7:58pm
Written by:

Wycombe Wanderers 1 Yeovil Town 4

A day which began with widespread optimism among the Wycombe faithful ended in bitter disappointment when the Chairboys gave the kind of inept performance their fans hoped they’d finally seen the back of, eventually losing 4-1 to a Yeovil side who had only managed one previous win on their travels in the past year.

Coming into this game on the back of two excellent away performances and with three players making their Adams Park debut, the stage was set for Wycombe to show their fans that the fight for survival was well and truly on.

Sadly all they proved today was that manager Gary Waddock will need to utilise the loan-market quickly to strengthen in certain key defensive positions if his side are to have any chance of avoiding the drop.

The signing of Adam Hinshelwood in early January helped shore up the Wycombe defence, but in truth, it was just papering over the cracks and as soon as he went off injured today, the whole house of cards collapsed.

Club Secretary Keith Allen said in his programme notes today, that the comings and goings in January had given Wycombe a net gain of five players without increasing the wage bill. That fact coupled with the failed last-minute bids for Scott Donnelly and Marvin Morgan should mean that funds are still available within Waddock’s budget.

If so, a goalkeeper and another central defender should be his first priority on Monday morning and if there’s any budget left after that, a goalscorer wouldn’t come amiss.

Wycombe actually started well and created the first opening of the match when some fine work by Josh Payne on the left flank led to teasing cross which Matt Harrold couldn’t quite convert.

The rot first started when Yeovil opened the scoring after 15 minutes and the home side immediately appeared to wilt, looking listless and unrecognisable from the team that played so well last week.

The goal itself was similar to Bristol Rovers’ second last Saturday. Woeful defending in the box allowed a Yeovil player to wriggle free and lay the ball back to the unmarked Dean Bowditch who side-footed it high into the top corner of the net before keeper Scott Shearer moved a muscle.

It would have been two if Yeovil’s Andy Welsh hadn’t somehow missed a sitter on the half-hour mark after a Bowditch cross found him in front of an open goal with Wycombe’s defence nowhere to be seen.

Almost immediately afterwards, great work from Kevin Betsy saw him chase a lost cause down the right flank and take Yeovil keeper Alex McCarthy out of the game before firing in a superb low cross which Harrold could only prod past the near post, albeit under pressure from a Yeovil defender.

Only five minutes into the second half Wycombe were level when Harrold’s fine header from a Dean Keates free kick was enough to beat McCarthy.

Any hope of this being the boost Wycombe needed to wake themselves up and go on to win the game was soon dispelled when Hinshelwood went off injured a minute later to be replaced by Luke Oliver.

Oliver and Westwood were now reunited in central defence for the first time since Wycombe were hammered 5-2 by Brighton in December. They were also the partnership that conceded 4 goals to the Glovers on Boxing Day and you could almost sense the Yeovil forward line perk up when they saw today’s substitution.

Fifteen minutes later, Wycombe were 4-1 down.

Yeovil’s second goal came about when Tomlin and McDonald ran rings round the Wycombe defence before setting up Bowditch whose shot was parried by Shearer straight to the feet of Welsh who tapped it home.

The Glovers third goal was from a free kick. It was awarded when Oliver realised he was beaten for pace by a goal-bound Owain Tudor Jones and cynically brought him down twenty yards out. Last week’s long distance free kick beat Shearer by going over the wall, this week it beat him by going round it.

The Yeovil attack were having a field day now. All they had to do was sit on the shoulder of the last defender and wait for a long ball to chase knowing they would always outpace their opposite number. Their fourth and thankfully final goal was scored by Bowditch who found himself in a race with Oliver, and after winning it, casually knocked the ball past Shearer as if he wasn’t there.

Wycombe went through the motions of a fightback, but no one really believed they would succeed. Jon-Paul Pittman had earlier replaced Stuart Beavon and his pace seemed to trouble the Yeovil defence, but it was all too little too late.

It was a disastrous day for a Wycombe side who many had felt were beginning to show real signs of improvement.

All the new boys will be disappointed in their performances. Dean Keates looked lightweight and was easily knocked off the ball, Josh Payne started well but faded badly and Alex Revell made Matt Harrold look like Pele.

Shearer, Betsy, Hinshelwood (Oliver), Westwood, Woodman, Payne, Keates, Mousinho, Beavon (Pittman), Revell, Harrold.

Man Of The Match

Matt Harrold