Bury 1-0 Wycombe Wanderers
A single Anton Forrester goal piled more misery on Wycombe Wanderers this afternoon as their slide towards the drop zone continued apace.
Gareth Ainsworth named an unchanged team from the side that lost 1-0 to Portsmouth at Adams Park on Tuesday, with Paris Cowan-Hall only fit enough to return on the bench.
David Flitcroft seems to have instilled a footballing mentality into his new club, and the main feature of today’s game was that the hosts looked controlled and composed on the ball, whilst Wycombe`s play was hurried, often aimless and lacked a clear plan.
Despite this pattern, openings were at a premium until Stuart Lewis fired the first shot in anger straight at Brian Jensen after 12 minutes.
Sam Wood then had a shot blocked after Bury loosely gave the ball away on the edge of their own area.
On the half hour mark, a free kick was won in a handy position on the edge of the box by Scowen, but McClure disappointingly struck it straight into the wall, and Scowen blasted the rebound over.
The hosts took the lead in the 34th minute when Jensen’s long clearance only required a couple of touches before finding Forrester on the right hand side of the penalty area. Stuart Lewis got the wrong side of the forward, who confidently struck the ball across Ingram into the bottom corner.
Wycombe looked to respond and carved out a couple more opportunities before half time. Styche cut back a deep cross from the by-line which Scowen could only hammer wide when using his left foot may have been a better option. Arnold then saw a shot tipped over by Jensen, before excellent work from Styche saw Wycombe gain another free kick right on the edge of the area, but again it was hit into the wall.
As the second half started Bury did not look particularly troubled and had the first shot in anger with Grimes finding the side netting on 53 minutes. Leon Johnson then went off injured, replaced by Anthony Stewart.
A worrying twenty minute period followed where Bury monopolised the majority of possession and territory, seeing a number of half chances pass by, with Wycombe failing to grasp a hold of the ball despite being a goal behind. There were sloppy mistakes, misplaced passes and aimless hoofing but no serious chances being created. Players were pressing the ball as individuals instead of as a unit, and Bury played themselves out of any potentially dangerous situations with relative ease. Wood and Mustoe were booked for mistimed lunges.
Ainsworth finally turned the tide by introducing Cowan-Hall for Mustoe after 71 minutes, and the winger immediately made a darting run to earn a free kick in a promising position, which was wasted.
Arnold volleyed a long range effort over the bar but again there was precious little threat. Anthony Jeffrey entered the fray with three minutes remaining, replacing McClure, but it was too little too late, and Bury held on for a comfortable victory, even if the scoreline may not suggest it.
Gareth Ainsworth admitted after the game that his side were in a relegation battle, and that next week’s match against Accrington Stanley at Adams Park is win or bust. With the Blues now joint 23rd with Torquay, something will have to give soon.
Ratings: Ingram (5), McCoy (5), Doherty (6), Johnson (6) (Stewart 54′ (5)), Mustoe (5) (Cowan-Hall 71′ (6)), Arnold (5), Lewis (5), Scowen (6*), Wood (6), McClure (5) (Jeffrey 87′ (N/A)), Styche (6).
Attendance: 2,818 (171 Chairboys).
Wycombe buried deeper into the mire
Bury 1-0 Wycombe Wanderers