Tuesday night’s defeat at the hands of promotion rivals Torquay United saw Wycombe Wanderers’ abysmal home record continue with just three wins in ten matches.
Torquay’s recent return to form was a niggling worry pre-match, but many Wycombe fans would have expected a fighting performance following the weekend defeat away at Port Vale, where they lost for the first time on the road this season.
Instead a heavy 3-1 reverse occurred with the Gulls outplaying the home side for the majority of the match. Defeat saw Wycombe stumble behind their rivals as Torquay leap-frogged them into sixth place whilst Vale moved top after Chesterfield’s surprise home loss to Oxford United.
Wins for Shrewsbury, Rotherham and Bury ensured a gulf has emerged between Wycombe and their rivals, but manager Gary Waddock hopes this is a one-off as he knows what is at stake.
"Expectation is very high here," he said. "We are not consistent enough at home and results have been dreadful and I am being brutally honest.
"Players have to be honest and look at their performances and see if they done enough during the game. You don't become a bad side overnight but we have to make sure it doesn't happen too often.”
Similarly to the slow start Wycombe had early in the season, there is one shining beacon to come out of the dark, and that is goalkeeper Nikki Bull, who pulled off a number of top class saves to ensure the result was not an embarrassment, and Waddock was quick to exclude Bull from the scathing analysis of the rest of the team.
He said: “I am very, very disappointed. The defending all night from front to back was extremely poor. If it wasn’t for Nikki Bull it would have been a lot, lot worse. “
Attentions now turn to Saturday and the FA Cup Second round, with the visit of Conference South side Chelmsford City beinga thankful distraction from the back-to-back league defeats.
Wycombe will look to progress into the third round and be in the hat with the Premier League big boys for the first time since 2001-2002.
However, many of the current first team regulars will fear for their place, as Waddock looks to make changes, and goalscorer Scott Beavon is well aware of the potential shake-up for the cherished competition:
“Obviously people are chomping at the bit and waiting for their chance, and there probably will be changes…We know we’ve got to be at our best [against Chelmsford]. We have to be otherwise we’re going out the cup.”
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.