Wycombe Wanderers reignited their promotion challenge on Saturday with a much-needed home win against an in-form Bury side.
The dastardly weather played havoc with the fixture list last week, ensuring Wycombe were among the majority who failed to take to the field, as the game against Crewe Alexandra was postponed by the Cheshire club.
But thanks to under soil heating at Adams Park there was never a doubt that this top of the table battle would fall foul of the winter weather.
The pre-match talk focused very much on the away side, who were looking to break a club record by winning seven successive away matches for the first time in their history. This statistical spotlight worked perfectly for Wanderers as pressure mounted on the visiting Shakers and detracted attention from the poor home form of Gary Waddock’s side.
Bury came into the fixture top of form table with eight goals in the last two winning performances, while Wycombe had lost the last two fixtures against other promotion contenders and hoped to turn fortunes around to ensure they keep up with the pack.
An entertaining game saw both defences dominate, with attacking moves failing to trouble either side in the first half. Matt Bloomfield helped raise the tempo in the second half and had the best effort while the sides were still level, as he looked to strike from distance but his shot was parried to safety by Bury keeper Owain fon Williams.
With openings limited it took some extra determination to break the deadlock, and Matt Bloomfield delivered as he harried and hustled Bury defender Joe Skarz out wide right, before stealing the ball and racing into the visitor’s penalty area. Rendell‘s clever movement; stepping back toward the penalty spot, gave him space to slot home Bloomfield’s cutback beautifully past the keeper to rustle the net and give Wycombe a deserved victory.
The penalty specialist has been in fine form of late, scoring six goals in five games, and this was a rare finish from open play to send the fans into rapture. Bury pushed to get back into the game but the statistics don’t lie, and show the free-scoring side failed to land a shot on target during the match.
Manager Gary Waddock later confessed that his half time hairdryer treatment in the dressing room had its desired affect as he insisted: “We had one or two words at half time and the lads took that on board. I thought we took the game to them after the break and caused them problems and it was a very important result."
Three home wins in nine games does not look good on paper, especially for a side looking to compete at the top, but the testing Christmas period is upon us and Wycombe will look to end the year on a high after this morale boosting home victory.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.