Wake-up call for Boro boys against Wanderers

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Stevenage were brought back down to earth after two away wins by a strong Wycombe side, and some questionable defending.

With new signing Marvin Williams named as a substitute and Luke Foster and David Bridges (both of whom had returned from injury) making the bench, Graham Westley decided to name the same eleven who started the last two games. Charlie Griffin and John Mousinho both faced their former employers. 

The game was quite even and Wycombe had obviously done their homework, marking Chris Holroyd tightly and ensuring he didn’t have the space to turn let alone get a shot off. 

With 40 minutes on the clock and the Chairboys looking more like making something happen, a free kick from the right was cleared only for another high, hanging cross to be floated to the back post by Gareth Ainsworth on the left hand side.

Although there was more than enough time for Boro’s backline to regroup as the ball was travelling, nobody anticipated the cross to be so deep and the unmarked Kevin Betsy was able to control his header. It rose over Chris Day before dropping into the net from quite a tight angle. 

Just as half time loomed, Ainsworth picked the ball up on the left, chested it past Laird and left Darius Charles in his wake as he homed in on the Boro net. His shot beat Day low down but bounced against the inside of the post, only for Stuart Beavon to knock in the simplest of rebounds. Wycombe had fashioned only a few half chances before the goals, making the half time score all the more disappointing. 

Westley took immediate action at half time and Griffin and Laird were replaced by Odubade and Bridges respectively. Stevenage took the game to Wycombe in the second half, trying to force their way through early on and creating chances through Odubade, who definitely made his arrival known and set up Holroyd for a placed shot early on, but the keeper saved comfortably. 

The ball spent a lot of time down the right with Lawrie Wilson, who was able to get into crossing positions but who was surprisingly inept at finding a decent ball in. A few times he skipped inside and was denied well by a last ditch challenge as he pulled the trigger on one occasion and on another had a shooting opportunity but instead pulled the ball back to no effect. 

Wycombe also had forays forward and it took a decent punch from Day to clear the danger while in another attack Day saved with his legs from Ben Strevens’ close range effort. 

Although it’s fair to say that Wycombe were always the favourites for this clash, Boro will be disappointed by the nature of the defeat and will have to bounce back quickly when they travel to Rotherham next week, as they can expect a similar level of football. 

Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association. 

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