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Wycombe Wanderers 2
Peterborough United 0
Saturday 21st October 2006
Football League Two
Jermaine Easter marked his return to fitness with a goal as Wanderers comfortably saw off the challenge of promotion rivals Peterborough United following a 2-0 victory at Adams Park.
Easter, who had missed the last four games with a thigh injury, came off the bench to score his tenth goal of the season as Wanderers kept the pressure up on the leading trio. His 84th minute strike killed the game off after Kevin Betsy had earlier given Wanderers a 64th minute lead tucking in Anthony Grant’s right-wing cross.
Team news against Posh had seen ‘keeper Jamie Young dropped in favour Ricardo Batista, while manager Paul Lambert also took the opportunity to rest Chris Palmer and replace him with the livewire Tommy Doherty.
Posh went into the game on the back of three straight away wins games but Wycombe always looked the side most likely to score in a goalless opening 45 minutes. Kevin Betsy was twice denied by last ditch challenges from ex-Wanderer Guy Branston and then Ben Turner. Turner also got back to head Mooney’s clever chip off the line while Doherty was also denied a goal by a defender bravely chucking himself in the way of his shot.
The second half began in a similar vein - Matt Bloomfield forcing a fine save from Posh ‘keeper Mark Tyler, while Stefan Oakes’ free kick went a fraction over the crossbar.
Wycombe should have taken the lead on 57 minutes when Batista’s long goal kick was headed on by Mooney into the path of Betsy. The attacking midfielder was clean through but wasted the opportunity by blasting his shot into the advertising hoardings.
The one-way traffic continued when Tyler produced a double save to deny Oakes and Bloomfield on the follow up and then Easter got his legs in a tangle when Betsy found him lurking eight yards out, before Betsy’s perseverance paid off on 65 minutes. He slammed the ball home from six yards after Oakes’ free kick had been returned into the danger area by Anthony Grant.
With the deadlock broken, Wycombe could have added more. Russell Martin shot over and Betsy was denied again by another sliding tackle by Turner before Easter finally made the game safe when he smashed after Martin had headed Bloomfield’s cross into his path.
The victory left Wycombe in 4th place in the League Two table with 29 points from their opening 15 games. Leaders Walsall have 34 points, 2nd placed Lincoln City 32 points and 3rd placed Swindon Town 31 points - also all after 15 games.
Final Score - Wycombe 2 Peterborough 0
Commenting on the return of Jermaine Easter, Lambert added: "It was as if Jermaine had never been away. He has started just where he left off. He was a handful when he came on and looked sharp and quick. It is great boost for us that he is back."
The return of Easter came as boost for Wanderers ahead of the Football League 3rd Round tie at home to Doncaster Rovers on Tuesday (24th October). However, Tommy Mooney hobbled off just before the hour mark, making him a doubt to start against the League One side.
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