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Wycombe Wanderers 0
Mansfield Town 1
Saturday 17th August 2013
Football League Two
Wycombe went down to a disappointing 1-0 home defeat to Mansfield Town as they failed to bounce back from the defeat at Wimbledon seven days previous. The only goal of the game came in the 78th minute when a free kick from the right of midfield saw John Dempster head against the left hand upright before Ollie Palmer knocked in the loose ball.
The defeat came after Gareth Ainsworth had made five changes to the side that had lost at The Dons - Gary Doherty, Nick Arnold, Matt Spring, Jo Kuffour and McClure came into the side, with Leon Johnson, Sam Wood, Dean Morgan and Jon-Paul Pittman dropping the bench, while Stuart Lewis started the first of his three match ban.
In a game of few chances, it was the visitors who came closest to breaking the deadlock early on when a dipping volley from James Jennings on 10 minutes was tipped over by Matt Ingram. Wycombe's best effort of the half came on 42 minutes when Josh Scowen saw a shot saved from around 15 yards after Paris Cowan-Hall had crossed from the left bye-line.
Ainsworth changed things around early in the second period with first the introduction of Dean Morgan. An injury to Cowan-Hall forced another change with Sam Wood coming on, while youngster Kretzschmar was the final throw of the dice on day when things failed to click up front.
The winning goal came after Charles Dunne (an unused substitute for Ireland U21 earlier in the week) was unlucky to pick up a yellow card from on time referee Keith Hill. The resulting free-kick from the right of midfield was swung over by Chris Clements for Stags Captain Dempster to smash a header against the far post, with former Havant & Waterlooville striker Ollie Palmer stopping in to head home the rebound from close range. It was The Stags first goal in their three games since winning promotion back to the Football League at the end of the 2012/13 campaign.
Palmer could have added a second five minutes from time when he was through on goal down the left flank but Ingram advanced and managed to deflect the ball wide with his outstretched foot. Wycombe could have capitalised on the miss with a number of chances to level in the dying minutes. The best chance fell to Kuffour but he pulled a shot wide of the left hand post from around the penalty spot mark after Morgan had swung the ball in from the right. Then Morgan saw an effort saved, while in the stoppage time Kretzschmar just failed to get a decent direction on Kuffour's cross. Wanderers fans will be hoping it was just one of those days.
Full-time - Wycombe 0 Mansfield 1
Post match reaction:
Speaking after the game, Wanderers boss Gareth Ainsworth said "We were unrecognisable today. I didnít recognise a few of my players, which isnít nice. Thatís probably the worst performance under me in nearly a year and Iím not happy. Itís something you want to put your finger on. Weíll be looking at the video this week and going through it in detail. I never pick individuals out when we win but there were no individuals in that team. It was a team performance that let Wycombe down today. There were no individuals to take the bull by the horns. It was lacklustre today and the chances were few and far between. We have to take them when itís like that. We got sucked into a horrible game, it was a slow tempo which isnít us at all. We defended very deep and played into their hands. Iím very disappointed with some of the decisions and the way we went about things. Thereís plenty to work on this week Ė I think Iíll be a busy man."
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