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Crewe Alexandra 0
Wycombe Wanderers 2
Tuesday 19th November 2013
FA Cup First Round - replay
Wanderers secured a FA Cup Second Round home meeting with Preston North End following a confident 2-0 victory over Crewe Alexendra at a bitterly cold Gresty Road. After a goalless first half, the deadlock was broken on 50 minutes when Steven Craig was fouled by Crewe's young 'keeper Ben Garratt and it was a Craig who brushed himself down to convert the spot-kick. It was then left to Gary Doherty to double the lead on 70 minutes with a left footed effort.
Team news had seen Gareth Ainsworth make three changes to the side that had lost at home to Cheltenham Town the previous Saturday - Gary Doherty, Matt McClure and Steven Craig replacing Leon Johnson, Max Kretzschmar and Dean Morgan. Matt Bloomfield came on as a late substitute to make his 300th appearance for the Wanderers.
The hosts had gone into the tie on the back of a 5-0 reverse to Brentford and played like a side lacking in confidence. Wanderers went close early on when Billy Knott set-up Paris Cowan-Hall, but the former Plymouth player scuffed his shot. Matt McClure, Knot, Craig and Stuart Lewis also fired wide during a first half dominated by Wanderers and where 'keeper Matt Ingram's only work was to save a deflected effort by Max Clayton. However, Wycombe's eventual breakthrough came when Garratt in the Crewe goal fumble a 25 yard shot from Marvin McCoy and in his effort to grab the loose ball fouled Craig to concede a penalty. Craig made no mistake from the spot and from that point Wycombe gained in confidence and eventually sealed victory with Doherty's goal on 70 minutes.
Full-time - Crewe 0 Wycombe 2
Post match reaction:
Commenting after the game, Gareth Ainsworth said "We studied Crewe and obviously had a little taste of them two weeks ago and then followed that up with scouting. They took a big beating on Saturday, but it could have gone either way. Teams want to bounce back from that, but we came here with the tactics we had decided on and it paid off. It was very pleasing and Iím very proud to have bounced back the way we have after Saturday. The way we set up and prepared for this game led to a very professional performance from every player on the pitch and the ones off it as well. Everyone has treated this game with the up-most professionalism and itís paid off Ė we thoroughly deserved the win." The Wycombe boss added, "We wanted that second goal and I said to Dobbo that we needed it. We got it and the clean sheet was very important as well - we havenít had one of those since Bristol Rovers. It was really pleasing all-round. The players that had been out of the team and came into it took their chances and took them well. Theyíve given me more options and ways to play. I thought we were awesome from front to back, epitomised by our captain Stuart Lewis. He was immense and led the boys tonight." Commenting on the 81 Wanderers followers who had made it to the tie, Ainsworth said, "Weíve had it before, maybe not quite as few, but they made so much noise so we could hear them. They helped us get the result and see the game out. Thank you to everyone who came up. They missed an international game on TV, theyíve driven up here and itís absolutely freezing. I canít speak highly enough of them - they were brilliant. Iím so proud of my players and my staff as well, itís a fantastic day."
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