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Wycombe Wanderers 1
Saturday 20th September 2014
Football League Two
Wanderers remained in third place in League Two after a 1-1 draw at 9th placed Portsmouth. After a lively first half, Wanderers took the lead five minutes into the second-half when Sam Wood turned in Peter Murphy's shot on goal. Matt McClure had a glorious chance to make it 2-0 four minutes later but it was the hosts who hit back to turn on the pressure and eventually equalise in the 70th minute through half-time substitute Johnny Ertl.
Team new saw Wanderers make one change from the side that had won at Plymouth the previous Tuesday evening - Rotherham loanne Danny Rowe favoured in place of Max Kretzschmar in midfield.
A gate of just over 16,000 at Fratton Park, the biggest ever that Wanderers had played in front of in the bottom division of the Football League, saw a high paced opening half. Alfie Mawson cleared at the near post in the opening minutes following a low cross from the left from Dan Butler. The home side then went close again when Jed Wallace sent across a low cross/shot from the right that went just wide of the left-hand upright. Meanwhile, Wanderers' best efforts in the first-half saw Wood strike a low shot on 32 minutes from the left channel after being set-up by McClure. Then a lofted ball in from the right from Josh Scowen saw the ball cleared by Pompey but only as far as Joe Jacobson, who saw his long range effort deflected and then palmed away by Paul Jones in the home goal, where Peter Murphy's follow up was cleared off the line by Robinson.
The opening goal on 50 minutes came after a long clearance was eventually looped back into the box by Paul Hayes. The ball was cleared as far as Murphy, whose shot from the right of the box saw Wood get the vital touch to steer the ball home from around eight yards and delight the travelling fans.
It should have been 2-0 to Wycombe moments later when Scowen squared the ball from the left for Sido Jombati to thread the ball into the box where McClure turned and blasted over from 12 yards with just the 'keeper to beat. It was a glorious chance and one that Wycombe were left to regret as Pompey began to up the pressure on the Wycombe defence.
James Dunne thumped a 25 yard effort against the crossbar on 58 minutes and Matt Ingram blocked well from Walace as the winger came in from the left on 62 minutes. However, Wanderers' defence was eventually breached with 20 minutes left when a Butler corner from the right was thumped in by Ertl through a group of players at the opposite side of the penalty area.
Full-time - Portsmouth 1 Wycombe 1
Post match reaction:
Commenting after the game, Gareth Ainsworth said, "I'm pleased with a point and the lads were gutted they didn't get three. I thought we dominated the first half, right up until we scored. We were unlucky to lose a goal to a set-piece. To come to Fratton Park in front of that huge, huge crowd to take away a point, I think, is a huge result. The lads are together, it's a young young group and we're still learning. There's plenty to come, we're growing as a team. We'll keep working hard and keep putting points on the board. I'm going home a happy manager."
The Wycombe boss also talked about Matt McClure's miss, "We had a great chance to make it 2-0 and I think that could have been game over for us. Youíd have put your house on Matt McClure scoring there. Heís a natural born finisher, itís just deserted him at the crucial moment. In training heíll slot them in and the netís rippling. Itís tough in front of the home fans, itís a big pressure one. Matt will learn from it. Heíll grow as a player, as they all will."
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