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Crawley Town 1
Wycombe Wanderers 0
Saturday 6th August 2016
Football League Two
An injury hit Wanderers lost their opening game of the season for the first time since August 2009 - going down 1-0 at Crawley Town. The only goal of the game came on 59 minutes when Jimmy Smith fired past Scott Brown following an misjudgement by Matt Bloomfield.
Team news for Wanderers had seen Gareth Ainsworth give debuts to 'keeper Brown, Dayle Southwell and Myles Weston. However, Paul Hayes and Paris Cowan-Hall remained unavailable due to injury and there was another blow for Wanderers early on when Weston picked up a knock and had to be replaced by Bloomfield. Luke O'Nien was also forced through injury mid-way through the second-half to be replaced by debutant Adebayo Akinfenwa.
Wanderers' best chances came early on when a shot by Southwell was blocked before O'Nien and Aaron Pierre failed to take advantage with the follow-up.
The home side, who had finished the previous season with eight successive defeats, finished the match with ten men after Andre Blackman was shown a second yellow card during stoppage time.
Full-time - Crawley 1 Wycombe 0
Speaking after the game, Wanderers Manager Gareth Ainsworth told the press: ""It was one game out of 46. It's not disaster time, it's a long old season. There were some positives, in the first half we absolutely dominated. We supplied so many balls into their box but just didn't make them count. How we haven't scored from that scramble in the first half I don't know, and then a mistake has cost us the game, things turn on that. We controlled the game in patches with high pressing, we just need to do better with our opportunities. We've definitely got the firepower, it just didn't quite click today. We need to work on not panicking and slashing at things, and it's my job to get the boys better at that. I want to get the clinical finishes back. They have proved they can do it, and we've got some goalscorers in the team. It will come, we will score a hatful soon and we will be back on track. It was one of those games where you have so much pressure you have to make it count or it will come back to bite you, and it did. Changing the system with Myles Weston coming off after 20 minutes didn't help, then losing Michael Harriman and Luke O'Nien in the second half was tough."
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