Wycombe Wanderers 3 Carlisle United 1

A fine home win and yet more green shoots of recovery are appearing.  Gareth Ainsworth oversaw proceedings from what used to be the away dugout and made sure his players covered every blade of grass of the significantly smaller playing surface at Adams Park.  Fans arriving early on Saturday would have immediately noticed the tighter lines, a change implemented to suit the high pressing style that Gareth wants to play and Carlisle were soon to feel the pressure.  

The disappointingly low crowd were treated to an excellent team display across the whole ninety minutes.  Paul Hayes capped a fine captain’s performance with his first goal of the season, his ability to hold the ball up and link up play were a joy to watch.  Personally, I really enjoyed the performance of Paris Cowan-Hall who was a constant threat down the right and his final ball is definitely improving.  He also worked really hard for the team and it was great to see him bully the Crouch-esque figure of Peter Brough in the second half at left back, a true Ainsworth trait.  

Last season I think that Carlisle’s instant response to going behind would have more than likely seen them nick a winner late on.  However, there was never any doubt about who was going to push on and take the points and along with all the other changes, it’s the mentality of the players that is the most encouraging one so far.  

Three games in and the new signings are settling in very well.  I haven’t seen a drastic change in the pattern of play from last season but the main difference is the increase in the quality of the players.  When the ball is moved forwards quickly, the delivery is much better and in Hayes, Wycombe finally have a player who can hold the ball and link the play intelligently.

Gareth may not have much at his disposal in hard currency but he has stamped his authority on this squad and they are starting to perform in his image.  So far so good and to coin a phrase of Luton Town manager John Still, Gareth is controlling the controllables.          

Here are the commentary highlights… 

Mobile and tablet users can listen here 

The post match thoughts of Gareth Ainsworth are here

After the game I did a bit of moonlighting on BBC Cumbria, discussing the short falls of Carlisle United and the harsh realities of life in League Two. 

Mobile and tablet version here

Many thanks, as ever, to Keith Cummings with his help with the match audio.

Music used – Mission Impossible by the Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra.  

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