Ten games into the new season and it’s six wins, three draws and just the one defeat. This finds Wycombe Wanderers second in the table. Impressive stuff, especially when you add that The Chairboys have the most frugal defence in the Football League. A huge amount of credit must go to ‘the gaffer’ Gareth Ainsworth for this tremendous start. He’s picked himself up and turned the place around, assembling a unified team of real quality. The one dark cloud that looms is the size of the squad as a couple of injuries could make things tough. However, Wycombe are really making hay whilst the sun is shining and the optimistic buzz is back around Adams Park.
The loss of Danny Rowe was a blow, but this wasn’t felt against Cambridge United as Josh Scowen and Peter Murphy were both excellent in central midfield. Where the Rowe recall will hurt is if there is an injury in defence as there is now very little cover indeed, but the loan system has been used to great effect in recent times and will no doubt be called upon again as the season unfolds.
Cambridge were another big and direct side which Wycombe dealt with comfortably. The away side started brightly but soon faded when they lost their defensive midfielder Issago Diallo early on. The Chairboys grew into the game and played some great stuff, largely on the deck and really should have gone in at half time with the lead. Sam Wood’s touch let him down at the final moment in the move of the game which featured some wonderful build up play just before the break.
Bill Turnbull returned from the press room tea run to report news of Richard Money really tearing into his players at half time and again the visitors were on the front foot at the start of the second period. Wycombe survived a couple of scares before again taking control of the game. Matt McClure’s luck was still out as he saw his superb instinctive header come back off the post just before the hour mark, fingers crossed he gets his goal soon and goes on a run. On sixty three minutes the breakthrough finally came as Paul Hayes gobbled up an intelligent knock down from a cross to notch up one hundred league goals. Until that point, Michael Nelson and Josh Coulson had been defending magnificently but the sheer volume of balls into the box had worn them down. Gareth reverted to a 4-4-1-1 to combat the attacking changes by Money and The Chairboys looked comfortable seeing the game out, even with a tense finish defending some unnecessary corners.
The first ten games are often the yardstick for the rest of the campaign but after last season I doubt you will find many Wycombe fans getting too carried away. However, I really cannot see the current squad and management team allowing the horrific mid season form to repeat itself and if injuries are kind, who knows where Wycombe Wanderers will end up…?
For the the post match thoughts of Gareth Ainsworth click here
Here are the commentary highlights from Bill and myself…
Big thanks to Keith Cummings for the audio
Mobile and tablet version here
A tense but happy commentary box at the final whistle