Kuffour off the mark as Blues return to winning ways
Wycombe Wanderers 2, Chesterfield 1.
JO Kuffour and Kortney Hause scored their first Wycombe goals as Wanderers came from behind to beat Chesterfield.
It was seventeenth time lucky for Kuffour as he finally broke his Wanderers duck with a superbly crafted winner, calmly lobbing home as Blues turned things around for their first win of 2013.
Young defender Hause bounced back from putting through his own goal on New Year’s Day to level the scores with a strike at the right end.
The comeback had looked unlikely as Wanderers, as they had done against Exeter last time out, looked jaded during an uninspiring first half that saw Chesterfield draw first blood through MK Dons loanee Jay O’Shea.
But after a half time rocket from manager Gareth Ainsworth they turned things around to return to winning ways, putting in a vastly improved display after the break.
Before then a drab first half never threatened to crackle into life and Blues’ most dangerous attack of the half saw Joel Grant burst past his man before putting in a teasing low cross that visiting goalkeeper Tommy Lee just about got to ahead of former Spireite Dean Morgan.
Chesterfield by no means had the upper hand in the game but they edged the number of chances created as Jordan Archer reacted smartly to turn away a shot from Marc Richards.
And they went in front when Wanderers switched off at a corner, allowing O’Shea enough room to wriggle past his man before despatching a shot past Archer via a deflection.
But Blues almost levelled straight away as the ball dropped to Sam Wood, now restored to a more familiar midfield slot, with his dipping first time effort being sent into the side netting.
Back came Chesterfield though and O’Shea came desperately close to adding to his total when his shot from the edge of the box cannoned back into play off the underside of the crossbar with Archer a beaten man.
Former Premier League star Luis Boa Morte glanced a header harmlessly into Archer’s gloves before Marc Richards diverted Mark Randall’s cross over the bar as the Derbyshire side looked to end the half on a high.
The visiting fans were left disappointed though as Wanderers levelled in first half stoppage time as Hause was credited with bundling home from Josh Scowen’s corner, as his delivery managed to reach him after a goalmouth scramble.
He almost added to that after the break as his weak header was easily fielded by Lee – just moments after Richards had sent a header from a corner onto the crossbar, with Archer stretching to take the ball away from an opponent on the rebound.
Wanderers had now woken up and a fine flowing move involving Michael Harriman and Jo Kuffour created the space for Grant in a dangerous position, with his shot being deflected away for a throw-in.
Kuffour then picked out Morgan with an excellent pass and the former Spireite had time and space to set himself but he scuffed his effort well wide of the target.
Chesterfield broke away from there and almost went back in front when Archer superbly tipped away Randall’s close range header.
But Blues were now in the ascendancy and went in front when the visitors failed to clear the ball when Morgan’s free kick went into the wall and Kuffour reacted quickly to loop a wonderfully delicate lob over Lee and into the net.
It had been worth waiting for and a rejuvenated Kuffour drew a foul at the end of a barnstorming run – from where Morgan hammered a free kick that bounced over via the top of the crossbar as the woodwork rattled once more.
That storm blew itself out but Wanderers continued to have the upper hand and Grant had claims for a penalty waved away and Kuffour fired wide while stumbling.
Chesterfield failed to impress for long spells of the second half but they almost drew level as Archer saved well from substitute Brennan Dickenson and veteran striker Jack Lester – so often a thorn in Wycombe’s side in the past – had a close range effort from Richards’ pass blocked by the impressive Hause.
Wanderers: Archer, Harriman, Winfield, Hause, Dunne, Grant, Scowen, Lewis (sub Stewart), Wood, Kuffour, Morgan (sub Ainsworth). Substitutes not used: Harrison, Spring, Andrade, Morias, Oli.