Stewart snatches victory as Blues make it another double
Wycombe Wanderers 1, Fleetwood Town 0.
ANTHONY Stewart struck a last minute winner as Wanderers edged out Fleetwood in a game that looked set to end goalless.
Both sides had cancelled each other out in a dour workmanlike game until Stewart’s late intervention as he headed home his first ever Wanderers goal.
It was just rewards for the young defender, who had put in an excellent display at the back and had just seen a shot cleared off the line before his downward header bounced up into the roof of the net to seal a second victory of the season against the Cod Army.
His goal ensured Wanderers backed up victory at Torquay with another win – not that it was pretty to watch.
A stop-start game never really crackled into life, with the main talking point of the opening half being when referee Roger East had the ball smashed into his face from close quarters, resulting in a lengthy period of treatment.
Before then Sam Wood, the man who injured the man in the middle, had stabbed wide at the back post from a corner and Steve Gillespie’s attempted shot from the edge of the box looked more like a chip to the edge of the 22 from a fly half.
The first real shot in anger came courtesy of a woefully taken free-kick from Fleetwood’s Anthony Barry. It turned into the perfect square pass for
Gareth Ainsworth – restored to the starting line-up with Bruno Andrade only fit enough for the bench – and the player/manager’s fierce effort from outside the box was touched around the post by visiting keeper Scott Davies.
Chances were at a premium as all too often someone’s touch would let them down, although a casual back header from man mountain Jon Parkin caused Davies to dive down quickly to pluck the ball out of the air with Matt McClure breathing down his neck.
From there the Lancashire side went on the counter attack and Gareth Evans burst through the home rearguard, but Wanderers keeper Jordan Archer stood tall and made a good save to foil Evans when he went through one on one.
It was then Wycombe’s turn to try and catch their opponents out as McClure’s audacious lob from out wide crept narrowly wide of the far post with Davies flapping at air.
Gillespie was forced off before the interval after a rash challenge from Josh Scowen that saw the midfielder booked, but Ainsworth also failed to make it as far as half time as Andrade replaced him despite not being fully fit himself.
All the stoppages led to no fewer than six minutes of injury time being added, during which time Fleetwood had two good chances to take the lead. Firstly Junior Brown’s flying header was stopped by an excellent save from Archer before David Ball, who replaced Gillespie, hammered over from a good position in front of goal after Evans’ sublime run and cross picked him out.
The visitors fired the first warning of the second half as Evans’ header from close range flew straight at Archer before at the other end Scowen sliced wide from distance after good work from Dean Morgan and Stuart Lewis in the build up.
But it was the Cod Army who edged things as Brown fired into the side netting and Michael Harriman got back admirably to block Evans after a lofted ball into the area looked like it was going to sit perfectly for him to fire at goal.
A stop-start game meant few chances were created but Wanderers wasted a great opportunity as Scowen and McClure got in each other’s way going for a cross and the midfielder headed over the bar when he may have been better off leaving it for Blues’ top scorer.
Stewart came close to breaking the deadlock as his header from a corner was deflected wide for a second, unproductive, set piece.
He then had a shot blocked on the line by Parkin before he grabbed the headlines from the resulting corner, as his header bounced off the turf and into the top corner past the despairing Davies.
Substitute Junior Morias – recalled from loan at Hendon the previous day – then threatened to light up Adams Park with an even later second, but having done the hard work of bursting through the visiting defence he saw his shot bobble wide of the far post.
Wanderers: Archer, Harriman, Stewart, Winfield, Dunne, Ainsworth (sub Andrade), Lewis, Scowen, Wood, Morgan (sub Hause), McClure (sub Morias). Substitutes not used: Harrison, Spring, Oli, Kuffour.