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Wycombe Wanderers battle the cold to grab three precious points
SAM Wood’s sweet left-footed strike clinched all three precious points for Wycombe Wanderers at a bitterly cold Adams Park.
The flying winger smashed home his second of the season as Gareth Ainsworth’s men moved within a point of today’s visitors Dagenham & Redbridge and just six points off the play-offs
The Blues boss made one change from the side that came from behind to grab a point at AFC Wimbledon last week, with Anthony Stewart coming in to the defence for Kortney Hause.
But Ainsworth was unable to call on the club’s leading scorer Matt McClure, after he pulled out of the squad to be with his partner who went into labour this morning.
After a drab opening quarter, man-of-the-match Stuart Lewis was denied a dream goal against his former club after Daggers shot-stopper Chris Lewington kept out his goal-bound effort following a clever run and pull-back by Jo Kuffour.
But the Blues took the lead three minutes later through a well-worked goal involving Dean Morgan, Jo Kuffour, Joel Grant and goalscorer Wood.
Morgan dinked the ball on to Grant, who cut inside and left the ball for Kuffour. The frontman got his head up and slid the ball into the path of a marauding Wood.
And his crisp 33rd minute strike from 18 yards zipped along the turf into the bottom right-hand corner, leaving Lewington helpless.
The goal opened the game up. Luke Howell went straight down the other end and called Archer into action before Grant hit a rasping drive which Lewington did well to claw away, but it was the Blues that went into the break in the lead.
John Still’s men were probably feeling quiet hard done-by in the dressing room, after an even 45 minutes in which the Daggers had a couple of half-chances through Sam Williams and Brian Woodall.
And the visitors came out fired-up in the second-half, forcing three consecutive corners which the Blues’ struggled to deal with – Jordan Archer forced into a point-blank save from one set-piece after a Scott Doe strike.
But Ainsworth’s men settled down and gradually played their way back into the contest. Wood stung the hands of Lewington with a swerving, dipping volley which seemed to take the Daggers ‘keeper by surprise.
Perhaps both teams were feeling the Arctic chill but despite that 10 min burst at the beginning of the second half, the game petered out with neither side really offering anything going forward - but Wanderers won't care, as they held on for another three points.
The 2,365 fans who braved the icy roads and freezing conditions were not treated to a classic, but the home support left Adams Park with a warm glow after another win that moves the Blues clear of trouble and looking upwards at the play-off places.
It also meant the stellar work of the 80-plus fans and club staff, who grabbed a shovel to remove snow and ice from the car park and roads to get the game on, was not in vain.
Wycombe Wanderers: Archer, Harriman, Dunne, Winfield (c), Stewart, Grant, Scowen, Lewis, Wood, Kuffour, Morgan. Subs: Harrison, Hause, McCoy, Spring, Ainsworth, Andrade, Morias.
Dagenham & Redbridge: Lewington; Hoyte, Doe, Wilkinson, Ilesanmi; Howell, Saunders, Ogogo (c), Elito; Williams, Woodall. Subs: Seabright, Scott, Reed, Maher, Caprice, Bingham, Dennis.
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