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Dunne dismissed again in defeat
Wycombe Wanderers 1, Burton Albion 2.
CHARLES Dunne was sent off for the second time this season as Wanderers lost back-to-back matches after an uninspiring display.
The defender, fresh from a call-up to the Ireland U21 squad in midweek, was making his first appearance since serving a three game ban for his last sending off when he was shown his marching orders within minutes of the second half beginning.
By then his side were already a goal behind thanks to a fine strike from Billy Kee, who sealed things in the second half as he coolly slotted home a penalty.
Burton hardly looked like world beaters but a workmanlike performance stopped Wanderers from having much of an influence on the game, and in the end a side who had lost their last three were able to coast to an away victory relatively easily.
Matt McClure's late goal, just as the board for four minutes of injury time was going up, sparked a late flurry from Blues but by then the damage had been done.
Gareth Ainsworth had called for his side to make a stronger start to the game but, having let in three in the first 15 minutes in last week’s defeat at Rochdale, Blues sacrificed attacking flair for defensively solidity as chances proved something of a rarity for either side in the opening exchanges.
Gary Doherty sent a header over the bar from an early Wycombe corner and Robbie Weir miscued a shot from the edge of the box way off target as the space opened up for him.
Dunne, back in the side thanks to an injury to Leon Johnson, got forward to good effect from full back and a 20 yard shot with his weaker right foot was well stopped by visiting goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.
Burton responded as Adam McGurk shot straight down Matt Ingram’s throat with a curling effort and Damien McCrory beat Paris Cowan-Hall to a high ball before powering forward and unleashing a piledriver that flew a shade too high and wide of the post.
The game started to open up after a cagey opening as Wanderers swept straight down the other end and Matt McClure screwed his second shot wide of the post after his first effort had accidentally been blocked by his own skipper Stuart Lewis.
But it was the visitors who drew first blood as Blues struggled to clear their lines and the ball was played in to Kee’s feet, with the striker swivelling past his marker before lashing a shot across Ingram and into the top corner.
It took time for a Wanderers side lacking in creativity to get back into the game but they came close to an equaliser as Dunne sent in an excellent low cross from the left that McClure turned goalwards, only to be denied by a superb block from Shane Cansdell-Sherriff.
That was to be the young defender’s final positive impact as he was dismissed within seconds of the restart. Having already been booked in the first half he once again clattered into Albion’s Phil Edwards with the Burton man disappearing down a cul-de-sac, leaving the referee with no option but to show him a second yellow card.
Last time Dunne was dismissed Wanderers immediately conceded and lightning struck twice as Burton doubled their lead. Kee slipped in the area before regaining his feet, only to be tripped on the way up by Doherty and referee Brown pointed immediately to the spot. Kee stepped up himself and sent Ingram the wrong way with his penalty.
Wanderers replied as Billy Knott split the defence but Jo Kuffour could only lob the ball over the bar, before Doherty glanced a header from a Marvin McCoy throw off target as Blues struggled to break down the visiting defence.
Burton exploited the space created by the man advantage as Ingram almost spilled a McGurk header into the net before recovering to save, before the Wanderers keeper made an excellent low save to deny Kee his hat trick following a flowing spell of possession football from the visitors. Edwards then hit the bar from the resulting corner, with McGurk blazing wide from a narrow angle when the ball dropped to him.
Just as the game was about to enter stoppage time Wanderers pulled one back to give the fans hope of dragging something out of the game, as substitute Max Kretzschmar sent a teasing ball low across the area. Junior Morias missed it but McClure was on hand to fire home from close range - although in the end it counted for little.
Wanderers: Ingram, McCoy, Doherty, Hause, Dunne, Cowan-Hall (sub Morias), Lewis, Knott (sub Kretzschmar), Wood, Kuffour (sub Scowen), McClure. Substitutes not used: Horlock, Stewart, Bloomfield, Arnold.
Attendance: 3,518 (178 from Burton)
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