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Paris turns it round as Blues come back to win
Wycombe Wanderers 3, Torquay United 2.
PARIS Cowan-Hall netted two second half headers as Wanderers twice came from behind to get back to winning ways at Adams Park.
Blues recovered from a poor first half display to turn the game round thanks to an all action display from the former Plymouth forward, who deservedly turned out to be the match winner.
Former Wanderers forward Ade Azeez had put the visitors in front but Jo Kuffour levelled for Wycombe within minutes.
That failed to spark the home side into life though and it was the Gulls who went back in front thanks to a header from Krystian Pearce as both sides struggled to defend corners.
But Wanderers looked a different side after the break and Cowan-Hall brought the sides level with a close range header before winning the game with a towering leap from a corner as Blues won on home soil in the league for the first time since August.
The opening quarter lacked any real quality with the fans failing to see the best from either side, with too many passes being wasted as Wanderers failed to match the heights they reached during the midweek cup win over Bristol City.
The best chance came as Azeez did superbly to wriggle clear of the attention of two men in the corner before having his low cross-shot turned away at the near post by Anthony Stewart. Torquay managed to keep possession and Karl Hawley perhaps should have done better than to stab over from close range when trying to divert a powerful left wing shot into the net.
And it was symptomatic of the game that a mistake at the back let Torquay in for the game’s opening goal. A cross from the left should have been cleared by one of two Wanderers defenders in the area, neither of them got anything on it and the space opened up for Azeez to confidently fire home.
Not that it mattered as Blues drew level almost straight away with another player netting against his former employers. The visiting defence switched off and allowed Kuffour to race ahead of the lumbering Pearce, who for all the world looked like he was going to tug the striker back.
The diminutive Kuffour managed to hold off the big defender and coolly rolled the ball past the hesitant Gulls keeper Martin Rice for his third goal of the season.
Pearce almost atoned for that but could only direct his header into the side netting after being left unattended at the back post from a corner.
Wanderers almost managed to turn the game on its head as Knott dinked the ball over the top of the visiting defence and Cowan-Hall hooked the ball inches wide of the far post with a delicately-taken first time shot.
But Blues failed to heed the earlier warning and from another corner the Devon side went back in front. Matt Ingram came and failed to gather the ball, Pearce headed it down into the ground and it looped up and over Scowen into the net as the defender scored on his comeback from a long lay-off through illness.
Manager Gareth Ainsworth – taking charge of Wanderers for the 50th time – punched the dugout in frustration at the concession of a second soft goal and it could have been worse for his side minutes later as a volley from Damon Lathrope didn’t quite dip enough and instead it skimmed the top of the net.
After a half time regroup Wanderers almost drew level within minutes of the restart as Kuffour did superbly to stop the ball running out for a goalkick before standing it up to the far post for Stewart to nod over – although the defender appeared to be tugged back as he looked to get onto the end of the cross.
Parity was soon restored as Blues made the stronger start to the second period. Cowan-Hall’s cross was partially cleared out to Matt Bloomfield, with the long serving midfielder turning and sending a peach of a cross back into the centre and Cowan-Hall couldn’t miss as he headed in his second Wanderers goal from close in.
Corners continued to be an Achilles heel for Wanderers though as once again Pearce was first to the ball from a set piece, and this time Sam Wood was on hand to head the ball off the line.
Blues broke and a silky piece of skill took Knott past his marker but his shot flew just the wrong side of the upright, before a confident Cowan-Hall fired in an angled drive from 25 yards that keeper Rice plucked out of the air.
A Stewart header from a free kick was beaten out by Rice and Torquay launched a swift counter attack, with Wood making an excellent challenge to foil another former Wanderer in the visitors’ ranks, Elliot Benyon.
Azeez nodded over from the resulting corner before Wycombe broke quickly themselves, with Bloomfield teeing up substitute Jon-Paul Pittman but the striker saw his searing drive clawed over the bar by an excellent reflex stop from Rice. Stewart couldn’t stretch enough from the corner that followed, with his header going wide.
Torquay proved just as unable to deal with corners and it was from one that Wanderers took the lead for the first time as Cowan-Hall leapt high above the defence to glance Scowen’s delivery into the top corner.
Wanderers: Ingram, Arnold, Hause, Stewart, Wood, Lewis, Scowen, Knott, Bloomfield (sub Kretzschmar), Cowan-Hall (sub Spring), Kuffour (sub Pittman). Substitutes not used: Horlock, McCoy, Fletcher, Morias.
Attendance: 3,466 (255 from Torquay)
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