Wanderers 1 Chesterfield 0
WANDERERS put the brakes on Chesterfield as they ended the Adams Park hoodoo to claim three massive points in the battle against the drop.
Max Kretzchmar’s first-half penalty was enough against the league leaders as the Blues grabbed their first win in ten games.
It is the first time the Adams Park faithful have seen a victory since the 3-2 win over Torquay back on October 12.
The thoroughly deserved win lifts the Blues five points clear of the dreaded drop-zone to ease the pressure on manager Gareth Ainsworth.
The decisive moment of the match came in the 35th minute when Matt McClure collected the ball on the right and skipped past Ian Evatt.
The striker’s clipped cross hit the hand of the Chesterfield captain, leaving the referee with no other real option but to point to the spot.
Kretzschmar smashed home the resulting penalty past a helpless Tommy Lee for his fourth goal of the season to send Adams Park in to raptures.
The Chairboys’ boss decided to freshen up his attacking options – handing Anthony Jeffrey his first league start alongside McClure, with Paris Cowan-Hall and Dean Morgan dropping to the bench.
And McClure almost repaid his boss after five minutes but he couldn’t quite get enough on Sam Wood’s enticing ball from the left-hand side, as his glancing head skidded wide of the post.
McClure, Matt Bloomfield and Jeffrey all tried their luck from long-range but their efforts failed to test the Chesterfield goalkeeper.
Meanwhile, The Spireites struggled to find any of the rhythm which has seen them climb to the League Two summit – with their first real effort on goal from Jay O’Shea bravely blocked by Leon Johnson on 31mins.
Other than that, the league leaders offered little going forward and boss Paul Cook’s frustrations boiled over on the stroke of half-time when he was handed a red card on his 47th birthday from referee Dean Whitestone.
The Blues were dealt a blow just after the re-start when centre-back Gary Doherty was helped off the pitch clutching his arm after a nasty fall.
But, despite a bit of possession in non-threatening areas, the visitors failed to grasp the nettle as both sides slugged it out in the middle of the park.
Evatt thought he had atoned for giving away the penalty when he powered home a free-header at the back-post on 66mins – but the linesman’s flag was up to silence the travelling Spireites fans.
The disallowed goal appeared to give the league leaders a shot in the arm, as they began to crank up the pressure on the battling Blues.
But Ainsworth’s men stood up to the challenge - fighting for every ball and covering every blade of grass - as they kept the leaders at arm’s length to claim a massive three points in the battle against relegation.
Wanderers: Ingram, Arnold, Wood, Doherty, Johnson, Scowen, Lewis (c), Bloomfield, Kretzschmar, Jeffrey, McClure. Subs: Horlock, Stewart, Cowan-Hall, Craig, Kuffour, Morgan, Styche.
Chesterfield: Lee; Darikwa, Evatt (c), Cooper, Humphreys; Hird, Morsy, Ryan, O'Shea, Roberts; Doyle. Subs: Dunbavin, Smith, Togwell, Banks, Gardner, Gnanduillet, Richards.