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Blues outplayed but earn a point
Wycombe Wanderers were fortunate to earn a point at home against Cheltenham Town today as the visitors controlled the game for long periods and wasted several chances.
An early own goal by Cheltenham defender Keith Lowe was cancelled out after Stuart Lewis conceded a first half penalty - scored by Robins striker Shaun Harrad.
There were boos from small sections of the crowd at the final whistle, with an injury-hit Wycombe side again failing to find their form.
Veteran midfielder Gareth Ainsworth, on as a sub for Matt Spring, offered the home side's best hope of stealing the three points, but Blues showed a lack of composure to make the best of their few opportunities.
Blues got off to a dream start on three minutes after Joel Grant led their first raid upfield, advancing into the area and sending a low cross in from the right. Though it looked harmless Lowe seemed to get in a tangle and turned it into his own net.
But the Robins were not fazed by going a goal down and threatened Nikki Bull’s goal three times over the next 15 minutes.
Sam Deering sent an effort just wide, with Bull making saves from Shaun Harrad and Kaid Mohamed as the pair failed to make the most of promising shooting positions.
On 17 minutes Blues striker Dennis Oli suffered an ankle ligament injury and had to be stretchered off.
Cheltenham were enjoying long spells of possession with ex-Wanderers loanee Marlon Pack dominant in midfield and Jermaine McGlashan and Deering looking threatening ahead of him.
Meanwhile, Wanderers were giving the ball away too easily which left Jo Kuffour feeding on scraps up front.
McGlashan and Darren Carter both tested Bull from range before the pressure finally told on Blues.
Stuart Lewis conceded what looked to be a needless foul on Pack in the penalty area on 37 minutes, giving Harrad the chance to blast home from the penalty spot.
It got worse for Blues a few minutes later when Matt Spring was forced off injured, with the midfielder replaced by Ainsworth.
Cheltenham began the second half as they had begun the first – but Harrad blasted an excellent chance over the crossbar after neat work from Deering and Mohamed down the left.
And Blues defender Leon Johnson will have been thankful for the visitors’ wastefulness on 51 minutes – with the Robins failing to capitalise after he miscontrolled a simple pass out from Bull.
Wanderers finally seemed to find a some spark around the hour mark, as Kuffour combined well with Ainsworth to create a crossed chance for Grant, though the forward could not get a clean connection on his shot.
Blues full-back Charles Dunne then raided down the right hand side and sent in a dangerous cross, before 18-year-old Jesse Kewley-Graham lifted the home crowd with a superb saving tackle as Cheltenham broke downfield.
Wycombe struggled to build on that momentum but had at least managed to stem the Cheltenham attacks.
Ainsworth was becoming more involved and looked Wanderers best hope of a winner. On 75 minutes the 39-year-old went on a rambling run down the right flank and sent in a superb cross which was headed behind.
The winger showed several further flashes of skill but the Cheltenham backline dealt with his forward forays well.
With seven minutes to go Nikki Bull was forced to make a brilliant stop down to his left from substitute striker Jeff Goulding.
Sub Chris Zebroski, another ex-Blue, then volleyed wide for Cheltenham before Goulding blasted over the bar from inside the penalty area in the dying seconds.
Referee: D Sheldrake
Wanderers: Bull, Dunne, Parsons, Johnson, Doherty (c), Spring (Ainsworth 38), Kewley-Graham, Lewis, Grant, Kuffour, Oli (Logan 21). Subs not used: Ingram, Foster, Basey, Winfield, Angol.
Cheltenham: Brown, Lowe, Jones, Jombati, Elliott, McGlashan (Zebroski 68), Carter, Pack (c), Mohamed, Deering (Goulding 73), Harrad (Duffy 77). Subs not used: Roberts, Hooman,
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