Town v Wycombe
I’ve been away on holiday for the past couple of days, so I completely missed the Wycombe game and followed the closing 20 minutes on BBC Score. Fortunately Iain was at the game, so thanks for this excellent match report.
Town’s bid for second spot was realistically ended after a disappointing 2-2 draw at relegation-threatened Wycombe. With Leeds and Millwall both winning their games, the Robins will need Simon Grayson’s team to collapse in their last 2 games (Charlton away – possible; Rovers at home – unlikely) while they secure a pair of wins over a Brentford team unbeaten in eleven and a Millwall side who’ve only lost once at home all season.
A hearty Wiltshire contingent arrived at Adams Park expecting 3 points, but mindful of the fact they’d dropped 4 points in the last 2 home games against “lesser” opposition. The team was unchanged for the 5th consecutive game, with the only change to the matchday 18 being Mark Marshall replacing the (once-again) injured Vincent Pericard. Wycombe started with former Town loanees Alex Revell and Tom Heaton in their side.
The majority of the first half was a non-event. An injured (and largely ineffective) Danny Ward was replaced by Mark Marshall on 36 minutes, and Town failed to string any passes together, instead resorting to hoofing the ball to see what happens. For the 3rd game running, they conceded a sloppy first half goal. Well into the 4 minutes of added time, a somewhat fortuitous ricochet saw Matt Bloomfield break from midfield, holding off the challenge of one of our smaller players (Darby or Ferry – not sure which one) before slotting past Lucas just as Greer came across.
Town started the second half with much more purpose, and equalised within a matter of minutes. Jon-Paul McGovern beat Woodman on the left wing, and his cross was headed home well by Paynter. Paynter’s 26th goal of the season, McGovern’s umpteenth assist. They continued to push forward, and were causing Wycombe big problems with their crosses from the flanks. It looked like they’d taken the lead halfway through the second half, when Sheehan’s superb through ball was controlled well by Austin, who rounded Heaton and tucked home.
Celebrations were cut short by the assistant’s flag.
Within a few minutes, Wycombe had regained their lead. Kevin Betsy was brought down in the area by McGovern, and Revell stepped to score the penalty. Lucas saved well to his left but, as had been the case for most of the game, Wycombe were first to the ball and Ainsworth crossed for Revell to head home. It was hard to tell whether it
crossed the line before it was cleared, but the defending was poor again.
Some credit should go to the Reds (or Whites, since Town were kitted out in their away kit – why? – how does light and dark blue clash with red???) as they fought back again. Cuthbert’s nicely disguised through ball was well despatched by Alan Sheehan for his first goal for the Town. A draw was probably a deserved result, but I’m sure many Swindon fans will be concerned by our loss of form going into the playoffs. Tiredness also seems to be affecting us badly. On the plus side, we do seem to have performed better this season against the stronger sides, so let’s enjoy the last 4 or 5 games of the season, and hope the boys can show what they’re capable of once again.