Stevenage fall to single goal defeat at Wycombe
Stevenage fell to a narrow 1-0 defeat at Wycombe Wanderers this afternoon in Sky Bet League Two.
Wycombe dominated large parts of the first half, forcing Jamie Jones into a couple of decent saves and also striking the woodwork through Paul Hayes. However Boro improved after the break and created some decent openings with Ben Kennedy volleying over.
The Chairboys broke the deadlock with 20 minutes remaining when Luke O'Nien showed great footwork to evade two challenges in the Stevenage box and lash home. From that point Boro pushed everyone forward and Wycombe had 'keeper Ryan Allsopp to thank for turning Dean Parrett's fierce late shot over the bar, however the visitors just couldn't find an equaliser and slipped to a single goal defeat.
Stevenage made four changes from last weekend's defeat to Portsmouth with Ben Kennedy, Jerome Okimo, Dean Wells and Dean Parrett coming in. Luke Wilkinson dropped to the bench after illness in the week and Connor Ogilvie missed out through injury.
Wycombe are pushing for the playoffs and they came out of the blocks early, putting Boro under plenty of pressure in the opening stages of the game. After a number of early corners, Jamie Jones was called into action in the 4th minute, comfortably gathering a shot from the edge of the box.
Aaron Pierre saw a header from another Chairboys corner bounce down and wide two minutes later, as the hosts went close but it was at the other end that the commanding centre-half was to impress, dominating Boro’s attacking threats all half.
Making his first home start for Wycombe, on-loan striker Rowan Liburd forced Jones to concede another corner before the 10 minute mark, from which Paul Hayes clipped the post with a close-range effort.
Moments later the hosts were on the attack once again, this time Garry Thompson forcing Jones into a finger-tip save at full stretch with a curling effort from the right.
It took until the 18th minute for Stevenage to forge an attacking opportunity in the game. Dean Parrett found Tom Conlon and the youngster turned Joe Jacobson inside out before cutting inside and firing just over from distance.
O’Nien volleyed an ambitious effort over and Dean Parrett saw a shot blocked before Jason McCarthy smashed wide in first half injury time as chances came and went for both sides, with the teams going in level at the break.
Luke Wilkinson replaced the injured Ronnie Henry at the start of the second half and Byron Harrison was introduced shortly afterwards as Boro opted for a more physical approach up top. To an extent both subs worked as Wilkinson was his commanding self at centre-half – Franks had moved to full-back – and Harrison was making his presence felt up front.
This was Stevenage’s best spell of the game but chances came and went for the visitors. On 58 minutes the ball was flicked into Ben Kennedy’s path inside the box and the striker’s eyes lit up, only for him to volley fiercely over. Two minutes later Dean Parrett won a corner and from his delivery Wilkinson flew in with a diving header, only to see the ball go wide.
On 63 minutes Wycombe really should have scored when Liburd headed straight at Jones at the back-post. Three minutes later Boro countered from a Wycombe corner and Ben Kennedy went tumbling in the box. Fans behind the goal appealed for a penalty but Mr Woolmer disagree, instead booking Kennedy for diving.
With 20 minutes remaining Wycombe struck the vital blow. Boro failed to clear a ball into the box and Luke O’Nien showed great footwork to evade two challenges and lash home into the corner.
From that point Stevenage really pushed forward and continued to create chances. Aaron Pierre tackled Harrison when the striker burst through into space and Kennedy saw a shot inside the box deflect onto the roof of the net.
Hull loanee Greg Luer replaced Lee Cox with 10 minutes remaining as Boro went with four up top. The pressure that created a series of late corners from which Stevenage went mightily close to drawing level. On 86 minutes Tonge won a corner and although Ryan Allsopp punched Parrett’s initial delivery clear, the ball came back to the midfielder who smashed one fiercely at goal only for Allsopp to somehow turn over.
Five minutes of added time gave Boro additional hope but Wycombe saw out the game to secure yet another 1-0 win and condemn the visitors to defeat.
Next up for Stevenage is Northampton Town at The Lamex Stadium next weekend. Tickets can be purchased at www.borotickets.co.uk.
Stevenage: Jones, Henry (Wilkinson 46), Wells, Franks, Okimo, Cox (Luer 81), Tonge, Parrett, Pett (Harrison 54), Kennedy, Conlon
Subs not used: Day, Hedges, Marriott, Gorman
Wycombe: Allsop, McCarthy,Jacobson,Stewart, Pierre, Harriman, O’Nien, Bloomfield (Bean 85), Thompson, Hayes, Liburd (Ugwu 76)
Subs not used: Richardson, Jombati,McGinn, Wood,Sellers
Referee: A Woolmer
Attendance: 3,715 (251 away)