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Match Reports

REPORT: Stevenage 0-0 Wycombe

9 December 2017

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Frantic but no goals to show for it...

Stevenage played out a goalless draw at home to Wycombe on Saturday as defences came out on top in a hard fought match-up.

Chances came at a premium for both sides throughout the 90 minutes, although the game wasn't short on drama.

Sarll named an unchanged line-up from last Saturday's win in the FA Cup, Tom Pett earning his 150th appearance for the club.

The first good chance of the game fell to Matty Godden after Luke Wilkinson picked him out with a long ball over the top, the striker opting to take it early with a looping header which fell just the wrong side of the post.

Wycombe’s primary threat was always going to come from the knockdowns of Akinfenwa and with 15 minutes gone, it almost proved costly. The big man heading down for the on-running Mackail-Smith but King did well to get back in time for the block.

The pairing of Godden and Samuel was looking lively and the former had a number of half chances inside the opening half. Both players combining well after 25 minutes as Samuel broke past his man down the right, pulled it back to his strike partner whose shot was blocked, before Pett saw his follow up soar just over the bar.

The dangerous Eze wrapped a long range effort wide of the post but aside from a couple of nearly moments where Boro’s defenders were almost their own worst enemy, Stevenage would go on to have the better of the half.

Jack King couldn’t quite steer Martin’s free-kick on target after peeling off the back-post and Alex Samuel was having an undeniable influence on the game, keeping the ball well when found early and giving the Wycombe defence plenty of problems.

As the half began to draw to a close, Wycombe would have their best moments of the game and could have gone ahead on a number of occasions.

Mackail-Smith was sent through on goal and but for the quick anticipation from Fryer to come out and meet him, it would have surely been a Chairboys goal.

Fryer was needed again to deny Freeman from just inside the box and right on the whistle, there were flash backs to two seasons ago when Boro goalkeeper Jesse Joronen scored from inside his own box.

Wycombe’s Scott Brown almost finding the net after a long punt upfield was misjudged by Fryer and cleared off the line by Henry. Despite momentary celebrations from the visiting bench, the goal was ruled out.

Right the off to start the second half, Freeman again had the opportunity to put the Chairboys ahead as he received the ball inside the box but his scuffed shot was never troubling the goal.

Chris Whelpdale came close to scoring his first goal back at the club as he was inches away from nodding in Martin’s corner just 3 minutes into the half.

The likes of Samuel and Pett received rough treatment from the Wycombe players throughout the game and it took until the 50th minute for the first Chairboys card – a yellow on Jacobson after a crude challenge on Samuel by the half-way line.

It was Whelpdale who came close again minutes later, heading into the side netting following Martin’s cross towards the backpost.

With half an hour to play, Sarll played his trump card as Danny Newton came off the bench for Alex Samuel, ready to run the Wycombe defence ragged just as he did a week ago.

The experienced Mackail-Smith remained a threat throughout the game and with nearly 20 minutes to go, his rasping half-volley was his clean but straight into the hands of Fryer.

Just like the end of the first half, Boro had to dig deep throughout the remainder of the contest as Wycombe loaded the box with cross after cross and began to up the ante.

Jack King, Luke Wilkinson and the rest of the Boro side defending for their lives as Akinfenwa and co piled on the pressure.

Despite the bombardment, Wycombe forced Fryer into very saves, demonstrated by Tyson's skewed header from only 6 yards out.

Tom Conlon replaced Tom Pett with less than 10 minutes to go and seconds after coming on, Wycombe came inches away as Akinfenwa hit the post with an instinctive header from another launched ball into the box.

Although it was mainly rear-guard action for Boro during the second half, Matty Godden could have scored the winner with just a few minutes to go, wonderfully picked out by Wilkinson from deep but just beaten to the ball by Brown.

In the end, neither side could find a way through to goal as Boro picked up a well earned point against a tough Wycombe side.

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