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17:23 3th April 2010


Town jumped back into the Play-Off places thanks to their second consecutive away win against relegation-threatened Wycombe at Adams Park.

The strikers sealed the three points, with Jordan Rhodes netting an instinctive 21st of the season in the first-half before Theo Robinson (pictured) scored a superb second-half effort, rendering Dean Keates' goal as nothing more than consolation with twenty minutes left.

Wycombe created the first chance in just the second minute of the game when the left back launched a speculative ball down the line; tall striker Matt Harrold got in front of Town skipper Peter Clarke to flick the ball into the path of onrushing midfielder John Mousinho, but the former Brentford man sent his 20-yard shot wide of Smithies' right-hand post.

Town hit back and had the first attempt on target three minutes later. Danny Drinkwater robbed a Wycombe player of possession on the edge of their own box before feeding the ball left to Roberts; he in turn crossed towards the penalty spot, but Theo Robinson could only direct his header straight at home custodian Tom Heaton.

BOOKING - Wycombe left-back Kevin McLeod received the first yellow card of the game in the 9th minute for hammering into winger Anthony Pilkington after the Town man had already passed the ball infield.

The right flank looked like a promising path to goal for Lee Clark's side early on in the game and good combination between Pilkington and Peltier allowed the latter to slam a low ball across the face of goal in the 15th minute. The ball cannoned off the 'keeper, but unfortunately for Town it fell straight to a defender who cleared to safety.

The away side were beginning to establish themselves at the dominant force in the game by this stage and a superb cross-field ball from Trotman two minutes later allowed Roberts to race past right-back Kelly before delivering a deep cross, but Jordan Rhodes could only poke the ball wide of goal when at full stretch.

'Pilks' was the next to try his luck barely a minute later. Jordan Rhodes led Town on a superb break down the left channel and when his low cross was deflected into the path of strike partner Robinson, Theo showed good awareness to lay the ball back to his winger on the edge of the box; unfortunately for Anthony, the ball bobbled up as he looked to strike and he ballooned his effort over the bar - and the stand!

SUB - Matt Bloomfield replaced the injured Julian Kelly for Wycombe in the 19th minute.

GOAL - Town's pressure finally told when Jordan Rhodes scored his 21st goal of the season in the 22nd minute. Wycombe conceded a free-kick 30 yards from goal when striker Harrold challenged Peter Clarke from behind, allowing Drinkwater to send the ball into the box; Harrold did well to half-clear Clarke's flick on and when Collins' strike was deflected into his path, Town's top scorer showed brilliant reactions to turn and acrobatically kick the ball past the goalkeeper from close range.

Gary Waddock's side tried to fight back immediately, but Town were resolute in defence - Michael Collins in particular doing very well to track back and block a potentially dangerous cross from veteran Gareth Ainsworth as he entered the penalty area. Unfortunately the midfielder hurt himself in making the challenge, but some on the field treatment from physio Dave Buckby seemed to alleviate the problem.

BOOKING - Neal Trotman was booked in the 28th minute for cannoning into Wycombe 'keeper Heaton after he had gathered in a Town set-piece. It was his eighth of the season and second in Town colours.

Wycombe enjoyed a spell of possession thereafter, forcing two corners, but Town coped admirably and soon rattled the bar with their own corner in the 36th minute. Theo Robinson's run down the channel forced the set-piece and when Pilkington whipped the ball towards the near post, it was Trotman who rose highest. His header slammed against the woodwork and when the ball fell to Rhodes his follow-up was deflected over the goal.

Wycombe midfielder Dean Keates delivered a Wycombe corner onto the head of target man Harrold in the 38th minute, but he sent his effort way over the crossbar under heavy pressure from a defender.

Lee Peltier was close to finding Robinson with a through ball after robbing the ball from striker Beavon in the centre circle, but he over-hit his pass and Heaton was quickly off his line to gather it in.

Town almost capitalised on a slip from a Wycombe defender in added time; Rhodes' flick-on looked to be comfortable for centre-back Hinshelwood, but he lost his footing and allowed Robinson to race through on goal; he tried to round the 'keeper, but Heaton did very well to get a hand to the ball and push it wide before first Pilkington and then Drinkwater had follow-up attempts deflected away from goal.


The weather took a turn for the worse during the half-time break and both teams were being drenched with heavy rain as the second-half got underway.

The Terriers were back on the attack soon afterwards, with a free-kick being awarded on the left touchline for a foul on Roberts by stand-in right-back Betsy. Town worked the free-kick short, with Heffernan eventually dropping a delicate ball into the box for Robinson; he pulled the ball across the face of goal but with the 'keeper beaten Trotman couldn't stretch to divert it home in the six yard box.

GOAL - Town made it two in the 52nd minute when Theo Robinson scored a superb 11th of the season. The striker did brilliantly to control the ball inside the centre circle and when he laid the ball off to Michael Collins, he ghosted in behind the defence to receive the ball back through a clever reverse pass. Theo had to check back, but he then decided to dribble across the face of the penalty area before darting past a man and drilling an unstoppable shot into the far corner, leaving Heaton with no chance.

Wycombe's reply was through a Keates free-kick, but his effort was always rising over Smithies' bar.

SUB - Wycombe swapped Mousinho and Harrold with Matty Phillips and Jon-Paul Pittman in the 55th minute to try and find a way back into the tie.

The travelling supporters to the left of Lee Clark's dugout were in tremendous voice and they thought that the pacy Robinson was in on goal again just three minutes later after Drinkwater turned the ball over the top of the Wycombe defence - however centre-back Westwood used all his experience to get in front of the striker and clear to safety.

Drinkwater volleyed a half-cleared Pilkington corner wide of goal with his weaker left foot moments later as the Terriers continued to impress.

SUB - Lee Clark made his first substitution of the game in the 62nd minute, with Nathan Eccleston replacing goalscorer Robinson for his first appearance since his suspension.

The Liverpool loanee was immediately involved in the action; he collected Pilkington's knock-down before volleying way over the crossbar from 25 yards out.

Substitute Pittman sent a weak header straight into the hands of Smithies at the other end after good work from Ainsworth down the Wycombe left before Town got away with one - Ainsworth's low drilled cross hit Pittman eight yards from goal and ricocheted straight into the waiting arms of Smithies.

Town should have made it three soon afterwards when Rhodes broke away with the ball and was presented with a three on two situation, but substitute Eccleston took too long to shoot and allowed defender Hinshelwood to get in a vital block.

GOAL - Wycombe pulled a goal back in the 73rd minute through Dean Keates. The home side worked hard to close down the Town defence as they tried to clear the ball and Pittman lobbed a cross to the back post when the ball broke to him, allowing the diminutive midfielder to climb well and head the ball past Smithies despite a valiant attempt from the young goalkeeper.

SUB - Town made their second change in the 77th minute, with Antony Kay replacing Gary Roberts. Lee Clark reshuffled his pack to a 4-5-1 formation, with Kay joining Drinkwater and Collins in the middle and Eccleston moving out to the vacant left wing position.

Home goalkeeper Heaton had to be at his best two minutes later; after Eccleston was upended down the left touchline, Drinkwater whipped a vicious ball into the box that narrowly evaded Peter Clarke and may have dropped inside the far post had it not been for the custodian's strong hand.

BOOKING - Antony Kay picked up his tenth booking of the season in the final minute for a 'studs-up' challenge on a Wycombe player, meaning he will now miss the next two games.

Home substitute Bloomfield drilled a powerful shot over the crossbar with eight minutes of normal time remaining before McLeod sent a deflected shot towards goal that Smithies dealt with. That proved to be Wycombe's best effort until the final whistle, with Clark's men seeing the game out in a professional style to leap back into the Play-Off places.


Town's Team (4-4-2):

Alex Smithies; Dean Heffernan, Peter Clarke (c), Neal Trotman, Lee Peltier; Gary Roberts (Antony Kay 78), Danny Drinkwater, Michael Collins, Anthony Pilkington; Theo Robinson (Nathan Eccleston 62), Jordan Rhodes

Unused Subs: Simon Eastwood, Nathan Clarke, Tom Clarke, James Berrett, Krystian Pearce

Town Bookings: Neal Trotman (28), Antony Kay (90)

Wycombe Booking: Kevin McLeod (9)

Attendance: 5,288

    Data provided by Press Association


    Town was the first club to win three successive league titles in 1926. Only Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United have matched this feat.