Last Saturday’s point against Exeter City at the One Call Stadium was enough to satisfy me, however on the eve of another match I can’t help but ponder the fact that we need to still get off the mark on two accounts – getting a goal and picking up our first win of the season.
Fact is you can’t have one without the other unless you get lucky enough for your opponents to score for you, but realistically you can’t play football in the hope that someone will score for you! There have been comments about new boys Ollie Palmer and Calvin Andrew not being good enough to deliver the goods, however from what I’ve seen from the duo – I’m confident when they’re properly match fit, the goals will flow.
We have other players in the squad that can do the job too, Chris Clements and Lindon Meikle were both on target for the reserves midweek as they got off the mark with a 2-1 win at Doncaster – later the same day Matt Rhead bagged a brace in a friendly at Carlton Town with Junior Daniel also on target along with youth teamers Ben Birch and Trovarn Damar-Thompson – The match finished 5-5 as Stags fielded a blend of youth and senior players.
At the back we’ve seemingly shored things up, Ritchie Sutton has been solid since his half time introduction at Tranmere whilst the line-up change from a flat four in the opening two fixtures to a flat three with attacking wing backs (essentially a back five) against Exeter helped get that first clean sheet and first point on the board, it’s time now to build on that. Potentially it would work against Wycombe but for me, it’d be back to a flat four to allow for natural width in midfield as Cox’s men search for that elusive goal.
Wycombe will provide another stern test, Gareth Ainsworth’s men will be keen to get back on track after a league cup exit to Leicester City and last Saturday’s league two defeat at AFC Wimbledon.
Sadly due to certain reasons we will not be at the match again, however we’ll be watching from back home hoping the reserve teams three points plus the goal scoring efforts of the XI played at Carlton, will rub off on the first team – three points are long overdue in the league, as is a goal – the Stags last league goal of course back in April 2008 when Michael Boulding netted a hat-trick to overturn a first minute Marc Pugh strike, giving supporters some half-hearted hope that the great escape was possible.
LAST TIME WE MET
It was during that ill-fated relegated season when the Stags last locked horns with Wycombe, both sides took a share of the spoils with Stags grabbing the points at Wycombe through Jefferson Louis’ 89th minute winner after Michael Boulding’s seventh minute penalty was cancelled out by Scott McGleish’s 42nd minute header.
Louis’ goal proved a historic one in terms of the two sides meeting at Adam’s Park, as it grabbed the Stags their only victory there to date.
Earlier in the season, a month earlier at Field Mill, Wycombe had trounced Mansfield 4-0, defender Gareth Jellyman netted a late own goal to add to a treble already netted by McGleish.
The first meeting of the sides came in 1994 when Wycombe were 1-0 winners, in total there have been 14 meetings between the sides, 12 in the league. In total Wycombe have five wins to four, with 25 goals to our 21.
Paul Cox will be without midfielder Keiran Murtagh who faces an estimated three week lay-off with a knee injury whilst goalkeeper Ian Deakin is also out with dislocated shoulder. Former Nott County man Liam Mitchell, who was on loan at the One Call last term, could be added to the squad today after trialing between the sticks in the midweek reserve team win at Doncaster.
Written by Craig Priest
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