Match report: Wycombe Wanderers 2 Doncaster Rovers 1

Rovers suffered back to back league defeats for the first time this season as their title aspirations encountered another stumbling block at Wycombe Wanderers.

Saturday, 22nd April 2017, 3:32 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:53 pm
Wycombe Wanderers v Doncaster Rovers

There was twice a costly failure to deal with the physicality of Adebayo Akinfenwa who got decisive touches in the build-up to both first half goals for the hosts.

Luke O'Nien scored twice for play-off chasing Wycombe, capitalising on space left as Rovers paid a little too much attention to the imposing Akinfenwa.

O'Nien's first left Rovers having to recover from conceding the first goal for the sixth time in their last eight matches.

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They did respond well, levelling through a fortuitous effort from Alfie May.

And they very much looked to be the team in the ascendency until O'Nien netted again, against the run of play which set up a second half of frustration for Rovers.

The day had started positively for Rovers with welcome fitness boosts coming before the game.

Ian Lawlor returned from his chest injury while James Coppinger also came back in following his groin problem.

Darren Ferguson took the decision to hold off surgery for Mathieu Baudry who started in the back four alongside the returning Andy Butler.

Luke McCullough also returned to the side with Marko Marosi, Aaron Taylor-Sinclair, Joe Wright and the suspended Matty Blair dropping out.

Tommy Rowe tested Jamal Blackman's alertness early with a snap shot after cutting inside but the Wycombe keeper gathered at the second attempt.

Sam Saunders went for an audacious lob from close to the half way line but Lawlor watched it sail harmlessly over his goal.

Wycombe took the lead on nine minutes. A Joe Jacobson long throw in was flicked on by Adebayo Akinfenwa, rattling the bar and falling kindly for O'Nien who headed in from close range.

Rovers responded well and began to see plenty of the ball in the opposition half, finding space between the Wycombe defence and their deep-lying midfield pair.

And on 18 minutes they were level. If there was a touch of fortune about the Wycombe goal, the Rovers equaliser was doused in it.

May did incredibly well on the right to reach the byline and whip in a cross which kicked up off Sido Jombati and looped over Blackman into the far corner.

In the ascendency any way, Rovers had the bit between their teeth and were controlling possession.

John Marquis hooked wide from the edge of the area after smart one-touch football from the visitors.

And Tommy Rowe clipped the woodwork with a powerful low drive from 20 yards as spaces opened up for Rovers.

But against the run of play Wycombe went back in front with 32 minutes gone with the Jacobson-Akinfenwa double act playing a significant role again.

Jacobson lofted a free kick into the Rovers box from his own half, Akinfenwa played the knockdown and O'Nien lashed home a volley from ten yards.

Goalscorer May was forced off with injury after 38 minutes with Gary McSheffrey coming off the bench.

It was a disruptive forced chance which saw Rovers lose an important runner from the front line and left them lacking bodies in the Wycombe box.

But Rovers again initally enjoyed more of the ball and had chances to level. Coppinger was inches away from connecting with Rowe's deflected shot but Blackman could watch it trickle harmlessly wide of his goal.

And McSheffrey scuffed wide from a good position on the edge of the box.

Wycombe threatened in the dying moments of the half with Akinfenwa powering a header over the bar.

After find plenty of space in the first half, Rovers discovered it was at a premium after the break and the regularity of their efforts on goal diminished.

Baudry headed wide at the near post after a smart cross by Coppinger.

The half became one of frustration where second balls did not drop for Rovers and decent build-up play lacked a killer final pass.

Conor Grant sliced into the sidenetting after being played in on an angle by Marquis and Rowe blasted straight at Blackman after darting into the box.

There was a growing feeling that it was not going to be Rovers day as they found themselves frustrated at every turn.

They were inches away from conceding again when substitute Dominic Gape smashed a stunning left foot volley off the crossbar from the edge of the box.

Rovers pushed in the six minutes of added time but the closest they came was when Baudry flicked a header wide from a McSheffrey free kick.

And Marquis drilled wide from ten yards, latching onto a hopeful long ball.

Wycombe: Blackman, Harriman, Jombati, Pierre, Jacobson, Bean, O'Nien, Bloomfield, Saunders (Gape 83), Akinfenwa, Kashket (Thompson 77). Subs not used: Richardson, Hayes, Southwell, Weston, Freeman.

Rovers: Lawlor, Alcock (Taylor-Sinclair 62), Baudry, Butler, Mason, McCullough, Grant, Rowe, Coppinger (Mandeville 66), Marquis, May (McSheffrey 38). Subs not used: Marosi, Wright, Middleton, Longbottom.

Referee: Graham Horwood (Bedfordshire)

Attendance: 4,587 (820 away)