By Jon Harries
Well, we got the job done…… eventually on Tuesday night. An unchanged line-up went to the Pirelli Stadium in search of a much-needed win after the disappointing result against Doncaster on Saturday.
Burton were looking to keep their unbeaten run going this year, but the Dons got control early on, Corbeanu again causing issues down the right with a couple of delicious balls into the box, but Burton were the first team to test the goalkeeper. but Cumming saved the day.
McEachran had one tipped over by the Burton keeper, Tennai Watson hit the bar with a sweet volley, and then Parrott worked an opening in the box which hit the post, but Eisa was unable to convert from 3 yards as he got the ball stuck under his feet as the rebound fell to him with the goal at his mercy.
The pitch wasn’t the best for the way we play but you wouldn’t know that as Josh McEachran absolutely ran the show finding pockets of space and driving forward at every opportunity.
Half time and Burton were lucky to go in all square.
The second half started with the same dominant display and Parrott was denied by a fantastic save by Garratt who instinctively put his hand in the way of a shot that looked destined to burst the net. Burton then had a guilt edge chance saved at point blank range by Cumming and then O’Hora got a foot in to prod it to safety.
Then the chances died down, Boateng and Wickham were brought on to add extra impetus going forward but it looked more likely that two points were going to be dropped. Then a ball forward by MOTM McEachran was brilliantly held up by Wickham, he laid it off to Twine, but it looked like the defender had it covered, but he made the mistake of trying to let it bounce and Twine pounced and volleyed into the top corner. Cue the limbs in the away end and crutches lifted triumphantly in celebration, (watch the footage of the fans celebration).
The victory cemented our place in the play offs particularly given Plymouth suffering injury time heartache conceding 2 goals in 3 minutes of mayhem, and now 4th v 5th on Saturday becomes even more tasty.
Wycombe come wandering into Saturday on the back of a surprise defeat away at stuttering Morecambe. They got off to the dream start with Akinfenwa heading home after 90 seconds. Anthony O’Connor then equalised from a corner. Jack Grimmer hit a shot in from distance just after half time to make it 2-1 to the Bucks side but Morecambe though have a never say die attitude and Jonah Ayunga equalised capitalising on a fumbled save from Stockdale. 7 minutes later Cole Stockton scored his 20th goal of the season to send the home fans happy and to knock Wycombe off the summit of L1.
Gareth Ainsworth arguably has the strongest Wycombe squad at his disposal. The previously mentioned Stockdale in goal is one of the best in L1, Anthony Stewart continues to defy the odds and is a reliable CB and Joe Jacobsen still has a sweet left foot. In midfield former Don David Wheeler broke our hearts in our last visit to Adams Park and Daryl Horgan on the other side is a dangerous opponent. Up top Sam Vokes and Brandon Hanlan were superb additions to the squad in the summer scoring 8 and 5 goals respectively.
The Man in Focus this time is a player that normally you wouldn’t associate with Wycombe’s perceived style. Anis Mehmeti is a phenomenal talent that has recently signed a long-term contract after impressing on trial. The 21-year-old Albanian has 4 goals and 2 assists in 20 games this season and adds a different dimension to the Wanderers midfield. Able to get on the ball and drive forward, wriggle out of tight situations and slide balls through to Hanlan, this is a midfielder that will play at a higher level and shine. In a “Derby” such as this sometimes one moment of quality normally decides the game and he could be a key component to their success.
Predicted Line-up *before any transfers were confirmed
Watson – O’Hora – Lewington – Harvie
McEachran – Coventry
Corbeanu – Twine – Parrott
This is a big call for me and one I’m not 100% sure will happen. I don’t feel this is the game for Mo as he struggles with the physical side of the game and Wycombe are physically capable. If we can get runners off Wickham, it could be the key to our success then bring Mo on later to stretch the defence. Scott Twine did have ice on his arm post Burton but imagine he’s made of tough stuff.
I predict another narrow 1-0 win. With over 1200 fans following MK Dons to Adams Park, I’m expecting a hostile atmosphere in the “Derby”. Wickham with the goal. If you haven’t bought your ticket yet. Please do. 4th v 5th. This is going to be a cracking game.