With quarter of the season gone, D3D4 looks at how The Chairboys have fared in League Two so far..
Stability is the word at Wycombe as Gareth Ainsworth kept a very settled squad together going into the new season. Talisman Adebayo Akinfenwa was joined by the experience of Craig Mackail-Smith and Nathan Tyson to give The Chairboys a nice mix nous and youthful exuberance. First up was Lincoln City, back after 6 year in the non-league and full of confidence and belief. The Adams Park faithful were treated to an exciting 2-2 draw as the new campaign got underway.
An impressive first half display at Vale Park followed as Wycombe took a 3 goal lead against a shell shocked Port Vale with Akinfenwa grabbing a brace. The Valiants scored two late goals but it was a deserved win for Gareth Ainsworth’s men. Notts County then highlighted some of The Chairboys defensive frailties as the Magpies scored two late goals to beat Wycombe 4-2 at Adams Park. Akinfenwa was the hero again as he grabbed his second double of the season at Blundel Park to give the Buckinghamshire side a 3-2 win at Grimsby to see out August.
September saw a much better defensive display in the opening three games as Forest Green were blown away 3-1 at home before a couple of battling displays on the road saw The Chairboys draw 0-0 at both Newport and title favourites Mansfield.
Another of the pre-season favourites, Luton Town, were then out played for much of the games at Adams Park and Wanderers went into the last minute of the match leading 1-0, thanks to another Akinfenwa goal. But a disastrous last few minutes saw The Hatters first equalise and then grab a 98th minute winner to leave the fans and players shell shocked. If anything though this defeat galvanised the squad and they won the last three games in September with ease, first beating Colchester away, and then both Crewe and Barnet at home.
One thing Wycombe aren’t is watertight, having conceded 18 times in the opening 12 games but they have a tremendous scoring record that continued into October with a 3-1 win away at Cambridge, thanks to two brilliant goals from Q.P.R. loanee Ebere Eze. Those three goal have taken Wycombe’s tally to 25 scored so far which is more than any other team in League Two. If they can keep a few more clean sheets like at Mansfield and Newport then The Chairboys could be sitting pretty come the end of the season.
Adebayo Akinfenwa has been a massive (both figuratively and literally) so far for Wycombe. His 6 goals don’t tell the full story as he has been a great leader and positive presence so far. Joe Jacobson has also been excellent and his set pieces are a real threat.
Most surprising player?
Luke O’Nein has been excellent and is turning into a wonderful box to box midfielder. If he continues to improve then he may attract the attention of some of the bigger clubs in the EFL. Anthony Stewart has also impressed and has filled the hole Aaron Pierre’s departure left behind.
Performance against expectation?
Maybe slightly better than some of the fans thought but not much. Many were expecting another play-off push and with some impressive displays already under their belts, the Chairboys could surprise a few people before the season is over.
words James Richards