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Match Reports

REPORT & GALLERY | HATTERS 3 WYCOMBE WANDERERS 0

Collins and Moncur, with a double, on target again as the Hatters equal club record

9 February 2019

Two late goals from George Moncur, in addition to James Collins' first-half opener, sealed a fifth win in a row against Wycombe this afternoon - meaning the Hatters have now equalled the club record of 19 unbeaten Football League games set 50 years ago.

Wycombe Wanderers were the latest club in a long list who could not beat the Hatters in another red-hot atmosphere on a cold, windy day at Kenilworth Road.

James Collins netted the first to extend his lead at the top of the League One scoring charts with his 19th of the season, then new signings Jason Cummings and Moncur blossomed into a promising partnership to send every Hatter home with a smile.

The win means the Town still lead the way at the top of the division by six points, but now sit nine points clear of the play-off places due to Sunderland and Portsmouth only claiming a point in their matches.

Mick Harford made one change to the side that won 3-0 away at Shrewsbury last week, Danny Hylton coming in for Kazenga LuaLua, who missed out altogether with a hamstring injury.

Wycombe started reasonably well and Joe Jacobson took the first corner of the afternoon, picking out Adebayo Akinfenwa, whose header was never going to beat Shea who made a simple catch.

The Hatters were the ones who started brightest though, a minute later with a chance of their own. Some nice build-up play down the right from Jack Stacey allowed Hylton time to thread a low cross that Collins couldn’t quite squeeze in at the near post.

Paris Cowan-Hall exploited some space down the right wing after James Justin - making his 100th senior appearance - lost the ball high up the pitch. His low cross was smartly turned away from danger by Sonny Bradley who had to be aware of Nathan Tyson who was lurking behind.

The Hatters played some wonderful stuff to win their first corner of the game, the whole team linking together. Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu, with a skilful flick to Andrew Shinnie, whose smart pass found its way across the area and into Stacey, whose low cross was just about dealt with by the Wycombe backline.

The resulting corner put the Chairboys under more pressure, Mpanzu floating his cross into the area where Hylton was waiting after beating the offside trap. His nod down fell to Collins’ boot, putting his laces into it. The ball was blocked away though, squandering the strikers’ chance.

Mpanzu and Shinnie were at it again a little later on, linking nicely to release Stacey. His first time cross had Luke Berry stretching at the back post. He would have got there too if it hadn’t been for a last-ditch tackle from Jason McCarthy.  

Stacey misplaced his turn on the edge of the area on the 17th minute, but Shinnie was there to collect the loose ball and fire an effort into the hands of Allsop.

Shinnie turned provider midway through the first half, twisting well to pick out Hylton. His touch was exemplary other than the finish with Allsop keeping the scores level, as he did when Stacey had a go soon after, the shot stinging the keepers’ palms.

Wycombe came with a game plan, pressing high up the field to disrupt the Hatters’ free-flowing game. Akinfenwa holding the ball up well for his team-mates to find their way into the box, but Pearson and Bradley stood firm.

The home side broke the deadlock though in the 33rd minute, Hylton spreading the ball across the pitch superbly for Stacey who had been looking for that pass since the beginning of the game. Stacey’s delivery was pinpoint onto Collins’ head and the top scorer made no mistake, a thumping header at the near-post to make it 19 for the season.

It became gritty towards the end of the half, both sides picking up bookings in an atmosphere worthy of a relatively local derby. It was the Hatters who ended the half the stronger of the two, however, as they looked to keep a second consecutive clean sheet and fourth in five matches

The second half began with a small calm after the storm which had been the end of the first half. It took nearly 10 minutes for the first sight of goal, Shinnie with a low drive, gathered by Allsop down to his right.

Stacey - who had a phenomenal game down the flank, lofted a delightful pass into Mpanzu, who was brought down in the area. The appeals were swiftly turned away as the Hatters began to exert their authority again.

McCormack latched onto Bradley’s header with a venomous volley which he could not keep down, and Jacobson hit one that was always bending wide of Shea’s goal.  

The ball was in the Kenny End once more, this time a lot closer to the target when Collins placed his curling shot just over the stanchion from 25 yards.

Wycombe resorted to long-range attempts as the Hatters’ defence stood strong, Scott Kashket the substitute firing well over – as did Thompson a minute later. The visitors showed glimpses of promise, keeping the pressure on the Hatters who continued to battle the ball away as the clock ticked into the final 10 minutes.

But the Hatters made sure the three points remained in Bedfordshire with two late goals involving the two substitutes, Cummings and Moncur.

The first arrived when Stacey threaded a brilliant pass to Cummings who matched it with an even better touch. His pace and footwork caused all kinds of problems for the Wycombe defence. The move deserved a goal, but Allsop saved the Scotsman's shot, although he couldn't deny Moncur, who had all the time in the world to tap home into the empty net.

The pair were at it again three minutes later. Cummings grabbing a second assist after just seven minutes on the pitch. Moncur had more work to do this time though, finding Allsop’s bottom right corner through a crowded penalty area to put any doubt at bay.

Ankinfenwa nearly flicked in a late consolation for the Chairboys in stoppage time, but Shea was able to deal with the effort and keep a second consecutive clean sheet.

Joey Barton’s Fleetwood are up next week, with a trip to the Fylde coast the next destination at the end of the Hatters' Golden Mile!

 

TOWN: Shea, Stacey, Pearson, Bradley (c), Justin, McCormack, Mpanzu, Shinnie (Sheehan 89), Berry (Moncur 73), Hylton (Cummings 82), Collins. Subs: Potts, Baptiste, Thorne, Isted

Yellows: Hylton, Collins

Goals: Collins 33, Moncur, 85, 88

 

WYCOMBE: Allsop, Jombati, Jacobson, Gape, El-Abd, Bloomfield (Freeman 82), Cowan-Hall (Bolton 65), Thompson, Akinfenwa, Tyson (Kashket 72), McCarthy. Subs: Stewart, Bean, Yates (GK), Owens

Yellows: El-Abd

 

REFEREE: Andy Davies

 

ATT: 10,072 (751 away)

 


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