Mousinho fires Boro to Wycombe win
Wanderers old boy back to haunt the Chairboys
Wycombe Wanderers 0 Stevenage 1
npower League 2
JOHN Mousinho was the star of the show as the former Wycombe man fired Boro to victory on his old stomping ground.
Mousinho’s winner, a low drive just inside Nikki Bull’s right hand post, was the least Stevenage deserved from a match which they dominated from the start, although the copybook was later blotted by the dismissal of Scott Laird midway through the second half.
Boro imposed their game plan on Wycombe and played some good attacking football, but at times they also showed a tenacious, battling side on a difficult and bumpy Adams Park pitch.
The Chairboys offered little attacking danger with Boro nullifying the threat of wide men Gareth Ainsworth and Kevin Betsy, while at the back the return of skipper Mark Roberts together with a commanding display in the air by Michael Bostwick gave Boro the platform on which to build.
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Elsewhere Darren Murphy made his long awaited comeback from injury in midfield and lasted until half-time, and by that time Boro had already shown intent to attack their opponents and had gone close on a number of occasions.
Byron Harrison, another withdrawal at the break due to a shoulder injury, had the best of the early efforts after the ball had bounced into his path, but his shot was tentative and Bull got down quickly to block before the ball bounced out for a corner.
At the other end, Wycombe also went close but Matt Bloomfield’s shot from the edge of the box flew inches over Chris Day’s crossbar.
With Murphy stamping his authority onto the game in the middle of the pitch, Mousinho was able to support Harrison and Darius Charles in the final third and he fired low just wide of Bull’s goal after 20 minutes.
After a promising start the game became congested with space at a premium, and as frustrations grew Boro saw two yellow cards in quick succession as both Murphy and Mousinho were booked.
Wycombe, too, had players cautioned as Stuart Lewis and Ben Strevens’ names entered the referee’s notebook.
Chris Beardsley and Luke Foster came into the fray at the start of the second half for Harrison and Murphy, and before they had even settled into the game Boro were ahead.
Mousinho, who left Wycombe for Boro last summer, had looked lively all afternoon and when the midfielder picked up the ball 35 yards from goal and with no Wycombe players closing him down he took a couple of steps forward before hitting a low drive into the bottom corner.
Charles then tested Bull during a good spell of Boro possession but his low drive hit the post before Charles hit the rebound over the bar.
Things took a turn for the worse for Boro on 63 minutes when Laird, who had earlier been booked for a foul on Ainsworth, saw a second yellow after bringing down Bloomfield 20 yards from goal.
Yet just two minutes later Wycombe could have gone down to 10 men themselves when Lewis Montrose seemed to go in arm first on Rob Sinclair but referee Horwood deemed it worthy of just a caution.
Boro continued to create the best chances and Bull had to be at his best yet again to deny Beardsley a goal when his header seemed destined for the net, while Roberts, stretching, could only divert the rebound into the side netting from an acute angle.
The hosts left their best effort to last, but Danny Foster could not get a good enough touch on Marvin McCoy’s low drive across the six yard box when the goal was beckoning.
If that had gone in, it would have been harsh on Boro but Stevenage managed to return home from yet another top-seven club with all three points after recent wins at Port Vale and Crewe.
Next up is Oxford United on Tuesday, where Westley and his charges will be hoping for more of the same.
Wycombe Wanderers (4-4-2): Bull 8, McCoy 5, Foster 6, Winfield 5, Westwood 7, Ainsworth 5 (Pittman, 69), Lewis 6 (Montrose 6, 46), Bloomfield 6, Betsy 6, Beavon 6 (Rendell 5, 53), Strevens 6. Subs not used: Arnold, Johnson, Donnelly, McClure.
Stevenage (4-4-2): Day 6, Laird 6, Henry 6, Roberts 7, Bostwick 7, Wilson 6, Sinclair 6 (Bridges 6, 70), Mousinho 7, Murphy 6 (Foster 6, 46), Charles 7, Harrison 6 (Beardsley 7, 46). Subs not used: Bayes, Long, Maamria, May.