Wycombe Wanderers eased past Rochdale 3-0 to seal their third home win on the bounce for the first time since February and their most comfortable win at Adams Park for over two years.
After the incredible comeback against Scunthorpe at the weekend, Gareth Ainsworth made two changes to his side, dropping last-minute hero Craig Mackail-Smith for Alex Samuel, who made his league debut for Wycombe. The other alteration saw the suspended Dom Gape replaced by Bryn Morris.
Ryan Allsop was also due to be unavailable, but his ban was revoked by the FA after his somewhat controversial dismissal against the Iron, meaning there was no first league start at Wycombe for Yves Ma-Kalambay. Rochdale only made just the one change from their win at Bradford on Saturday as MJ Williams replaced Ollie Rathbone.
Chairboys fans would’ve been getting flashbacks of Saturday’s game early on as Rochdale came forward with similar attacking pace and fluidity to Scunthorpe in the early moments. It was almost another early goal conceded for Wanderers as Williams failed to make contact with a dangerous Joe Rafferty cross. Wycombe found the opening goal though, as Bryn Morris scored his first goal at Adams Park with a swerving free-kick that deceived Dale keeper Brendan Moore.
The home side continued to put balls in the box with none of them really troubling the opposing defence. Alex Samuel and Curtis Thompson both impressed in the opening 45 minutes as the Chairboys had the edge of the proceedings. Rochdale also troubled Wanderers though with a few nervy moments for the majority of the 3997 fans in attendance.
HALF-TIME: Wycombe Wanderers 1-0 Rochdale
Ian Henderson has been rolling back the years recently, and nearly showed some more of his vintage best early in the second half to nutmeg Bryn Morris and curl just wide from 25 yards out. With virtually their first chance of the closing period, Wanderers doubled their lead after some sustained Rochdale pressure. A long free-kick from Joe Jacobson was chested down brilliantly in classic Adebayo Akinfenwa style, and he showed his other, more flamboyant side, with a perfectly-placed volley into the bottom corner.
Before Rochdale had the chance to recover, it was three. The home man-of-the-match Alex Samuel did well to hook a loose ball back into the danger zone for Fred Onyedinma to power in a header for his second goal in as many games. Last time the Millwall loanee was on a scoring spree at Wanderers, he went on a ridiculous run, so Ainsworth will be hoping he can repeat that feat. Wanderers could’ve added more before the final whistle, but they saw the 3-0 scoreline out for a stylish win.
FULL-TIME: Wycombe Wanderers 3-0 Rochdale
14th place now for Wycombe, heady heights especially considering where they were a few weeks ago and after seven minutes of Saturday’s game. They now travel to fellow mid-table outfit Walsall on Saturday hoping to repeat their home performances on the road.