Wycombe 1 Cheltenham Town 2: Guinan's strike rewards Cheltenham resilience

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The Independent Online

Cheltenham retained their unbeaten status against their play-off opponents Wycombe after a gritty performance saw them edge this enjoyable League Two semi-final first leg. In truth, the result flattered John Ward's team but their sheer resilience at Adams Park last night means they will go into the second leg as favourites.

Wycombe proved enterprising in attack in the first half, with the forwards ably assisted by an alert and tenacious midfield task force. Cheltenham meanwhile, were ineffective. However moments before the interval, the visitors snatched the lead, very much against the run of play as the midfielder John Finnigan fired his low, right-footed shot under goalkeeper Steve Williams.

Steve Guinan was then presented with a gilt-edged opportunity to extend the Robins advantage with a free header, but the striker missed the target. More alarmingly for the Wycombe coaching staff, however, was the scant possession and their supporters grew restless as evidenced by the lack of vocal support.

The Wycombe substitute Jermaine Easter came desperately close with a fine volley on 69 minutes but it went just over, leaving the hosts to rue the miss six minutes later when Guinan tipped the scales towards Cheltenham with a low drive. Deep into injury time, the veteran striker Tommy Mooney struck for Wycombe, however, to leave this tie delicately poised.

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