Wycombe Wanderers (Home)

Jul 7, 2023 | 2023 A Season in Review

The Memorial Stadium Tuesday 14th March 2023

Bristol Rovers 0

Wycombe Wanderers 2

Hanlan (17), Campbell (62)

Referee: Rebecca Welch Attendance: 8,533

Looking for a first home win since New Year’s Day, manager Joe Barton was forced to make a late change to his starting XI as Luca Hoole reported in sick, which meant a start for James Connolly.

Referee Rebecca Welch made a little bit of history as she became the first female referee to take charge of a Rovers first team game at the Mem. She was no stranger to the Gas, though, as she had previously been in charge of our game at Hartlepool back in September 2021.

Since our defeat at Adams Park on Boxing Day, Wycombe had lost manager Gareth Ainsworth, who had moved on to take charge at QPR and also their star man that day Anis Mehmeti who has since moved to the dark side of Bristol!

Rovers started the game as though they meant to finish things of quickly and fashioned three chances in the opening ten minutes.

Scott Sinclair went close in the fourth minute but his shot was well blocked by former Rovers defender Joe Jacobson.

Josh Coburn had a golden opportunity to give Barton’s side the lead with nine minutes on the clock, but when played in by Aaron Collins he saw his shot saved by goalkeeper Max Stryjek. Collins then fired a shot over the bar.

Just when it seemed as though Rovers would make the breakthrough, the visitors took the lead. A slip by Lamare Bogarde, when in possession, let in Tjay de Barr and he played in another former Rovers player, Brandon Hanlan who fired past James Belshaw to put his side ahead. To be fair to Hanlan, his goal celebrations against his former club were a very low key affair.

As Rovers attempted to get back in the game, Collins hit a shot that drifted just wide of the upright while another effort from Coburn was also wide of the mark.

Barton made two half time substitutions, sending on Ryan Loft and Antony Evans in place of Connolly and Sinclair. Somewhat mysteriously, the introduction of the two substitutes saw Bogarde move to a more defensive role at right back and Evans take on a midfield role, though Sinclair’s departure meant a lack of width in the side.

Belshaw saved well from Hanlan’s header soon after the restart, while Rovers went close to getting back on level terms when Loft headed wide and Coburn’s fired a fierce drive met the same fate.

In spite of Rovers’ decent start to the second period, though, the second goal of the evening saw Wycombe double their lead. There were 62 minutes on the clock when a break down the right saw Chem Campbell head home from Jason McCarthy’s cross.

There were few other goalscoring opportunities and Wycombe comfortably saw the game out to take all three points and new manager Matt Bloomfield celebrated with his players at the final whistle.

For Rovers it was a continuation of a dismal home run that has seen them score once in their last five league games at the Memorial Stadium.

After the match Barton dug out his skipper, Collins, blaming him for going missing during the game and saying he ducked out of a header for fear of a challenge coming in from behind.

Bristol Rovers: Belshaw, Quansah, Connolly (Evans, 46), Gibson, Sinclair (Loft, 46), Bogarde, Ward, Gordon, Collins, Marquis, Coburn (Coburn, 82).

Substitutes: Balcombe, McCormick

Wycombe Wanderers: Stryech, McCarthy, Grimmer, Forino, Jacobson, Campbell, Scowen, Wing, Mcleary, De Barr (Willis, 59), Hanlan.

Substitutes: Cartwright, Young, Wakely, Pattenden, Matshazi, Ward.


Former Rovers players Joe Jacobson and Brandon Hanlan were in the Wycombe Wanderers side

A yellow card was issued to Lamare Bogarde

Aaron Collins was skipper

Three substitutes used

Only six substitutes named

Referee Rebecca Welch was taking charge of a Rovers game for the second time, but it was her first at the Memorial Stadium

Nine added minutes

(photos courtesy of JMP)

Keith Brookman