Danny Coles: Win was deserved after strong displays throughout the side
AFTER the disappointment of taking just a single point from our home games against Oxford and Barnet, it was great to get back to winning ways at Wycombe on New Year's Day.
Admittedly, our prospects didn't look too bright when Jamie Cureton got sent off just before half-time, and they looked even less bright when Wycombe were awarded a spot-kick just after the interval. However, Artur made a great save which I think heightened our belief that it might just be our day and we could still take something from the game.
Even with 10 men I thought we were more than a match for the home side and could easily have taken the lead before we did. There might have been a little bit of good fortune about the 83rd-minute goal which won us the match but they say you make your own luck and I'd like to think we did that on Tuesday. It was fitting that the decisive goal came after a great piece of skill from Alan Gow who, as Tis highlighted in his post-match press conference, worked as hard as anyone to help ensure we got a result.
Jimmy Keohane also continued his impressive run of form and, on top of his penalty stop, Artur made a save right out of the top drawer late in the day when it looked for all the world as if a Wycombe header was destined for the top corner.
I ought to also mention the supporters who were outstanding from start to finish. When you're up against it as we were at Adams Park, it gives you a real lift to have such great backing from the terraces so I'd like to take this opportunity to pass on our thanks to all those who made the 350-mile round trip.
Unfortunately, things didn't turn out so well in either of the two home games which preceded the Wycombe match.
We played some great football in the opening 15 or so minutes of our Boxing Day game against Oxford and could easily have been a couple of goals to the good but, as has been the case on a number of occasions at St James's Park this season, we just couldn't convert our supremacy into goals. The visitors' 18th-minute opener came completely against the run of play and from thereon in pretty much everything that could go wrong did.
One of the all-too-few highlights for City supporters was an energetic display from Jamie Reid, who made his Football League debut when coming on for John O'Flynn with half an hour or so left on the clock. Jamie is yet another talented youngster to have come through the club's youth setup and he should take plenty of encouragement from his performance against the O's.
It was a rather different story against Edgar Davids' Barnet on Saturday when we raced into a 2-0 lead courtesy of goals from yours truly and Scot Bennett.
I don't think it's any exaggeration to say we could easily have been four or five goals ahead at the interval – I gather Bees' player-manager Davids tweeted something to the same effect – and a fourth home victory of the season appeared to be well within our grasp.
It's fair to say we didn't play quite as well after the break but, even after they got a goal back, I didn't think they looked like getting an equaliser so we were gutted when they grabbed one in the eighth minute of injury time.
It was, I guess, ironic given all the hullabaloo about Davids that both Barnet goals came after he had gone off injured.
Sadly, Liam Sercombe also limped off with a broken ankle and will, I understand, be out for a good few weeks at the very least.
On the plus side, at least Tommy Doherty has now recovered from the hamstring injury which has been troubling him and is back in contention for a place in the starting line-up.
We travel to York on Saturday in search of what would be a fifth successive away win. It's not too often you win four away games on the bounce, let alone five, so that really would be quite something if we could do it.
The Minstermen are just four points behind us in the table so it's sure to be a tough test but, as we've demonstrated on eight occasions already this season, winning away from St James's Park is well within our capabilities.
That said, Gary Mills has put together a decent side and we know we have to match the commitment and desire we displayed at Adams Park on Tuesday if we're to stand any chance of adding to our haul of away wins.