Aug 21 2012 By Greg Burns at Adams Park
Wycombe 0–1 Gillingham
WYCOMBE were beaten in their first home game of the season after a dominant Gillingham second-half display saw them clinch victory.
Joe Martin put the Gills ahead on 55 minutes with a close range finish and Martin Allen's side held on to claim all three points.
For Wanderers, they could point to a good spell at the end of the first-half that they failed to build on after the break.
But once Gillingham took the lead they never looked like conceding as they defended well and powered to victory – despite playing the final stages with ten-men.
Wycombe returned to Adams Park for their first competitive home game of the season having already banked three eye-catching points at promoted York on Saturday.
But Gillingham always looked likely to be tougher opposition and so it proved.
An unchanged Wanderers side started well with Stuart Beavon able to turn and see a shot deflected behind before Sam Wood fired wide with an effort on his weaker right foot.
But they had to be at their defensive best to keep the Gills at bay in a lively first-half that saw Myles Weston force a fine near-post save from Nikki Bull and Danny Kedwell wasting a free header from six yards out.
In the end, attack was the best form of defence for Gary Waddock's side who ended the half on top.
Winger Joel Grant fired wide twice before the break – once with a speculative effort from distance before wasting a good position when cutting inside – while Gillingham stopper Stuart Nelson had a lucky escape when he fumbled Matt Spring's 30-yard free-kick.
The only downside for Wanderers was the withdrawal of Wood who had lengthy treatment on his knee and rejoined the game before having to replaced by ex-Gills man Dennis Oli.
It was the visitors who had the first chance of the second-half when substitute Charlie Allen walzted through the Blues defence and tested Bull with a side-footed effort while the goalkeeper had to be alert on 54 minutes to tip over a looping Tom Flanagan header.
And their pressure told a minute later when Weston's fizzing 25-yard free-kick came back off the post and straight into the path of left-back Joe Martin who couldn't miss the tap-in to put Gillingham ahead.
Wanderers were second best and threatened to let the game to slip away with poor marking allowing Chris Whelpdale to head wide before the midfielder saw a long range shot palmed away by Bull with 20 minutes to play.
Grant showed a glimmer of resistance with a darting run that ended with Gills stopper Stuart Nelson clawing away his rasping drive and with Wycombe handed a lifeline when Tom Flanagan was sent-off after picking up a second booking for a cynical foul on Richard Logan with 12 minutes to go.
But it was not enough to spark Wycombe towards an equaliser with Gary Waddock now having to turn his attention to hosting his former side Bristol Rovers on Saturday.
WANDERERS: Bull, Stewart, Johnson, Doherty, Basey (Angol 84), Grant, Spring, Bloomfield (Logan 63), Lewis, Wood (Oli 45), Beavon.
Subs (not used): Harrison, Winfield, Kewley-Graham, Hause.
Booked: Grant (62 mins).