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Nick Powell scores only goal as Wycombe fans left feeling sorry by Stoke

Stoke City v Huddersfield Town – Sky Bet Championship – bet365 Stadium
(Image credit: Barrington Coombs)

Nick Powell’s header secured Stoke a 1-0 win at Wycombe to dampen the return of supporters at Adams Park.

The 1,000 fans spread around the stadium created the sort of atmosphere players have been missing for close to nine months and it was the first time they had ever seen the Chairboys in action in the Sky Bet Championship.

But in what was a tight contest, they were edged out by the Potters, who moved themselves to within a point of the play-off places.

Wycombe came within a whisker of taking the lead after just four minutes when David Wheeler got a flicked header on Jason McCarthy’s corner and the ball came back off the post.

It was then Stoke’s turn to come close from a set-piece when Sam Clucas’ corner was met by a towering header from Danny Batth, but Daryl Horgan was alert enough to clear off the line.

The fans in attendance were then convinced the home side should have had a penalty when Alex Samuel went down under Josef Bursik’s challenge, but referee Darren Bond instead booked the attacker for diving.

The Potters began to take control of proceedings, with Sam Vokes sending a header from Morgan Fox’s cross wide just short of the half-hour mark.

Bursik was given his first test after 39 minutes when the ball sat up nicely for Horgan, but his strike from just outside the box was straight at the young stopper.

The first half finished goalless and with the home side having forced their way back into the picture, but they were breathing a sigh of relief early in the second half when Powell shot wide when well-placed.

Vokes’ radar was also askew when he shot over after Jacob Brown had done well to help Clucas’ cross back into his path.

Wycombe began to provide a threat of their own again, with Horgan checking outside before blasting an effort over from a narrow angle.

But the breakthrough finally came for Stoke after 72 minutes when James McClean’s lovely cross from the left was met by Powell at the back post and Wycombe centre-back Josh Knight could not stop it on the line.

The Potters almost had a second with seven minutes left when Tyrese Campbell surged into the area before his deflected effort was well saved by Ryan Allsop at his near post.

The Chairboys struggled to produce much of a response in the time that was left, unable to repeat their late heroics against Derby last Saturday, and it was the visitors who came away with three hard-earned points.