Uganda international Uche Ikpeazu is yet to feature as Wycombe Wanderers fell 1-0 to Stoke City in a Championship encounter on Wednesday.
Nick Powell headed home to hand Stoke City the all-important win at Adams Park as Ikpeazu’s side failed to pick up a win in the last five games now. The Craen forward remains sidelined from before the November international break.
Stoke City got the opener in the 72nd minute when James McClean delivered a cross that was met by Powell who slotted home as Josh Knight of Wanderers failed to stop the ball from crossing the line.
Ryan Allsop saved Wanderers from conceding again in the 83rd minute after Tyrese Campbell moved fast into the area but his deflected effort was saved by the goalkeeper.
Wanderers failed to produce a positive result in the first match where 1000 fans were allowed at the stadium after nine months of suspension.
Wanderer’s manager Gareth Ainsworth said he was proud of his players despite going down to the Potters and also faulted the referee for some decisions.
“We were just done by one touch of class, there was nothing in it,” Ainsworth told Sky Sports .
“I think our fans have seen that we can compete at this level – I’ve been saying it on camera and our fans have been saying ‘Well, we want to see it.’
“They’ve seen it and our fans can compete at this level as well because they were awesome. I’m really proud of the players, but it was just that one moment of quality.
“We’ve had a couple of shots, we hit the post in the first few minutes and there are some serious decisions the referee had to make.
“There was a potential red card on Fred [Onyedinma], there was a handball at the end that could have been a penalty, while Jason McCarthy has been dumped WWF-style and has had to come off injured.”
On his part, Stoke’s Michael O’Neill largely chose to talk about the attendance of fans.
“It was positive, really good,” O’Neill said. “We’ve been playing now for so long in empty stadiums and, at times, it’s a little bit soulless, but tonight, even though there were only 1,000 people in the ground, we had a bit of an atmosphere.
“They were contesting the decisions, obviously, the referee was giving for and against them and, overall, I feel it was positive that they were back.
“There’s been a lot talked about teams that will be permitted, fans and teams that won’t be permitted. I don’t really have any strong opinion on that – we’re not permitted fans at Stoke, for example – but it was good to see fans here tonight.”
With the win, the Potters moved themselves to within a point of the play-off places.