Wycombe Wanderers F.C.
Match Reports April/May 1996
|||||REPORTS FROM MARCH 96|||||REPORTS FROM FEBRUARY 96
|||||REPORTS FROM JANUARY 96|||||REPORTS FROM DECEMBER 95|||||
Saturday 4th May 1996 BRISTOL ROVERS 2 WYCOMBE 1
A highly emotional day for Bristol Rovers fans but just another game in an uneventful season for the Wycombe followers. On a bright and sunny day at Bath, Wycombe fielded an unchanged lineup from the one that had beaten Carlisle the week before. Rovers were playing their last game at Twerton Park before a move to Bristol Rugby Club's Memorial Ground next season and their fans were in bouyant mood when Marcus Browning thumped home a 14th minute left wing cross after Wycombe had failed to clear. On a dustbowl pitch, Wycombe's first real effort came on 35 minutes when John Williams was one on one with the 'keeper and the loose ball fell to Farrell who lobbed the ball agonisingly over the bar.
The second half began with a flourish when a series of passes by the home side ended with Justin Skinner firing just wide with Dykstra stranded. A minute later Williams turned quickly inside the Rovers box but his shot was blocked. Then on 53 minutes Peter Beadle fed Marcus Stewart at the other end but his shot flashed by the opposite upright. Two minutes later, however, he got his goal after a much delayed free-kick. Stewart picking the ball up in the area and gleefully angling his drive hard and low past Dykstra. With the crowd more than happy to continue with Mexican Waves rather than watch the rest of the game it was left to Dave Carroll to have the last say at Twerton Park when he controlled the ball in the area and hammered the ball into the roof of the net after 72 minutes. To their credit Wycombe pressed for an equaliser with Williams going close on 78 minutes and with 2 minutes left an overhead attempt from Carroll never really found its course and Rovers held on for their win.
Emotional scenes at the end when the Rovers fans spilled onto the pitch to send off their team but for Wycombe fans the end of the season will not have come quick enough. Wycombe finished 12th in the table with 15 victories, 15 draws and 16 defeats, goals for 63, goals against 61, points 60.
WYCOMBE TEAM: Dykstra, Rowbotham, Bell, Crossley, Evans, Brown, Carroll, Ryan, Farrell (sub 63 Desouza), Williams, Patterson Subs(not used):Lawrence and Skiverton Attendance:6,621
Saturday 27th April 1996 WYCOMBE 4 CARLISLE UNITED 0
Some smiles returned to the faces of Wycombe fans during the last home game of the season against a condemed Carlisle United side. Goals came from Matt Crossley, John Williams and two from David Farrell recorded the Wanderers biggest home win of the season and sent the Cumbrian side back to the basement division.
On a scorching day at Adams Park, the game started in the usual lethargic style with the visitors going close after just 3 minutes when a Dean Walling header was cleared off the line by Evans. Ex-Watford star Rod Thomas had two near misses half way through the first period, with Dykstra saving well from the second when he tipped a low shot wide. Wycombe came alive after 34 minutes when first Williams headed over from a cross by Player of the Season Dave Carroll. 2 minutes later, Wycombe were a goal up when a low cross by Farrell was scrambled home by Matt Crossley. Brown nearly made it 2-0 a minute later when he broke through but shot just wide and then Williams forced a point blank save from Antony Caig in the Carlisle goal.
Carlisle forced a double save from Dykstra a minute into the second half when first he blocked a low shot from David Currie then tipped away another effort within 30 seconds. Carroll had a shot blocked after 49 minutes but 4 minutes later John Williams made it 2-0 when he headed home following a run down the left-wing by Farrell. Carlisle were finally distroyed after 62 minutes when Bell broke clear in a suspiciously offside position. He flicked the ball past the advancing 'keeper for Farrell to walk into the net, much to the dismay of the Carlisle players and supporters but to the great amusement of everyone else. Still it's a funny old game.
It was just shooting practice for the remainder of the game (and boy do we need it!). Carroll laided the ball back for Williams on 66 minutes but the 'keeper saved well and then 6 minutes later a drive by Ryan was disallowed for offside. The goal of the game came on 75 minutes when Dave Farrell broke through and brushed away the defenders before firing home from the right hand edge of the box. The game ended on a sour note when Carlisle Captain David Reeves and Sieb Dykstra clashed in the box. A mass brawl ended with Reeves and Dykstra both being shown the red card. Patterson went between the posts for the remaining 3 minutes but was not troubled.
WYCOMBE TEAM: Dykstra, Rowbotham, Bell, Crossley, Evans, Brown (sub 78 Hardyman), Carroll, Ryan, Farrell, Williams, Patterson Subs(not used):Lawrence and Skiverton Attendance:3,964
Saturday 20th April 1996 WYCOMBE 0 SWANSEA 1
It's understandable that Wycombe fans are getting more upset by the week. A sunny afternoon, playing against a club all but doomed to relegation, with an away record boasting just two wins from 21, losing 1-0 without a hint of fight or passion is a sad indication of the battle Manager Alan Smith now has on his hands.
Swansea by all accounts were awful, with Jan Molby attempting to run the show from midfield. Wycombe matched them, however, with the nearest effort in the early stages coming after 17 minutes when Desouza hit a shot with precision into the industrial estate behind the goal. On 37 minutes, Carroll flicked a ball to Skiverton who forced a save from Freestone in the Swansea goal. The Welshmen's best effort of the first half came a minute before the break when Andy Cook fed the ball to Stephen Torpey in the box but he failed to hit the target.
With Smith seemingly more content in topping up his sun tan in the dug out, Wycombe continued to fire blanks with Ryan heading without conviction from a Farrell cross after 46 minutes. The inevitable goal and winner came after 55 minutes when a Molby free-kick from the left was headed home by another veteran, Lee Chapman. Wycombe's response was lame to say the least. On 59 minutes youth team striker Damien Markman replaced Skiverton but despite his efforts he failed to gel. Steve Brown had a snap chance with a volley on 72 minutes and with 10 minutes to go a Carroll free-kick from the edge of the box was bundled home but the play was pulled back for a foul by Terry Evans on Freestone. By this time Wycombe fans were making their usual early exit - those who remained to the final whistle showed their dissatisfaction with Smith.
WYCOMBE TEAM: Dykstra, Skiverton (sub 59 for Markman), Bell, Crossley, Evans, Brown, Carroll, Ryan, Desouza, Farrell, Patterson Subs(not used):Hardyman and Hall Attendance:3,672
Tuesday 16th April 1996 WYCOMBE 1 ROTHERHAM UNITED 1
In front of the lowest league gate of the season Wycombe returned yet another dissapointing display with Miguel Desouza finally saving the blushes for the Wanderers with a second half equaliser. Rotherham, fresh from their Sunday afternoon victory at Wembley in the AutoWindscreens Final, were nearly a goal down within one minute when Desouza powered through only to see his shot partially blocked for a corner. Terry Evans, returning after missing Saturday's trip to York, also went close for Wycombe on 29 minutes but couldn't get enough force behind a close range header. The game swung in the 37th minute when Lawrence, starting his first game for Wycombe, combined with Desouza but Ryan's shot was blocked. Rotherham then broke away and top scorer Shaun Goater latched onto the through ball and easily beat the advancing Dykstra.
With Lawrence failing to make an impression, Farrell was introduced for the second half. Carroll, on 49 minutes, headed just past the post following a deep cross from Bell and another good chance for Wycombe came on 63 minutes when Desouza was unable to control the loose ball (again!) and the chance was cleared. A minute later at the other end Dykstra saved well with his feet from Goater while Keith Ryan blasted over for Wycombe after Evans had headed down. With ten minutes remaining there was finally something to cheer about for the Wycombe faithfull when Farrell crossed deep from the left, Dave Carroll headed back and Desouza couldn't miss with his head from close range. Both sides seemed happy with a point and the game ended at 1-1
WYCOMBE TEAM: Dykstra, Skiverton, Bell, Crossley, Evans, Brown, Carroll, Ryan, Desouza, Lawrence (sub 45 Farrell), Patterson Subs(not used):Hardyman and Stapleton Attendance:2,836
SATURDAY 13th April 1996 YORK CITY 2 WYCOMBE 1
With Smith experimenting with the starting line-up, Wycombe slumped to their third succesive defeat. Simon Stapleton made his first start of the season and out went favourites Jason Cousins and Terry Evans to make way for a defence that included Terry Skiverton.
York were obviously desperate for the points to ease their relegation worries but didn't have to raise their game much to overcome another spiritless display from the Wanderers. Stapleton could have celebrated his return after only 17 minutes when he had a shot blocked following a lay off from Carroll. On 34 minutes their was a mix-up in the York defence - Steve Brown pushing the ball out to Carroll but he fired wide. Three minutes later, however, Gary Patterson needlessly pulled back an attacker in the Wycombe box and Gary Bull made no mistake from the resulting penalty. Hope came on 44 minutes, however, when a spectatular overhead kick from Williams fell into the path of Skiverton who shot home to make the scores level at half-time
The second-half started lively for Wycombe with Desouza unable to react quick enough in the box on 53 minutes when presented with a free ball and four minutes later he also had a low shot deflected wide after a good run from just outside the box. Matt Lawrence replaced Williams on 58 minutes but failed to get involved in his forward position and on 63 minutes Glenn Naylor controlled a bouncing through ball to beat a dissapointed Dykstra in the Wycombe goal. David Farrell was introduced for Patterson on 72 minutes but Wycombe failed to raise themselves to the task in hand and the faithful band of Wycombe supporters scattered on the Bootham Crescent terraces were left to witness another gutless display. Needless to say Alan Smith and his side kick David Kemp were down the tunnel faster than ferrets down a rabbit hole at the final whistle and made no attempt to acknowledge the people who had made the 500 mile round trip to get there.
WYCOMBE TEAM: Dykstra, Stapleton, Bell, Crossley, Skiverton, Brown, Carroll, Ryan, Desouza, Williams (sub 58 Lawrence), Patterson (sub 72 Farrell) Sub(not used):Hardyman Attendance:3,113
Monday 8th April 1996 WYCOMBE 0 OXFORD UNITED 3
Wycombe slumped to their worst home defeat for over a year when local rivals
Oxford United well and truly convicted them to another season in Division Two. The nature of the defeat leaves Wycombe fans with no doubt that something is seriously wrong behind the scenes following recent improvements at home.
Wycombe's biggest home League gate of the season saw Matt Crossley return to action in favour of Terry Howard and there was an early chance for McGavin after 9 minutes but he ballooned his shot over the mass of Oxford fans behind the Hillbottom Road end. On 16 minutes Dave Carroll, who had been voted Player of the Month for March, connected with a cross from Bell but the shot went a fraction past the post. Oxford's first real effort came on 32 minutes when Phil Gilchrist had a shot beaten away by Dykstra but 3 minutes before the break he was beaten when a right wing cross was headed home by David Rush.
Wycombe naturally began the second half with a little more determination but even with Williams replacing McGavin the best effort came on 61 minutes when the Wycombe sub fired into the side netting following a Carroll cross. It was Wycombe's last moment of hope because on 67 minutes Stuart Massey headed home a corner from the left and the game was dead. Paul Moody, who had come on just before the second goal, completed the rout when he rifled home from just inside the box.
WYCOMBE TEAM: Dykstra, Cousins, Bell, Crossley, Evans, Brown, Carroll, Ryan, Desouza, McGavin (sub 58 Williams), Patterson Subs(not used):Hardyman, Farrell Attendance:6,727
Saturday 6th April 1996 HULL CITY 4 WYCOMBE 2
Any slim chance of a play-off place were firmly ended at bottom club Hull City with a performance straight out of the Alan Smith School of Football. 3-nil down at half-time and without one shot on target emphasised Smith's total lack of ability to motivate the players when faced with a key fixture. Terry Howard, who was substituted at half-time, had a complete nightmare. He needlessly gave away a corner after just five minutes and from the resulting kick the ball was glanced past Dykstra by the head of Ian Wilkinson. Ten minutes later it was 2-0 when Richard Peacock angled a low shot into the net after bursting through. The first half horror show was completed when Duane Darby found Michael Quigley in the box and he celebrated his return to action by easily beating Dykstra from close range.
With Farrell replacing Howard and Terry Skiverton (on loan from Chelsea) replacing the luckless McGavin at half-time, the second half began with a flourish for the Wanderers. A blatant handball in the Hull area after 50 minutes was punished with a penalty and Dave Carroll made no mistake in converting his second effort in five days. The revival was short lived, however, and five minutes late despite a good initial save by Dykstra, Greg Abbott gleefully smashed home the rebound to register Hull's biggest home tally of the season. With the game over as a contest, Wycombe had their best moments in the dying minutes with Skiverton and Patterson both going close before a Carroll corner was cleared wide to Skiverton on the opposite wing who crossed the ball for Desouza to head home from inside the box. Fun and games came in injury time when a mid-field brawl ended with Hull sub Paul Wharton being shown the red card for violent conduct. Needless to say Steve Brown was not too far from the incident but luckily avoided punishment.
WYCOMBE TEAM: Dykstra, Cousins, Bell, Howard (sub 45 Farrell), Evans, Brown, Carroll, Ryan, McGavin (sub 45 Skiverton), Desouza, Patterson Subs(not used):Hardyman Attendance:3,065
Tuesday 2nd April 1996 WALSALL 0 WYCOMBE 1
Wycombe fielded an unchanged line-up at the Brescot Stadium for the return game with Walsall and registered their third straight victory following home wins over Bradford and Burnley. A penalty decided the issue and now with a visit to Hull on Saturday and the home game with Oxford on Easter Monday, the Bank Holiday weekend will decide if Wycombe's revival is complete.
Walsall has not been the happiest of hunting grounds for the Blues, having being humiliated on the previous visit by a 5 goal margin. Wycombe almost conceeded another early goal when Lightbourne forced a save from Dykstra with his feet after only 4 minutes. McGavin had a chance after 8 minutes with a snap shot from 18 yards but Walsall continued to threaten and when Dykstra was beaten to a 50/50 ball by Wayne Evans it was left to Terry Evans to clear off the line. McGavin missed out again on 34 minutes when he drove a left foot shot across the face of the goal following a through ball from Desouza. Walsall went close again on the stroke of half-time but the half ended goal-less
Wycombe had a set back 6 minutes into the second half when Mickey Bell was replaced by Paul Hardyman - Bell apparently not feeling 100%. On 57 minutes Dave Carroll sent a free kick just past the post but with Walsall beginning to come back into the action, Wycombe took the lead in controversial circumstances. Gary Patterson made his way into the box and when Brown picked up the loose ball he was felled by Ward in the Walsall goal and the referee pointed to the spot. Dave Carroll made no mistake from the spot and put Wycombe into a deserved lead. With Evans and Howard looking solid at the back and with Dykstra picking up some important crosses, Wycombe hung for an important victory.
WYCOMBE TEAM: Dykstra, Cousins, Bell (sub 51 Hardyman), Howard, Evans, Brown, Carroll, Ryan, McGavin, Desouza, Patterson Subs(not used):Farrell, Rowbotham Attendance:3,252