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Chesham United 1
Wycombe Wanderers 3
Saturday 19th October 1974
FA Cup Third Qualifying Round
After defeating Milton Keynes City at home in the 2nd Qualifying Round, Wanderers travelled just down the road to The Meadow, home of Chesham United in next round for what looked a relatively difficult tie. The home side were enjoying a decent start to the first professional campaign in the second tier of the Isthmian League and with a 4-0 victory over Oxford City in the previous round, Wanderers knew they had to be on their best form to avoid an upset.
Team news for Wanderers saw Tony Horseman back in the starting line-up compared to the one that had beaten Milton Keynes. 'Bodger' replaced Dylan Evans up front, while at the back, Alan Phillips had now returned to the side to replace Dave Bullock. The XI that started at Chesham was also the same line-up that had beaten 2nd placed Leatherhead during the week to place Wanderers 4th place in the Isthmian League table. For the home side, the biggest threat appeared to be striker Stewart Atkins but the Chesham favourite was never allowed to shine on a day when Wycombe looked the stronger side throughout. Commenting on the game, Bucks Free Press reporter Stuart Earp said, "From the very first minute of Saturday’s F.A. Cup third qualifying round tie at Chesham to the last, Wycombe Wanderers held an iron grip over their opponents. Superior in every department, the Blues now have one further hurdle to overcome before entering the first round proper where they could face Football League opposition for the second successive year."
Early pressure from Wycombe was eventually rewarded in the 24th minute. It all started with a Horseman free kick after home defender Gordon Taylor had brought down Mickey Holifield just outside the area. Goalkeeper Bob Taylor fumbled the ball, Searle crashed in a shot which Tom Johnston cleared off the line. Holifield drove in the rebound but straight at Taylor and finally Terry Reardon forced the ball home for his first goal of the season.
Sixty seconds after Wycombe's opener only a brilliant save by Taylor robbed Steve Perrin and then Horseman nodded Paul Birdseye’s deep cross over the top. Wycombe continued the pressure up until the break - in the 10 minutes before half time, Wanderers forced five corners but could not add to their tally. Keith Searle hit the upright with a powerful header and the rebound fell to defender Keith Mead whose chip was palmed away for another flag kick.
However, Wycombe added to their tally four minutes into the second period. Howard Kennedy fired a free kick into the defensive wall, which rebounded out to Reardon. At first it seemed Reardon’s curling pass to the far post had gone out of play and the only man to follow the move through was Mead. His endeavour was rewarded. Taylor slipped as he came out to collect and Mead, finding himself with the ball on the bye-line, took seemingly ages to pull it back and slot home his second goal in two games.
The home side had a brief spell of pressure shortly afterwards - forcing two corners and seeing the growingly impressive Gary Hand clear off the line from Bobby Peck. But Wycombe turned the screw again with Holifield, Searle, Perrin and Horseman all going close before the third goal finally arrived on 78 minutes. Searle was the scorer. Perrin beat Peck on the flank before taking the ball to the line and crossing short to Kennedy. Kennedy's shot was not truly hit but provided a perfect pass for Searle to knock the ball home at the far post to make the score 3-0.
Chesham scored a consolation goal on 83 minutes when Graham Taylor's corner resulted in a goalmouth scramble that ended with Johnston smashing the ball home past John Maskell. But Wycombe finished the stronger side - Bob Taylor saving at the feet of Horseman in the dying moments as Wycombe looked ahead to the next round - their reward, a home tie with Southern League Premier side Margate in the 4th Qualifying Round on Saturday 2nd November 1974.
What else was happening in the UK in late October 1974
16 October - Rioting prisoners set fire to the Maze Prison in Belfast
19 October - No.1 UK Singles Chart - Sad Sweet Dreamer by Sweet Sensation
19 October - No.1 UK Albums Chart - Smiler by Rod Stewart
21 October - Debut of Roobarb on BBC
22 October – The Provisional IRA bombed Brooks's club in London
26 October - No.1 UK Singles Chart - Everything I Own by Ken Boothe
26 October - No.1 UK Albums Chart - Rollin by The Bay City Rollers
28 October – The wife and son of Sports Minister Denis Howell survived a provisional IRA bomb attack
28 October - Sunday Night at the London Palladium last show
30 October - England beat Czechoslovakia 3–0 at Wembley in a European Championship qualifier, Don Revie's first match as manager
31 October - Liverpool have regained top spot in the First Division at the end of the month, one point ahead of Manchester City. Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur continue to struggle in the relegation zone, where they have been joined by Luton Town
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