The Story of The Blues
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A look back at the 1990/91 FA Trophy run
(research, memories and words by Paul Lewis - first published during 2015/16 to mark the 25th anniversary)

Having vacated the much loved town centre site of Loakes Park in May 1990, Wanderers debut season at the newly built Adams Park culminated in Martin O'Neill taking the Club to only its second Wembley appearance and the first since the famous, but ultimately unsuccessful, meeting with Bishop Auckland in 1957. It proved a defining moment in the post Loakes Park era of the Club - helping boost attendances for the forthcoming seasons and provide the finance to push forward the aspirations to gain promotion to the Football League.

For Wanderers supporters who had grown up through the hugely successful 'Brian Lee era' of the 1970's, a trip to see Wanderers at Wembley seemed a dream that would never turn to reality. An Amateur Cup Semi-Final defeat to Hendon at Brentford in 1972 strikes pain into any Wanderers fan with memories of that tie. Ten years later another generation of fans had added torture when Mike Keen led the side to a FA Trophy Semi-Final with Altrincham, only to lose over two legs and having drawn the 1st leg away from home.

A quarter-final defeat on the plastic pitch at Hyde United in March 1989 under Jim Kelman left some supporters in tears as the Wembley dream was killed off for another year. Meanwhile, the following year's competition saw Wanderers capitulate at home to the Metropolitan Police in the First Round - losing 3-1 at Loakes Park in what turned out to be Kelman's final game as Wycombe boss.

With the 'Martin O'Neill era' now underway, the 1990/91 season had begun well for Wanderers. They had battled through the qualifying rounds of the FA Cup before bowing out in a replay to Fourth Division Peterborough United. In the Conference, O’Neill’s side seemed to have settled into 5th spot behind leaders Kettering Town. A relative ‘blip’ of one point from two games in the Christmas programme for Wanderers had widened the gap to Kettering, who by the end of January 1991 had clocked up 60 points from their opening 26 games and were also nine points clear of second placed Colchester United. Barnet and Altrincham were in the 3rd and 4th places respectively, with Wycombe 18 points behind Kettering, albeit with three games in hand.

With Kettering having such a lead, many saw the Trophy as Wycombe’s only chance of serious silverware for the season. The first round draw saw Southern League Premier side Wealdstone given the trip to Adams Park on Saturday 12th January 1991. On paper it looked a relatively easy tie for Wanderers but with injuries to three or four key players and striker Nicky Evans transfer listed at his own request following a dispute with O’Neill, it was not to be a straightforward tie.

Reports, memories and pictures from each round will be published around the 25th anniversary
1st Round: Saturday 12th January 1991 - Wycombe v Wealdstone >>>

2nd Round: Saturday 2nd February 1991 - VS Rugby v Wycombe >>>
3rd Round: Saturday 23rd February 1991 - Wycombe v Cheltenham Town >>>
4th Round: Saturday 16th March 1991 - Northwich Victoria v Wycombe >>>
Semi-Final 1st Leg: Saturday 6th April 1991 - Wycombe v Altrincham >>>
Semi-Final 2nd Leg: Saturday 13th April 1991 - Altrincham v Wycombe >>>
Final Preview: Saturday 11th May 1991 - Kidderminster Harriers v Wycombe >>>
Final Match day memories: Saturday 11th May 1991 - Kidderminster Harriers v Wycombe >>>
What was said to the press: Saturday 11th May 1991 - Kidderminster Harriers v Wycombe >>>
Picture Gallery: Saturday 11th May 1991 - Kidderminster Harriers v Wycombe >>>

Also see:
February 1990 - Martin O'Neill appointed as Wanderers Manager
May 1990 - Last ever game at Loakes Park
August 1990 - First ever game at Adams Park
December 1990 - John Motson in the snow at Adams Park
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