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Wycombe Wanderers 1
Saturday 9th October 1993
Football League Division Three

Northampton Town v Wycombe programme - 9th October 1993 With the excitement of the League Cup tie with Coventry City behind them, Wanderers returned to League action on Saturday 9th October 1993 with a visit to second from bottom Northampton Town. Backed by a decent following of around 2,500 in the best of season 5,197 crowd, Wycombe struggled in the opening stages and Martin O'Neill may have been noting both Steve Brown and Mickey Bell in the opposing line-up. It was Bell who got the better of Matt Crossley in the 57th minute as Town opened the scoring - Martin Aldridge nodding home as Bell's cross was sent back into the danger zone by Darren Harmon. However, Wanderers responded and were level nine minutes later when Dave Carroll's ball in from the right saw Steve Guppy head home at the near post. Carroll almost snatched victory near the end with a free-kick but Wycombe had to settle for a point and remain 4th in the table.
Meanwhile, Wanderers exploits in the League and Cup had been attracting scouts from higher division clubs. Representatives from Coventry, Manchester United and Manchester City were at The County Ground and Martin O'Neill confirmed he had received equiries about two players but would not reveal their names, although Steve Guppy was the obvious choice based on his showing at Northampton. O'Neill said, "I will not stand in players' ways. But there is no point for their careers in them going to Second Division, or even some First Division clubs, that we are cabable of beating ourselves." The Wycombe boss went on to confirm that he was now close to signing a deal to keep Terry Evans at Adams Park on a permament contract.
Wycombe: Hyde, Crossley, Horton, Kerr, Evans. Ryan, Carroll, Thompson (sub 70 Hayrettin), Hemmings, Scott, Guppy - subs unused: Hutchinson, Moussaddik (GK)
Scorers: Guppy 62
Bookings: none
Northampton: Sherwood, Patsons, Gillard, Phillips, Terry, Chard, Harmon, Aldndge, Gilzean, Brown, Bell - subs unused: Burnham, Fleming, Richardson (GK)
Scorers: Aldridge 53
Bookings: Gillard 30 (foul), Brown 81 (foul)
Referee: Mr J Holbrook Attendance: 5,197
What the papers said:
Bucks Free Press - Claire Nash reporting from the The County Ground:
A bad day, at the office was striker Keith Scott's description of his side's dour battle against struggling Northampton Town on Saturday, while Blues' goalkeeper Paul Hyde summed it up in four letters.
But Martin O'Neill was satisfied with a draw, which kept Wycombe's unbeaten away record in the League intact, describing it as an adequate coming-down-to-earth after inspired exploits against Coventry. "It was a tired performance after playing Coventry last week. I knew it was going to be hard as Northampton have not conceded too many goals this season. It was a valuable point away from home," said the Blues boss. But his hoarse voice was testimony to how hard he harangued his players to dig deeper at The County Ground.
Around 2,000 Wycombe supporters were drawn to the game after scaling the heights of euphoria, then the depths of bitter disappointment, just days previously. They were deservedly given something to cheer when Steve Guppy plucked a jewel out of the scrappy gloom to earn Wycombe's point with a beautifully crisp 62nd-minute header, which wiped out Town's 53rd-minute strike by Martin Aldridge. "It saved me from a roasting by the gaffer," the winger said later. But although some Wycombe players were disappointed with their performances, they were up against a determined Northampton side intent on clawing their way up from the lower reaches of Division Three.
Wycombe's Keith Scott in action at Northampton, with Keith Ryan looking on - 9th October 1993 - photo Chris Berry from Bucks Free PressWanderers were reshuffled due to Jason Cousins' suspension, with Matt Crossley stepping in at right back. Steve Thompson started his first League game for nearly two months, and was later substituted by Hakan Hayrettin, and Duncan Horton played his first fullmatch since rupturing his ankle in Blues' opening game of the season against Carlisle.
The first half was evenly balanced, but it was not fare to feast the eyes on. It was very stop-start with offsides dominating play, although Northampton cleared their lines well when Wycombe threatened and counter-attacked, but Blues stemmed their progress, usually forcing them back into their own half.
Guppy was rarely utilised on the left wing during the first half, but was brought into play more along with Dave Carroll on the right flank after the interval. Northampton, however, took the upper hand when their Guppy like winger Mickey Bell, sent clear on the left, crossed to Darren Harmon who knocked the ball back into the box for the incoming teenager Aldridge to nod in on 53 minutes.
Wycombe replied nine minutes later after completing their neatest build-up move of the match. Keith Ryan, in another sturdy performance, released Carroll. The winger's cross found the unmarked Guppy who headed home with aplomb at the near post.
Northampton continued to press to restore their advantage, and came close to scoring their second in the 70th minute. Blues skipper Terry Evans was forced to clear on the goal-line after Hyde was beaten by Bell's rasping shot. Carroll's searing free kick from 25 yards, which only narrowly missed the target, was the nearest Wanderers came to snatching a win in the dying moments.
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