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Wycombe Wanderers 1
Mansfield Town 0
Tuesday 25th January 1994
Football League Division Three

Wycombe v Mansfield programme - 25th January 1994 Wanderers' players went into the home game with Mansfield Town on Tuesday 25th January 1994 with an added incentive to gain three points but this was only revealed after triallist Mark Cooper's goal had given Wycombe a 1-0 victory. Explaining the situation later in the season Martin O'Neill said "You would have honestly thought in the dressing room that we had won the World Cup. But we had in a sense because we had been set a bit of a target by myself and the Chairman - the possibilty of going away for a four or five day break hinged on winning this particular game. We had a target of 21 points to get out of a possible 30. We left ourselves with a lot to do by winning the last four games, culminating in beating Mansfield. That night we had actually taken 22 points out of a possible 30 and the trip was on." O'Neill continued "If the lad Cooper never did another thing, well he didn't at this Football Club, he is forever in the memory of the players because he won a trip for them" Cooper, the 25 year old son of former England and Leeds United full back Terry Cooper, had been signed on a month long contract by O'Neill and had come off the bench to thump home Terry Evans' 74th minute flick-on.
Commenting after the game O'Neill said he was astonished to hear some fans booing prior to Wanderers taking the lead. read more here.
Meanwhile, Wanderers fans were gearing up for a visit to in form Shrewsbury Town on the Saturday following the Mansfield game. The Shrews were on an unbeaten run of 11 games prior to the visit of Wycombe, which had been made all-ticket for away fans - with prices set at Ł6 terrace and Ł8 seats.
Other news in the week of Mansfield victory saw Mark West score on his Aylesbury United debut after he joined the Ducks on a month's loan. West had been out of action for four months after breaking his leg whilst playing on loan at Conference side Kidderminster Harriers. Meanwhile, Club skipper Glyn Creaser had joined Yeovil Town for a month long loan spell. Wanderers' Youth Team were crushed 5-0 by Millwall in the replay of their FA Youth Cup Third Round tie. A 600 plus attendance at Adams Park saw The Lions lead 2-0 at the break before sealing the tie in the second period. Wanderers Youth Team players were still part-time at this stage and were generally out fought by the full-timers for South London. Wanderers would introduce their first YTS system in 1994/95.
Wycombe: Hyde, Cousins, Horton, Crossley, Evans, Ryan, Carroll, Langford (sub 59 Cooper), Stapleton, Turnbull, Guppy - subs unused: Kerr, Moussaddik (GK)
Scorers: Cooper 74
Bookings: none
Mansfield: Ward, Fleming, Platnauer, Holland, Gray, Fairclough, Timons, Stringtellow (sub 75 Noteman), Wilkinson, Castledine, Rees - subs unused: Boothroyd, Pearcey (GK)
Scorers: none
Bookings: none
Referee: Mr A Guns Attendance: 4,424
What the papers said:
Bucks Free Press - Claire Nash reporting from Adams Park:
Wycombe v Mansfield press cutting - 25th January 1994 Trialist Mark Cooper came off the substitutes’ bench to smack Mansfield into submission at Adams Park on Tuesday night. The ex-Fulham midfielder gave boss Martin O’Neill something to think about in his first-team debut firing home Wycombe’s late winner to ease their struggle in atrocious conditions against obstinate opposition.
“I enjoyed it. Terry Evans flicked the ball over my shoulder, and I just wellied it,” said the 25-year-old son of former England and Leeds full back Terry Cooper. But O’Neill is not yet convinced he wants to extend Cooper’s present month- long contract. The player scored for the reserves against Woking in a 5-2 Capital League defeat after joining Blues two weeks ago. “The fact he scored a goal makes it look like a good substitution. He can strike a good ball which is what was needed on a quagmire of a pitch. “I have not seen enough of him yet. But I was pleased he helped us win the game."
Cooper brought some much-needed cohesion to Wycombe’s midfield as a replacement for off-form striker Tim Langford on 59 minutes. He fired his opening salvo a scorching 25-yard strike after Steve Guppy tapped a free kick into his path on 72 minutes. Mansfield keeper Darren Ward was at full stretch to fingertip the fierce shot away at the near post to concede a corner, the first of three in the space of a minute. The breakthrough came on 74 minutes. Guppy’s corner was played back into the box by Keith Ryan, skipper Terry Evans flicked on and Cooper walloped home. Within a minute Blues’ new centre forward Lee Turnbull had the ball in the net again, but referee Mr Gunn had already blown for Evans’ challenge on Ward.
Earlier the Stags were quick to pounce on any Blues lapses and with the swirling wind in the visitors’ favour, Wycombe sometimes appeared to be playing into an invisible brick wall in the first half. But defender Jason Cousins steamed down the right channel to launch crosses that judged the lottery wind factor inch perfect. Centre half Evans meanwhile kept Mansfield at bay on the halfway line with his bullet headers interrupting efforts to attack on the break. Mansfield’s Jason Rees, on a second month’s loan from Luton, was instrumental in the visitors’ dominant possession football but, tellingly, for all their pressure, they registered few shots on target.
Turnbull continued to look a sturdy new addition. He had Ward in trouble at the far post on the half hour after his shot from Guppy’s cross was fumbled for a corner. He crossed in front of an empty net as Ward came out to meet him just before half time, but the pass did not have the legs for Guppy to latch onto.
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