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|Retro - A look back on the 1993/94 season|
Jan 1994 - Back to League action with two victories
With the FA Cup behind them for another season it was off to Sincil Bank on Saturday 15th January 1994 for a Division Two encounter with 13th placed Lincoln City. Wanderers were looking for revenge for a 3-2 reverse to The Imps at Adams Park three months previous but got off to a bad start when Steve Thompson had to be replaced after just seven minutes as he pulled up with a calf strain. It got worse six minutes later when City debutant Youth Team player Steve Williams tucked the ball in at the near post past a static Wanderers defence.
On a mud bath of a pitch Wanderers remained under the cosh and only a point blank save by Paul Hyde on 33 minutes from Paul Smith kept Wycombe in touch at the break. Martin O'Neill would have been desperate to give a half-time rallying call but instead had to deal with his team being asked to re-group in a temporary dressing room on a school gym on the other side of the club car-park.
Whatever O'Neill managed to say it seemed to work as Wanderers came out all guns blazing in the second-half. On 53 minutes Wycombe's first corner was floated across from the left by Dave Carroll and when Terry Evans managed to head the ball back into the six yard box it was substitute Tim Langford who stabbed the ball home.
Jason Cousins was felled by a disgraceful two footed challenge by John Schofield on 54 minutes and had to be replaced by Andy Kerr. But Wanderers rallied again and took the lead in the 69th minute when Evans played a long ball through from defence which Langford nodded down on the run before whipping the ball past the City 'keeper from 12 yards and delighting the travelling support and Wanderers' bench.
Wycombe's dominance was completed in the 73rd minute when Steve Guppy's cross from the right was flicked on by the head of Kerr at the near post before Evans bravely dived in to secure a 3-1 victory.
Bottom club Northampton Town provided Wanderers next opposition in Division Two on Saturday 22nd January 1994. Wanderers included new £20,000 signing Lee Turnbull in their side. The 26 year old had been signed from Doncaster Rovers and had scored against Wycombe earlier in the season when he was playing for Chesterfield. Meanwhile, The Cobblers were without a win in 17 games and came to Adams Park with a £1.2m debt hanging over them having been in administration since August 1992. However, this was not quite the stroll in the park that many predicted.
The Cobblers included Steve Brown and Mickey Bell in their strikeforce and both players had chances to open the scoring before Wanderers struck them with a real sucker punch. Hyde had saved Brown's 35 yarder and then picked out Bell's deflected effort before Guppy whipped in a cross from the right on 37 minutes that ended up in the far corner of the Valley End net.
Turnbull, playing up front with Langford, went close twice in the second-half but Guppy's goal proved to be the only goal of the game as an impressive crowd of 6,737 saw Wanderers register their third successive League victory and rise to 2nd place in the table.
Speaking after the game Martin O'Neill commented "We played poorly to be fair. I can't hide that. We looked tired for a start. We never could get into second gear at all. We were second to things all day. Overall we played wretchedly." Steve Guppy added "The victory was essential to keep up there with the leaders to gain automatic promotion. At the end of the day we won 1-0 and I am sure everybody will go home happy."
Elsewhere during the same week Wanderers Youth Team played their Third Round FA Youth Cup tie against Millwall at The New Den. Jim Melvin's side twice came from behind with goals from Troy Johnson and Stuart Wilson to draw 2-2 and set-up a replay at Adams Park on Monday 31st January. Speaking after the game, Melvin said "Last night's great result will be forgotten if we get hammered over here."
Meanwhile, Martin O'Neill confirmed to the press that he was chasing experienced ex-Blackburn Rovers striker Simon Garner. O'Neill said he was in discussions with West Brom boss Keith Burkinshaw regarding the signing of the 34 year old, adding "He is a proven goalscorer"
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