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Plymouth Argyle 2
Wycombe Wanderers 2
15th October 1994
Football League Division Two
Two goals from Cyrille Regis helped Wanderers to a 2-2 draw in their visit ever visit to Home Park to take on Plymouth Argyle. Martin O'Neill's side trailed twice against a side but had Regis to thank for a share of the points as the 36 year old took his goal tally to 7 in 14 for the season to date.
The result came after O'Neill made one change to the side that has beaten Leyton Orient the previous weekend at Adams Park - Simon Garner returning after injury to replace Simon Stapleton. Meanwhile, Argyle, managed by O'Neill's former Nottingham Forest teammate Peter Shilton. had hit the headlines during the week preceeding the game when Pilgims' Chairman Dan McCauley had made public Shilton's financial problems. The 2-2 draw left Wanderers in 5th place in the Division Two table, four points behind joint leaders Huddersfield United and Oxford United.
Reporting for the Bucks Free Press from Home Park, Claire Nash wrote: Shilton, at unsettling loggerheads with his chairman Dan McCauley after reportedly borrowing money from the club to pay off personal debts, believed Wanderers’ goals were ‘dubious’. The former England goal keeper said two of his players were fouled when they scored
Wycombe took some punishment in trying to retain a foothold amid attractive fast- paced footballing fare. Challenges on players cost them the services of Plymouth-born influential midfielder Steve Thompsom who used to play for neighbouring non-League Saltash United; and Simon Garner who returned to Blues’ line-up after missing last week’s win over Leyton Orient with a hamstring injury. Both players were substituted in the second half, Thompson by Simon Hutchinson after a challenge left him with damaged knee ligaments early in the first half; and Garner was replaced by Tim Langford on 77 minutes.
The latter substitution was purely precautionary, O’Neill, explained later, the Blues boss having expected the striker to tire in his first game back. Regis and Matt Crossley were also in the wars, but are expected to have shaken off knocks by this Saturday’s clash at Peterborough. The hosts held the advantage after a three-goal blitz in five minutes during the first half. Plymouth, rated by home supporters as one of their best in a patchy campaign so far, opened the scoring with a penalty conceded by Crossley’s handball under pressure on 25 minutes. Craig Skinner converted from the spot.
Blues didn’t waste any time with a response. Regis raced onto Steve Brown’s precise long ball, holding off the challenge of Plymouth’s Andy Comyn in the process, and emphatically slotted the ball past promising England Under-21 international Alan Nicholls on 28 minutes. Within a minute, though, Plymouth went ahead again after Skinner had a free run through the middle. His cross was deflected to Martin Barlow, the latter’s shot from 15 yards leaving Paul Hyde rooted to the spot.
Wycombe had created enough during the first 20 minutes, through Dave Carroll’s tireless industry on the right wing particularly, however, to suggest their creative capacity would trouble Plymouth’s disjointed defence further. The hosts, however, knuckled down at the back in the second half. Peter Swan got a timely foot to Garner’s meaty effort from 22 yards on 48 minutes.
Regis went down in the box after Swan’s challenge on 60 minutes, but referee Clive Wilkes had no hesitation in waving play on. Good work by Carroll, now on the left wing after Hutchinson’s arrival, and Garner gave Jason Cousins time and space to thump home from long range, but the full back blasted over.
Brown continued to race through in support from left back, but his most vital contribution was clearing Chris Twiddy’s shot off the line after Hyde was beaten on 72 minutes. Plymouth continued to threaten on the break through midfielder Martin Barlow, and strikers Skinner and Richard Landon. Hyde stood up well to the pressure. He tipped away Wayne Burnett’s stinging 25-yard shot on 76 minutes.
Blues pressed at the other end. Keith Ryan’s through ball to Regis forced the corner from which they snatched the equaliser on 84 minutes. Carroll’s cross looped to the far post. Blues captain Terry Evans and Regis both leapt to connect, with the latter getting making precious contact amid a scramble. The action continued at break neck speed in the final moments. Simon Stapleton fired straight at Nicholls from ten yards, after Regis laid the ball on, on 86 minutes. A minute later Hyde spectacularly touched over Landon’s volley and Barlow had a shot charged down in stoppage time.
Speaking after the game Martin O'Neill said: "Coming down here originally, I thought a point was probably a good result for us. But if we had defended a little bit better we might have got three points." Double goalscorer Cyrille Regis added: "Considering we were 1-0 down, then 2-1 down, I think we did well to push it after giving them two sloppy goals"
Meanwhile, O'Neill was continuing with his search for additions to his squad. However, talks with Wolves star Robbie Dennison broke down after the player couldn't agree the personal terms being offered at Adams Park. It had been the same case earlier in the season when O'Neill had tried to sign Birmingham City midfielder Louie Donawa. However, Port Vale midfielder Paul Kerr was being taken on a month's loan after impressing in Capital League and friendly matches for Wanderers, while O'Neill was also close to announcing the signing of Northampton Town defender Mickey Bell in time for the following Saturday's trip to midtable Peterborough.
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