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Wycombe Wanderers 1
Saturday 23rd September 1995
Football League Division Two
After the excitement of the midweek meeting with Manchester City in the League Cup at Adams Park, Wanderers were knocked back down to earth following a 1-1 home draw with 19th placed Wrexham. Miquel Desouza had given Alan Smith's side the lead on 8 minutes but David Brammer equalised for the Welsh side before the half-hour mark. Team news had seen Jason Cousins return to the side following his injury picked up in the League Cup game at Leyton Orient on 22nd August. The result left Wanderers 10th in the Division Two table but with an unbeaten record now stretching for seven games (six of those in the League). Next game was a visit to Bristol City who were surprisingly struggling near the foot of the table.
Reporting for the Bucks Free Press from Adams Park, Claire Nash said: Wycombe Wanderers lapsed back into a humdrum routine on Saturday. An uneven display against Wrexham saw Blues get no more than they deserved after struggling to click into gear until the last third of the game at Adams Park. A point from their fourth draw in five games leaves Wycombe in tenth place in Division Two, ten points behind leaders Swindon.
Jason Cousins was surprised at his inclusion on Saturday as a last-minute replacement for Matt Crossley who had twisted his back. “We did not play at all well today. We are very disappointed,” said the full back, who played in central defence after a month out with a knee injury suffered at Leyton Orient. Cousins, who ended his tough comeback bloodied and bruised after clashing heads with Wrexham’s Steve Watkin, started the game after Crossley failed a fitness test just an hour before kick-off.
Alongside skipper Terry Howard, Blues’ defence was much the busier. Wrexham dominated the opening exchanges with Connolly driving wide. Blues went ahead against the run of play on eight minutes. Recent £150,000 signing John Williams appeared to have completely sabotaged Steve Brown’s magnificent through-ball, by tapping it into the path of Wrexham defender Barry Jones. The latter, though, completely misjudged Williams’ weak cross cum-inadvertant back pass which trundled into the path of Miquel Desouza who had a simple tap in for the easiest of his nine goals so far this season.
The visitors, whose recent form has been inconsistent, responded in positive fashion, though. Paul Hyde got down well to thwart Steve Watkin’s back header on 20 minutes. Five minutes later David Brammer equalised after a run past three Wycombe defenders before firing home with a 20-yard shot which went in off the far post. The home crowd grew increasingly impatient after the break and their disgruntlement was further fuelled by referee Barry Knight’s indecisiveness. Cousins and Brown both suffered at the sharp end of the action, with Cousins cutting his head after going up for a high ball with Watkin, and Brown hurting his knee after hurtling in for a challenge.
Wycombe looked a better proposition after Steve McGavin replaced Stewart Castledine, who went back to Wimbledon yesterday after a month’s loan. With three forwards for the last 25 minutes, Blues passed the ball around rather than hitting and hoping. Williams had a volley from David Farrell’s cross blocked on 70 minutes. Howard headed just over from a Farrell corner two minutes later. Brown did likewise from Jason Rowbotham’s curled cross on 82 minutes. McGavin had a penalty appeal turned down on 88 minutes after appearing to be held by Jones. Blues’ best chances of snatching a win were denied by Wrexham goalkeeper Andy Marriott who saved Dave Carroll’s deft free- kick on 89 minutes. Then Paul .Hardyman hit the woodwork after picking up a rebound from Farrell’s free kick on 90 minutes.
Speaking after the game Manager Alan Smith said: "We should have won the game today. But we have got to look for the positives. We are now seven games unbeaten. I think what we can say is that we are difficult to play against. The players are still adapting to taking information on board. We may be rushing things a bit. But I think it can only get better." He added: "‘I’m quite happy. That’s our seventh game unbeaten. I think the crowd would have been disappointed after our good performance against Manchester City in the Coca-Cola Cup, but things will get better. I’m building something here. You can’t do it overnight."
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