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Manchester City 4
Wycombe Wanderers 0
Wednesday 4th October 1995
Football League Cup 2nd Round
2nd Leg

Wanderers crashed out of the League Cup following a 4-0 reverse at Premiership strugglers Manchester City. A 0-0 scoreline in the 1st Leg at Adams Park had given the travelling contingent hope in Wanderers first ever visit to Maine Road. But after a mass of red and black balloons had been released by the 1,400 Wycombe fans in an attendance of 11,474, and a bright start on the pitch - Miquel Desouza seeing a shot hit the post - things started to go wrong on 31 minutes when a City ball in from the left saw a Wanderers clearance hit 'keeper Paul Hyde and Uwe Rosier follow up to give City the lead at the far post. Sixty seconds later it was 2-0 when Georgi Kinkladze dinked the ball into the Wycombe box from the left for Rosier to slip the ball past Hyde again.

There was no fight back from Wanderers and City added a third on the hour mark when a four man move ended when Niall Quinn hammered home following a cross from the right from Rosier. Wycombe's misery was complete three minutes later when Steve Brown hauled back Kinkladze in the penalty area and after a friendly discussion on whether Rosier should be allowed the chance to complete his hat-trick, Keith Curie made it 4-0 from the spot. It would be back to League football for Wanderers the following Saturday at Burnley.

Reporting for the Bucks Free Press from Maine Road, Claire Nash wrote: 'Wycombe Wanderers’ 4-0 goal demise at Manchester City was a downer of considerable anti-climactic proportions on Wednesday night. Boss Alan Smith and the 1,400 strong travelling Blue Army made their feelings known in no uncertain terms after Wycombe appeared to give up the ghost at Maine Road.

The Coca-Cola Cup second round second leg tie was deservedly built up with strong potential for an upset after a 0-0 draw at Adams Park two weeks ago, and City’s continuing miserable run in the Premiership. But Smith criticised his players for becoming overawed by the occasion in a fractionally-filled cavernous stadium to gift the game to Alan Ball’s men. Blues let the stars shine. Uwe Rosier scored twice, with Niall Quinn and Keith Curie’s penalty wrapping it up for City. Steve Brown, one of Blues’ best performers although he tugged Georgi Kinkladze to concede a penalty in the second half, was stretchered off with an ankle injury to add to Wycombe’s woe.

Wycombe’s supporters, who began the evening in good heart by chanting jibes at their City counter parts, could scarcely contain their disappointment with what became an abjectly negative display by the end of the night. Many made striker John Williams the prime target for criticism with cries of ‘what a waste of money’. Smith, although determined to stick by his £150,000 signing, must undoubtedly be considering an alternative tack with his forwards after this.

Miquel Desouza, already nine goals to the good this season, almost put Wycombe in front after eight minutes with a shot that hit the post, looked unlikely to get on target again. Desouza has a daunting task to get his foot on the ball as it is too often hacked down the middle to be invariably met by the opponents’ defence. And around the box, he is clearly not getting support from a partner who currently lacks a reasonable first touch and strength to hold the ball up.

One of the most disappointing aspects of Wycombe’s defeat, which crushed hopes of emulating Division Two giantkillers York, who beat Manchester United, and Bradford, who knocked out Nottingham Forest, was that in the end, they struggled to do it with dignity. Hopes were high after Wycombe’s hard graft made the two-division divide between the teams non-existent in the first leg. They began the away leg in the same vein, quickly shutting people down and eagerly pushing forward. David Farrell seemed to have picked up where he left off by terrorising City on the left wing, but his runs became too few and far between.

Williams was found well-placed on the edge of the box after Brown headed back a goalkick on five minutes but the striker’s hesitation gave Immel time to recover and snatch the ball up off his toes. Paul Hyde did well to turn round Rosier’s dangerous shot on six minutes. Blues hit back on the counter attack with a Farrell cross finding Desouza unmarked in the box. But luck clearly wasn’t going to be with Wycombe again they had a penalty claim and a disputed disallowed goal in the first leg at Adams Park when. Desouza’s shot not only hit the post and came out, but went straight to Immel who was on his knees, rather than a Wycombe player.

Two goals in two minutes by Rosier rocked Blues on their heels and they slid further behind in the second half with their discipline going awry.'

Wycombe: Hyde, Rowbotham, Hardyman, Howard, Cousins, Patterson, Carrot, S Brown (sub 73 McGavin), Desouza, Williams, Farrell - Subs not used: Soloman, Moussaddik
Scorers: none
Bookings: none
Manchester City: Immel, Edghiil (sub 85 Margetson), Lomas, Curie, Kinkiadze (sub 79 Summerbee), Quinn, Flitcroft (sub 73 M Brown), Beagrie, Brightweil, Symons, Rosier
Scorers: Rosier 31, 33, Quinn 60, Curie 63 (pen)
Bookings: Brightwell 48 (foul), Flitcroft 70 (foul)
Referee: Mr K Burge (Tonypandy) Attendance: 11,474 (1,400 away)

Speaking after the game Manager Alan Smith was crticial of his players: “We stayed in a four star hotel last night but tonight we played like bed and breakfast merchants. I genuinely thought we could get a result tonight. But the way we played, we didn’t deserve anything. I expect the players to grind away more than that."

Meanwhile, City boss Alan Ball said: "I am not going to get carried away by one result. We are still a long way from being the finished article but at least this is a start and gives us something to build on. Make no mistake about it this was a very tricky tie and there were a lot of people waiting for us to fall flat on our faces. We didn't start very brightly and for once we enjoyed a spot of luck when that shot rebounded back to our goalkeeper off the post."

Next game - Burnley v Wycombe - Saturday 7th October 1995

Footnote: Wanderers' game at Maine came two days after the release of Manchester's rising stars Oasis' second album - What's The Story Morning Glory. Band members Liam and Noel, both City fans, would see their group rise to stardom later in 1995 with continued chart success, including singles Wonderwall and Don't Look Back in Anger. Meanwhile, City would be relegated from the Premiership at the end of the 1995/96 season, with Manager Alan Ball resigning just three games into the 'Division One' (second tier) campaign. After two season in Division One, they hit a low point in their history when they were relegated to the third tier where they would take on the likes of Wycombe Wanderers at league level. City scraped promotion back to Division One at the first attempt at the end of the 1998/99 season but not before they had lost home and away to the Wanderers.
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