The Story of The Blues
brought to you by
Burnley 1
Wycombe Wanderers 1
Saturday 7th October 1995
Football League Division Two

Wanderers made their first ever visit to Turf Moor on Saturday 7th October 1995 to take on former top flight side Burnley. Clarets boss Jimmy Mullen was under pressure to secure an immediate return to the second tier following relegation at the end of the 1994/95 season and they went into the game unbeaten at home in their five League games that season - but were somewhat lagging in 9th place – one point and two places above Wanderers with both teams having played 10 games.

For Wanderers, they were looking to bounce back after a 4-0 defeat at Manchester City the previous Wednesday in the League Cup - Steve McGavin returned to the starting line-up in place of Gary Patterson but unfortunately former Blackburn Rovers hero Simon Garner was not declared fit enough to face Rovers bitter rivals.

Reporting for the Bucks Free Press from Turf Moor, Claire Nash wrote:

'Under-fire Wycombe Wanderers striker John Williams took the first step towards answering his critics when his inspirational equaliser grabbed a share of the points at Burnley on Saturday. The former Coventry forward, who cost Blues a record £150,000 but has been barracked by fans after unimpressive performances, helped mount Wycombe’s second-half revival at Turf Moor. Williams found the net with an exquisite curling shot which at least ensured Wanderers were unbeaten in their eighth consecutive league game. The goal, Williams’ first in six appearances, also went a little way to redeeming him in the eyes of sceptics, and boost boss Alan Smith’s case for signing him.

The Wycombe manager’s determination for Williams to do his job right saw Smith running up the touchline screaming instructions at the player at one point. Williams and Smith were clearly delighted things went right to some extent and not only for their own personal vindication. The break through arrived amid Blues’ gritty efforts to mount a comeback against opponents who were as tough a proposition as their unbeaten home record, and tradition had previously indicated. But Wanderers amazingly almost got away with daylight robbery. Before Williams scored, Wycombe had a valid penalty appeal turned down and with Burnley knocked sideways by the equaliser. Blues had a goal disallowed for offside.

Even a draw had seemed an unlikely outcome early on, with Burnley creating numerous chances in a very one- sided first-half contest. Wycombe goalkeeper Paul Hyde did well to stem the hosts’ onslaught. But Burnley also paid the price of some wayward finishing. Fewer chances came their way in the second half and the home crowd had no hesitation in barracking Clarets boss Jimmy Mullen towards the end.

Beforehand, the odds were stacked against Blues getting too much joy at Turf Moor against an experienced side aiming to earn immediate promotion back to Division One. There were minimal changes to Wycombe’s line up from last Wednesday’s 4-0 defeat at Manchester City. Key playmaker Steve Brown made it after being stretchered off with an ankle injury at Maine Road, but Matt Crossley didn’t — with his back injury from putting on a pair of socks keeping him out of action for a fourth game. In his place, Jason Cousins continued in hardworking vein alongside Terry Howard. Steve McGavin was reintroduced up front alongside Miquel Desouza with Williams playing wide on the right. The latter’s switch from targetman to winger paid off with a goal, but Wycombe’s midfield personnel were often guilty of running towards each other rather than into attacking positions. They were running all over the place initially as Burnley piled on the pressure — the hosts being no doubt relieved that Simon Garner — a bogey man of derbies past with Blackburn — was not playing for Wycombe in a bid to continue a record of always scoring at Turf Moor.

Hyde did well to parry a firm shot from Burnley’s leading scorer Kurt Nogan on 12 minutes. Moments later, veteran Ted McMinn’s effort bobbled along the crossbar and Warren Joyce fired over on 17 minutes after Wycombe struggled to clear. Wanderers’ numerous punts the other way into no man’s land didn’t help matters, although. Desouza interrupted Burnley’s series of attacks with a testing header from a well-worked free kick which Marlon Beresford did well to save.

The Burnley machine continued unabated, however. David Eyres wastefully played a shot wide from a good position on 27 minutes. A goal seemed destined to materialise, though, and did when Joyce’s excellent header from McMinn’s cross looped beyond Hyde and into the top corner on 39 minutes.

Wycombe tightened up to give Burnley less room to manoeuvre in the second half. Blues had a good case for a penalty when McGavin clearly appeared to be pushed and had his legs taken from under him in the box as he passed to Desouza who shot wide on 57 minutes. Wanderers plugged away, though, and deserved their equaliser after a good build up initiated by Dave Carroll. From the latter’s pass, David Farrell played the ball out wide on the right to Williams who let fly with a sublime left-footed shot which Beresford had no chance of stopping as it curled into the top corner. It was a worthy cameo by Williams before he was replaced by Gary Patterson on 72 minutes.

Wycombe continued to press and took Burnley by surprise when Farrell sent in a good cross which McGavin slotted home from close range. Referee Richard Poulain was happy with it until he saw his linesman flagging for offside. Burnley, who were undoubtedly kicking themselves for losing their concentration, tried to reassert themselves but Wycombe’s robust defending looked unlikely to waver in the latter stages.'
Wycombe: Hyde, Rowbotham, Hardyman, Howard, Cousins, Brown, Carroll, Williams (sub 72 Patterson), Desouza, McGavin, Farrell - subs not used: Bell, Soloman
Scorers: Williams 65
Bookings: : Hardyman 49 (foul)
Burnley: Beresford, Parkinson, Vinnicombe, Swan, Winstanley, Randall, McMinn (sub 80 Francis), Joyce, Eyres (sub 85 Cooke), Nogan, McDonald - subs not used: Hoyland
Scorers: Joyce 40
Bookings: none
Referee: Mr R Poulain (Huddersfield) Attendance: 8,029 (away 328)

Speaking after the game Manager Alan Smith praised John Williams' first goal in Wycombe shirt: "It was a terrific goal to the top left-hand corner. John is working at his game, but he’s still got plenty to learn". He added: "We came away with something and were a bit unfortunate not to win it in the end. We had a clear chance to win it with the penalty and the offside we thought was a goal. Burnley, though, are a good side. They play attacking football and were never going to make it easy for us. That said, I don’t think we performed anywhere near as well as we should have done."

Meanwhile, Burnley boss Jimmy Mullen thought his side should have taken the three points: "We murdered them and this was two points lost. If you don’t take your chances you don’t deserve to win.” He added: “It is great to see the hard work done with Kurt Nogan paying dividends. His attitude to the game has improved, and he has been rewarded by his international selection. He hit the woodwork twice today, and it’s a pity one didn’t go in to celebrate his call-up for Wales.”

Wanderers would take a break from League action in the week following the game at Turf Moor - taking on Fulham at home in the First Round of the AutoWindscreens (Football League) Trophy. They would return to League action the following Saturday with the visit of 15th placed Walsall to Adams Park.

Next game - Wycombe v Fulham - AutoWindscreens (Football League) Trophy
Tuesday 10th October 1995
This is the story of WYCOMBE WANDERERS brought to you by HISTORY MENU