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Hull City 4
Wycombe Wanderers 2
Saturday 6th April 1996
Football League Division Two

Any slim hopes of Wanderers making a play-off place were firmly ended at bottom club Hull City. Alan Smith's side were 3-nil down at half-time and without one shot on target. Terry Howard, who was substituted at half-time, had a complete nightmare. He needlessly gave away a corner after just five minutes and from the resulting kick the ball was glanced past Dykstra by the head of Ian Wilkinson to put the home side in front. Ten minutes later it was 2-0 when Richard Peacock angled a low shot into the net after bursting through. The first half horror show was completed when Duane Darby found Michael Quigley in the box and he celebrated his return to action by easily beating Dykstra from close range.

With David Farrell replacing Howard and Terry Skiverton (on loan from Chelsea) replacing the luckless McGavin at half-time, the second half began with a flourish for the Wanderers. A blatant handball in the Hull area after 50 minutes was punished with a penalty and Dave Carroll made no mistake in converting his second effort in five days. The revival was short lived, however, and five minutes late despite a good initial save by Dykstra, Greg Abbott gleefully smashed home the rebound to register Hull's biggest home tally of the season.

With the game over as a contest, Wycombe had their best moments in the dying minutes with Skiverton and Patterson both going close before a Carroll corner was cleared wide to Skiverton on the opposite wing who crossed the ball for Desouza to head home from inside the box. Fun and games came in injury time when a midfield brawl ended with Hull sub Paul Wharton being shown the red card for violent conduct.

Reporting for the Bucks Free Press from Boothferry Road, Claire Nash wrote: 'Wycombe’s demise on Humberside was pretty much complete by half time on Saturday. Blues, so alert and focused when they beat Walsall in their previous game and indeed in the five unbeaten matches before that, started the game somewhere between catatonia and oblivion. As a result, they blew away slim chances of still managing to make an impression on the top half of Division Two. In the process, the Jekyll and Hyde flaw which is responsible for Blues’ static mid- table position was exposed once again.

Their bottom-of-the-table hosts stung them with two goals in the opening 16 minutes. Wanderers failed to keep tabs on Ian Wilkin son who opened the scoring with a set-piece header on five minutes. Blues’ defence was then caught square by Simon Trevitt’s perfectly weighted through ball to Richard Peacock who ran on and clinically fired home.

Peacock’s cross had Blues all at sea again on 35 minutes with Dykstra initially saving well from Duane Darby’s header, but the ball went loose and Mike Quigley followed up.

It would have been a magnificent achievement had Wycombe been able to pull it back to a draw. Blues boss Alan Smith took prompt action with a reshuffle in defence and attack at half time. Terry Howard and Steve McGavin were replaced by Terry Skiverton and David Farrell respectively.

While Wycombe improved in the second half, they were left with too much to do. Dave Carroll fired home neatly from the penalty spot for the second time in two games following a handball infringement by Neil Allison on 51 minutes.

Hull hit back almost immediately, however. The hapless Dykstra saved well from Peacock only to find himself exposed to another swift follow-up, this time from Greg Abbott.

Farrell fired wide and Patterson was similarly off-target with a flying header. Miquel Desouza found the net five minutes from time, however, with a slick flicked header from Farrell’s cross. It got a bit ugly in the dying moments with Hull’s Paul Wharton sent off after kicking out at Ryan. The incident came amid a mass scuffle after over-zealous tackling by both sides.'

Wycombe: Dykstra, Cousins, Bet, Howard (sub HT Skiverton), Evans, Brown, Carroll, Ryan, Desouza, McGavin (sub HT Farrell), Patterson- subs not used: Hardyman
Scorers: Carroll 50 (pen), Desouza 85
Bookings: Ryan 57 (foul), Evans 60 (foul), Dykstra 63 (dissent)
Hull City: Carroll, Trevitt (sub 68 Gordon), Graham, Wilkinson, Allison, Abbott (sub 79 Wharton), Peacock, Quigley, Darby, Mann Williams - sub not used -Fewings
Scorers: Wilkinson 6, Peacock 16, Quigley 35, Abbott 53
Bookings: Wilkinson 66 (foul) - Red card: Wharton 88 (violent conduct)
Referee: Mr.S.W.Mathieson (Stockport) Attendance: 3,065 (280 away)

There was little comment from the Wycombe after the game. Dave Carroll simply described the performance as "rubbish", while Captain Terry Evans said: "They just battled better than us.".

The result at Hull left Wanderers in 11th place in the table with 56 points from 40 games - 7 points behind Chesterfield in the last play-off place. Wycombe would hope for better fortune in the Easter Monday clash with Oxford United at Adams Park. The U's were sitting in 4th spot on 67 points but were ten points adrift of the top two automatic promotion spots occupied by Swindon Town and Blackpool.

Next game - Wycombe v Oxford United - Monday 8th April 1996
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