|August 1998 Reports|
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Sat 8th August 1998 - Wycombe 0 Luton Town 1 - Division Two
Wed 12th August 1998 - Swindon 2 Wycombe 1 - Coca Cola Cup
Sat 15th August 1998 - Millwall 2 Wycombe 1 - Division Two
Tue 18th August 1998 - Wycombe 2 Swindon 0 - Coca Cola Cup
Sat 22nd August 1998 - Wycombe 1 Walsall 2 - Division Two
Sat 29th August 1998 - York City 3 Wycombe 0 - Division Two
Mon 31st August 1998 - Wycombe 1 Bristol Rovers 1 - Division Two
WYCOMBE v BRISTOL ROVERS
Monday 31st August 1998- Division Two
There may not have been many people there to see it but Danny Bulman's backside helped Wycombe claim their first League point of the season. An 84th minute goal by Barry Hayles had given Rovers a deserved lead and as many Wycombe fans were wondering where the next goal, let alone point was coming from Bulman's fluke made it a never to be forgotten Football League debut. The enthusiastic youngster blocked a clearance from Rover's keeper Lee Jones during the third minute of injury time and the ball rolled into the empty net to delight the loyal Wycombe fans who had stayed to the end.
It was all change again at the back as this time Paul McCarthy was replaced by Keith Ryan in a flat back four for Wycombe But it was bad news for Ryan as he was stretchered off in the 62nd minute with what could be another long-term injury. Incredibly the Wycombe defence held-out against a Rovers side that wasted chance after chance and when Mark Stallard was hacked down in the area on 77 minutes Wycombe could have stolen all three points - unfortunately Mr Gallagher was up to his usual standard and failed to point to the spot.
It was a long time coming but the first point is on the board. Fulham are spared the embarrassment of losing at home to the side that are bottom of the League as they have players involved in the Euro2000 qualifying games - are we really in the same league? Next game for Wycombe is home to Preston on Tuesday 8th September.
Full-Time Wycombe 1 Rovers 1
WYCOMBE TEAM:Taylor, Cousins, Beeton, Ryan (sub Kavanagh 62), Vinnicombe (sub 92 Bulman) Mohan, Carroll, Brown, Stallard, Read (sub 67 McGavin), Emblen Att:4,318
YORK CITY v WYCOMBE
Saturday 29th August 1998 - Division Two
Wycombe suffered the obligatory set-back at Bootham Crescent - losing three-nil in a game that was hard to take for the travelling 200 loyal Wycombe fans. Neil Smillie made some changes to the side that fell flat against Walsall. Alan Beeton was favoured in place of Chris Vinnicombe and midfielder Paul Emblen made his Wycombe debut after signing on-loan from Charlton Athletic the previous day. He replaced Keith Ryan who was suffering from a sprained ankle.
Wycombe fell behind on 21 minutes when Neil Thompson's free-kick deflected through the Wycombe wall. It could have been worse if Martin Garratt's shot hadn't hit the post later in the half. It would have been hard for Wycombe not to improve in the second-half but Mimms had little serious work to do in the City goal. Wycombe were hit by a sucker punch on 70 minutes when Richard Cresswell latched onto a massive through ball and went on to beat Taylor. York completed the misery in the final minute when Cousins was judged to have tripped Thompson and the same player stepped up to make it three.
No points, bottom of the League. Can it get any worse? One piece of good news, however, was the return of Steve McGavin - he played the last twenty minutes after playing half a game for the reserves in the week.
Full-Time York 3 Wycombe 0
WYCOMBE TEAM:Taylor, Kavanagh (sub McGavin 70), Beeton, McCarthy, Cousins, Mohan, Emblen, Brown, Stallard, Read, Carroll subs not used Vinnicombe and Bulman Att:2,775
WYCOMBE v WALSALL
Saturday 22nd August 1998 - Division Two
Wycombe's miserable League form continued on Saturday against Walsall at Adams Park. In a turgid encounter Wycombe had a nightmare three minutes in the second-half, conceding two sloppy goals before seeing a late rally fail to salvage a point.
With John Cornforth out injured, Dave Carroll returned to the starting line-up but even he couldn't inspire a sleepy first-half showing where neither 'keeper was troubled. Wycombe's injury crisis continued nine minutes into the second-half when Keith Ryan had to be replaced by Michael Simpson. Within a minute Wycombe were 1-0 nil down - a powerful ball in from the left being flicked into his own net by an unfortunate Paul McCarthy. The goal actually brought on Wycombe's best spell of the game. Almost straight from the re-start Carroll saw a curling and dipping shot come back off the cross-bar after he found space on the right. But disaster struck two minutes later when a defensive mix-up saw Andy Rammell in the clear and he pushed the ball under Taylor to increase the moan and groan-factor. Wycombe's lifeline came on 74 minutes when Carroll floated in a cross from the left that Stallard met well but the Walsall defence managed to clear the ball to the edge of the box - cue Nicky Mohan to place a pin-point header through the melee of defenders and score his first goal for The Wanderers. Wycombe could have been level four minutes later when Paul Read saw a header palmed wide by Walker in the Walsall goal and from the resulting corner McCarthy saw a powerful downward header cleared off the line. More bad luck for Wycombe came with five minutes remaining when Andy Baird followed Keith Scott's example the week before by coming on as substitute and then being forced to leave the field with what appeared to be a dislocated finger. Baird, who is one of Wycombe's young hopefuls, was also booked in an eventful 20 minute appearance.
Wycombe have now lost all three League games this season and haven't won a home League encounter since March. It's that home form that will be the major worry to Wycombe fans as the hard route to survival rears its ugly head again.
Full-Time Wycombe 1 Walsall 2
WYCOMBE TEAM:Taylor, Kavanagh (sub 65 Baird[sub85 Beeton]), Vinnicombe, McCarthy, Cousins, Mohan, Ryan (sub 54 Simpson), Brown, Stallard, Read, Carroll subs Baird, Harkin and Beeton Att:4,102
WYCOMBE v SWINDON TOWN
Tuesday 18th August
Football League Cup 1st Round Second Leg
A gritty Wycombe performance in front of a sparse but enthusiastic crowd at Adams Park saw the Wanderers turn around the recent poor form and claim a place in round two. A goal in each half edged Wycombe through against their Division One opponents with Martin Taylor the villain turned hero with several great stops.
With Nicky Mohan back from suspension, Neil Smillie opted to leave out Dave Carroll and play Cornforth, Brown and Ryan in midfield. Wycombe started with a bang, forcing a corner within the opening minute from which Brownie almost saw a 30 yarder cannon in off a team-mate. It was Brown who opened the scoring on 20 minutes. Stallard won a corner on the right, Read placed it deep and when the ball was only half cleared by the Swindon defence, Brownie thumped it home at the Hillbottom Road End. A spell of Swindon pressure almost paid dividends on 29 minutes when the Wycombe post was rattled after a break down the left side. Brown could have added a second for Wycombe on 35 minutes when he was put through by Read but he skimmed his shot wide of the left hand post. Swindon continued to press up to the break and six minutes before the interval Taylor pulled off a breathtaking save when he tipped over a powerful volley after a cross from the Swindon left. Significantly, Wycombe survived until the break to lead by the single goal.
Half-time Wycombe 1 Swindon 0
1-0 would have been enough for Wycombe to go through after extra-time but there was always going to be more goals with Swindon pressing and leaving gapping holes in their defence. The match winning goal came seven minutes into the second-half when Stallard broke in from the right side before slotting an angled shot past the Swindon 'keeper. It was a moment to savour for the loyal Wycombe fans in the lowest gate at Adams Park for a competitive fixture since Wycombe joined the Football League. Swindon rallied again and Taylor came to the rescue once more on 76 minutes when he kept out a close range header from ex-Wycombe striker Ty Gooden but Wycombe should have sealed victory with six minutes left - Mark Stallard setting up Paul Read on the left side of the area but he fired wide of the target. In a nerve jangling five minutes of injury time Nicky Mohan scraped one off the line but Wycombe hung on to claim a deserved place in the Second Round and send Swindon home with plenty to think about.
Full-Time Wycombe 2 Swindon 0
WYCOMBE TEAM:Taylor, Kavanagh, Vinnicombe, McCarthy, Cousins, Mohan, Ryan, Brown, Stallard, Read, Cornforth (sub HT Carroll) subs not used Westhead, Baird, Harkin and Beeton Att:2,478
MILLWALL v WYCOMBE
Saturday 15th August 1998 - Division Two
On a previous visit to The New Den with Derby County Martin Taylor was chased by Millwall fans. On Saturday it was the Wycombe fans who may have wanted to chase the 'keeper after an injury time relapse let the home side in to take all three points. Up to that moment it looked like Wycombe would steal a point after Paul Read had equalised but the late slip left Wycombe with three straight defeats going into Tuesdays return game with Swindon.
As expected Neil Smillie fielded an unchanged line-up to the one that lost at Swindon in the week but in a tedious first-half it was Millwall who looked the side more likely to score. Stallard and Read were totally ineffective up front with Nigel Spink a mere spectator in the Millwall goal. Millwall almost snatched the lead on the stroke of half-time when Jamie Stuart's centre from the left was half punched by Taylor and resulting shot was cleared away with a diving header. Millwall took the lead within a minute of the restart when a similar cross and shot was spectacularly saved by Taylor but Richard Sadler was there to head in the rebound. The goal did momentarily wake up Wycombe. On 62 minutes Read put through a forward roaming Kavanagh but Spink was too quick off his line. Two minutes later, however, Wycombe were level when Carroll picked out the ball in midfield and the resulting ricocheted pass fell to Paul Read who poked the ball pass Spink. Wycombe's best chance to win the game came on 83 minutes when Stallard weaved through but he stabbed his shot wide. A bizarre injury to substitute Keith Scott meant the striker had to leave the field just three minutes after coming on. Scottie appeared to fall awkwardly on the edge of the Millwall box and had to be carried off on a stretcher. With three minutes of injury time played Millwall swung in a deep corner from the left Taylor came to clear on the opposite bye-line, didn't make it and the returned ball was headed home by Scott Fitzgerald - apparently his first goal for nearly seven years. A real sickener.
Full-Time Millwall 2 Wycombe 1
WYCOMBE TEAM:Taylor, Kavanagh, Vinnicombe, Ryan, Cousins, McCarthy, Carroll, Cornforth, Stallard (sub 86 Scott[sub 89 Harkin]), Read, Brown sub not used Beeton Att:7,492
SWINDON TOWN v WYCOMBE
Wednesday 12th August 1998
Football League Cup 1st Round First Leg
Wycombe came away from the County Ground with a narrow defeat in the Worthington Cup with the return game taking place at Adams Park next Tuesday (18th August). Neil Smillie made two changes from the team that lost to Luton on Saturday - putting the experience of John Cornforth in midfield ahead of Mo Harkin and giving Paul Read a chance in the starting line-up instead of the fatigued Keith Scott. The new game plan nearly paid off as Wycombe survived until a minute before the break when Alan Reeves headed home from a corner to give the home side the lead. After the break Wycombe began to create chances with Paul Read put clear on at least a couple of occasions. It was Read who gave The Wanderers a vital away goal on the hour mark when he put away another one-on-one with Swindon 'keeper Jimmy Glass after Stallard has played through. Former Crystal Palace striker George Ndah gave Swindon a slim advantage nine minutes later but Wycombe go into the second-leg with everything to play for after Martin Taylor kept out a late Swindon burst - including a great save from a deflected shot.
Full-Time Swindon 2 Wycombe 1
WYCOMBE TEAM:Taylor, Kavanagh, Vinnicombe, Ryan, Cousins, McCarthy, Carroll, Cornforth (sub 83 Harkin), Stallard (sub 74 Baird), Read (sub 74 Scott), Brown Att:4,626
WYCOMBE v LUTON TOWN
Saturday 8th August 1998 - Division Two
A bullet like free-kick from Luton's Captain Steve Davis was enough for the visitor's to take all three points from the opening day encounter at Adams Park. The game took on a familiar pattern for Wycombe fans as the players failed to gel in the heatwave conditions. Neil Smillie risked Keith Scott upfront after his injury scare and it nearly paid off as he found himself in the clear on 24 minutes but he sliced his shot against the upright with the goal and Mark Stallard at his mercy. That was the end of Wycombe's best spell of the game. Ten minutes later Davis powered his free-kick from the left-side straight past the Wycombe wall and the helpless Martin Taylor to send the mass of Luton fans wild. Wycombe didn't respond and it could have been worse if Luton had capitalised on two second-half open goal headers. Wycombe solitary second-half effort came with just five minutes left when substitute Paul Read turned in the area but his shot lacked any power or accuracy.
Full-Time Wycombe 0 Luton 1
WYCOMBE TEAM:Taylor, Kavanagh (sub 56 Cornforth), Vinnicombe, Ryan, Cousins, McCarthy, Carroll, Scott, Stallard, Harkin (sub 62 Read), Brown sub not used Beeton Att:5,252
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