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Colchester v Wycombe

FA CUP 1st Round Review 1996

Saturday 16th November 1996


Wycombe ground out a deserved victory from the daunting visit to Layer Road in the First Round of the FA Cup. Goals either side of half-time by Miguel Desouza and John Williams put Wycombe in control but a 69th minute effort from United's Richard Wilkins set up a late rally from the home side. Going into the tie Wycombe boss, John Gregory had been forced to leave out loan players Jason Kavanagh and Neil Davis, giving Jason Cousins and John Williams the chance to regain a first team spot. John Cheesewright continued in goal and pulled off an 86th minute wonder save to deny United a replay.
Sadly, once again, the match was marred by crowd problems from a small contingent of Colchester followers. They hurled racist abuse at Wycombe's black players, threw objects on the pitch and attempted to invade the pitch after Wycombe had taken a 2-0 lead. Enormous credit must go the Wycombe fans who braved the trip to Layer Road who were not only subject to some of the most antiquated facilities in the Football League but were also not intimidated by the sad moronic element that purport to support Colchester - instead the Wycombe fans choose to watch in disbelief as the cretins fought their own stewards and local Police.
The match was always going to be a tense affair and the early action swung from end to end with Colchester forcing two early corners in quick succession - the latter being punched away by Cheesewright and the returned cross being gathered on the line. On 6 minutes Wilkins saw a long range effort slip past the left hand post while Wycombe, playing in all red, replied on 15 minutes when Steve Brown saw his shot go skybound. Moments later ex-Colchester striker Steve McGavin worked his way into the box from the right wing with Desouza just failing to connect with his head as the ball was centred. Mickey Bell saw a deep cross from the left cause problems in the United defence, with Peter Crawley being forced to give away a corner. Wycombe stepped up the pressure in the 28th minute when Desouza broke down the left wing - United 'keeper Carl Emberson did well to block Desouza and Williams failed to direct the loose ball. A minute later a Desouza long range was deflected and saved well to Emberson's left. On 35 minutes an array of passes set up Matt Crossley for a rare strike on goal - McCarthy, Cousins and Brown all combining before 'Sir Matt' saw his looping shot take a wicked deflection and sail fractionally over the bar. Jason Cousins continued in his attacking right back mode on 38 minutes when his powerful shot from the edge of the box was gathered at the second attempt as Williams closed in. Colchester has a rare chance on goal in the 41st minute when a 'hit and hope' shot from 35 yards went safely past the left upright but within a minute Wycombe were ahead - Miguel DESOUZA smashing the ball home from close range following a goal mouth scramble to send the 1,000 or so Wycombe fans packed behind the goal into ecstasy and the side into a vital half-time lead.
Half-Time United 0 Wycombe 1
Wycombe continued their dominance 8 minutes into the second-half when Dave Carroll laid the ball right to Cousins whose cross was met by Desouza but the shot lacked power. Colchester began to search for an equaliser, with Wilkins going close with a brave header and a penalty appeal turned down after the ball struck Matt Crossley's arm in the Wycombe box. Steve Brown saw a snap shot go wide on 54 minutes but three minutes later the play switched to opposite end when a deep cross from the left was met on the volley by Ronnie Reinett only for Cheesewright to deny with his feet. Wycombe's vital second goal came on 65 minutes when a quick break-away left John WILLIAMS with a one-on-one with 'keeper and once he had rounded Emberson he was left with the simplest of tasks of walking the ball into the net.
A small section of Colchester followers disgraced the home side again following the goal as they attempted to invade the pitch - sadly it coincided with a Colchester attack and while several sad cases where on the pitch and the Wycombe defence distracted, WILKINS side footed home 12 yards to give United and undeserved lifeline. Patterson replaced Brown on 75 minutes as Wycombe lived dangerously in the closing stages. Cheesewright watched a right wing chip by Chris Fry go safely over his bar on 85 minutes but a minute later he earned his pay with the save of the day. The initial shot from Tony Adcock crashed against the bar and as the ball fell to Karl Duguid Cheesewright was there to tip the ball over as a goal looked certain. Then from the resulting corner there was complete chaos in the Wycombe box with Mickey Bell finally digging the ball off the line as the home side claimed a goal. Bell was booked on 90 minutes for deliberate handball 25 yards from goal but when Cheesewright gathered the free-kick the result was safe and Wycombe can look forward to Round Two.
WYCOMBE TEAM: Cheesewright, Cousins, Bell, McCarthy, Evans, Crossley, Carroll, Brown (sub 75 Patterson), Williams, McGavin, Desouza. subs not used:Lawrence and Markman. Att:4,378

All match reports © 1997 Chairboys on the Net
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