|February 1997 Reports
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Sat 1st Feb 1997 - Plymouth 0 Wycombe 0 - Division Two
Sat 8th Feb 1997 - Wycombe 2 Crewe 0 - Division Two
Sat 15th Feb 1997 - Preston 2 Wycombe 1 - Division Two
Sat 22nd Feb 1997 - Wycombe 0 Watford 0 - Division Two
Tues 25th Feb 1997 - Wycombe 2 Peterborough 0 - Division Two
Tuesday 25th February 1997
Football League Division Two
WYCOMBE 2 PETERBOROUGH 0
Same score, same scorers but this time 90 minutes completed as Wycombe cruised to victory over a poor Peterborough side. John Gregory stuck with the same side that troubled Watford on Saturday but would have been dissapointed to see Paul Read early on with an injury. Steve McGavin continued his fine form upfront and Terry Evans and Paul McCarthy seemed to have developed a good pairing at the back - the former getting the Man of the Match award. The result lifts Wycombe one place in the table with crucial games at Millwall and Brentford coming up.
In front of dissapointing crowd of just over 4,000, Wycombe received a set-back after just 6 minutes when new signing Paul Read had to leave the pitch injured - he appeared to be suffering from some form of strain in his leg and was replaced by Dave Farrell. Farrell's introduction on the left wing led to Wycombe taking the lead in the 11th minute - the out of favour winger sending in a deep cross for Steve McGAVIN to thump home past Greimink in the Peterborough goal. Wycombe continued to dominate for the majority of the first half - with DeSouza being the major culprit in misses chances in front of goal. The visitors best spell began after 21 minutes when first Roger Willis had a low shot palmed wide by Cheesewright for corner on the Peterborough right. Then from the resulting corner Derek Payne had a similarly directed shot from the edge of the Wycombe box again well saved by Cheesewright. Wycombe survived this semi-scare and began to create numerous openings as Peterborough showed why they have conceeded 55 league goals this season. Desouza almost set-up Cousins from the left on 35 minutes and then 2 minutes later the same striker nipped in from the right, thought about his options as he approached the centre of box and opted for a neat chip that was tipped over by Griemink. Louie Donowa had a half-chance for Posh 6 minutes before the break but he blazed his chance wide to the right of Cheesewright.
Half-time Wycombe 1 Peterborough 0
Wycombe sealed the points 16 minutes into the second-half. Moments earlier Farrell had scooped a chance over the bar after a right wing cross by Cousins but within 60 seconds Wycombe made it 2-0 in bizarre circumstances. Bell started the move down the left and when he delivered the ball it appeared to hit both posts as McGavin and Carroll were frustrated before DeSOUZA eventually turned the ball into the net from close range. Donawa continued to be the loan threat to Wycombe as Peterborough pushed forward. Wycombe could have increased the final margin as the final whistle approached. Desouza burst through from midfield on 86 minutes but screwed his chance to the left of the goal. Mickey Bell hit the bar after a through ball from Farrell, then in the final minute Harkin, on his home League debut, crossed from the left only for Carroll to force another goos save from Greimink.
Final Score Wycombe 2 Peterborough 0
WYCOMBE TEAM: Cheesewright, Cousins, Bell, McCarthy, Evans, Forsyth, Carroll, DeSouza (sub 89 Harkin), Read (sub 6 Farrell), McGavin, Simpson (sub 85 Skiverton) Att;4,001
Saturday 22nd February 1997
Football League Division Two
WYCOMBE 0 WATFORD 0
In front of the Wycombe's largest ever home League attendance of just under 8,500, the points were shared as both teams drew a blank in front of goal. Boosted by a 2,500 plus following from Watford, the crowd were well entertained by a highly competitive affair. Wycombe had the better chances, with McGavin and Bell both going close. The eagerly awaited return of Keith Scott saw the former Blues hero get ruffed-up by his former team mates - Jason Cousins and Terry Evans both picking up first half bookings for strong challenges on the striker. The draw keeps Wycombe 3 places off the bottom of the table with the midweek game at home to Peterborough being absolutely vital in the Wanderers fight for survival.
Wycombe went into the game with one change from the side that lost at Preston 7 days earlier - Jason Kavanagh being replaced by Paul McCarthy. It was McCarthy's partner in defence, Terry Evans, who had the first attempt at goal - forcing a save from Kevin Miller after 10 minutes with a header. At the other end Richard Johnson tried his luck from outside of the Wycombe box but Cheesewright got the slightest of touches to send it wide. Watford's strong arm tactics in the opening quarter of an hour saw at least half a dozen free kicks awarded Wycombe's way without further punishment from referee Lunt but it was a blue shirted player who was first to enter the book on 16 minutes - Jason Cousins giving his brother-in-law a warm welcome by sliding Scotty into the Family Stand, taken over for the day by Watford fans. The bruising challenges continued with Desouza - seemingly on a new lease of life - being booked for a lunging tackle on Dominic Ludden - again in front of the Family Stand. Then moments later Terry Evans continued the coming home treatment on Scotty when he 'accidently' left his foot in after a tussle about 35 yards from the Watford goal - the result, a cut face for Scotty and a free-kick to Wycombe - work that one out! The best footballing moment of the first half followed a Dave Carroll corner from the right after 38 minutes - McGavin forcing another superb tip over by Miller at the far post. A minute later Mickey Bell has to turn a Watford effort off the line after a corner from Clint Easton while on the stroke of half-time Bell flashed the ball in from the left but Read arrived too late to convert.
The second-half was basically all Wycombe with McGavin causing havoc down the left wing time after time. A minute into the second period McGavin hit the side netting after doing all the hard work while Desouza set up Bell on 52 minutes after a break from in his own half but Miller blocked again. 6 minutes later Carroll weaved his way forward from midfield before pushing the ball slightly to the left of the Watford box, where McGavin picked his spot in the opposite top corner of the net but Miller palmed the ball away again to frustrate the Wycombe fans. Michael Simpson had a golden opportunity after 74 minutes after McGavin had powered in from the left but the No.11 couldn't get the accuracy on his shot with Miller, for once, stranded. The only scares for Wycombe came from a long range effort from Kevin Phillips on 78 minutes that Cheesewright easily picked out and in the final minute when Johnson shaved the post from a similar distance. In between those chances Wycombe went close when Simpson and McGavin combined on 83 minutes and a minute later McGavin crossed yet again from the left only for the otherwise non-existent Paul Read to hit straight at the impressive Miller.
Final Score Wycombe 0 Watford 0
WYCOMBE TEAM: Cheesewright, Cousins (sub 71 Farrell), Bell, McCarthy, Evans, Forsyth, Carroll, DeSouza, Read, McGavin, Simpson. subs not used:Skiverton & Harkin Att;8,438
Saturday 15th February 1997
Football League Division Two
PRESTON 2 WYCOMBE 1
A soft goal 8 minutes from time cost Wycombe the chance of at least a share of the points at Deepdale on Saturday gainst 16th placed Preston. A looping header from the edge of the Wycombe penalty area by Preston defender Simon Davey left Cheesewright stranded and Wycombe right back in the thick of relegation trouble. With Peterborough winning, Wycombe are pushed back to 3rd from bottom, although Wycombe have played a game less.
Wycombe, fielding an unchanged line-up for the third consecutive game, began the game in chaotic fashion. Cheesewright had to be on his toes in the opening minute to push a cross from the left around for a corner. From the resulting corner first David Moyes headed goalwards for Cheesewright to punch clear and then Sean Gregan powered in a drive from the edge of the box that left the crossbar quivering. Wycombe's first glimpse of goal came on 8 minutes when a Dave Carroll free kick from the right was headed over by Desouza who was to have another off-day in front of goal. Preston took the lead on 15 minutes in rather fortunate circumstances when a shot from the right side of midfield by Paul McKENNA was deflected past a hypnotised Cheesewright in the Wycombe goal. The goal may have been the sign for the flood gates to open for Preston but Wycombe managed to claw their way back into the game and on 25 minutes drew level. Desouza, intially with his back to goal, turned and let fly from 25 yards only to see the ball rebound off the crossbar but Steve McGAVIN picked up the loose ball and thumped the ball past O'Hanlon in the Preston goal. It was Wycombe first serious effort of the game but Wycombe should have taken the lead 10 minutes later with their next. This time McGavin went on a run that took him to the left hand byeline, he pulled the ball back only to see Desouza completely miss the ball with the goal at his mercy from less than 10 yards. Wycombe continued their domination of the closing stages of the first half when Simpson miss-hit a Carroll cross.
Half-time Preston 1 Wycombe 1
4 minutes into the second half McGavin again provided from the left and this time Terry Evans went close - the ball landing on the top of the Preston net. Wycombe looked the side most likely to take the points but it was poor finishing that was to blame yet again. Paul Read was almost non-existent upfront and Desouza continued his effort to hit every terrace in the league by firing way over in the 55th minute. At the otherend Cheesewright did well to collect a 50/50 though ball from Bryson in the 61st minute but Wycombe responded immediately with Carroll setting up a goalmouth scramble. Preston made their own efforts towards goal and it was following an injury to Mickey Bell on 82 minutes that the points were won and lost. The ball was floated in from the Preston right and Simon DAVEY sent in a hopeful looping header from the opposite edge of the box that left the Wycombe fans stunned as Cheesewright saw the ball drop over his head and into the net. It was a killer blow for Wycombe after so much spirit had been shown. Wycombe through everything forward for the equaliser, substitute Dave Farrell crossed from the left in the dying moments but Evans could not quite apply the vital touch and Preston claimed the first ever Football League double over Wycombe by any side.
Final Score Preston 2 Wycombe 1
WYCOMBE TEAM: Cheesewright, Cousins (sub 89 Harkin), Bell, Kavanagh, Evans, Forsyth, Carroll, DeSouza, Read, McGavin (sub 89 Farrell), Simpson. sub not used:McCarthy Att:7,923 (biggest of the day)
Saturday 8th February 1997
Football League Division Two
WYCOMBE 2 CREWE 0
Wycombe ran out deserved 2-0 winners against 4th placed Crewe and gained revenge for a 3-0 reverse at Crewe back in November. Paul Read scored his 3rd goal in four games for the Wanderers and Miguel Desouza added a late goal to make the points safe. With Peterborough losing 5-1 at Blackpool, Wycombe move up to 4th from bottom of the table, with the safety zone now within sight.
With Crewe having lost 9 of their 14 away League fixtures this season, the initiative was with Wycombe to make it 10. Terry Evans continued in the centre of defence in an unchanged Wycombe line-up from that which gained a 0-0 draw at Plymouth. Evans very nearly opened the scoring for Wycombe as early as the 5th minute when he 'steamed' a Carroll corner goalbound but Crewe forced the ball clear. Crewe looked dangerous on the break with their best chance in the opening stages falling to defender Steve Macauley who stooped in to head just wide of Cheesewright's left hand post after 16 minutes. At the other end Desouza forced a corner on 24 minutes following a through ball from Read and from the resulting move Jason Cousins looped a right wing cross for Read to hit narrowly over the bar. Two minutes later Cousins again delivered from the right but neither Read nor McGavin could apply that vital final touch as Wycombe began to dominate. Wycombe's vital breakthrough came on 35 minutes following a right wing corner from Carroll - Desouza winning the initial corner after another Read through ball. This time McGavin and READ caused panic in the Crewe defence and the latter turned the ball in from close range with a semi-over-head kick (whatever that may be). The goal provided the much needed boost for Wycombe and teh lead was comfortably held until half-time
Half-time Wycombe 1 Crewe 1
Wycombe continued to force the play in the 2nd half. On 50 minutes a long through ball from Evans almost saw Carroll pull off one of his mazey runs but Crewe streamed back to block. Desouza, having one of those days when nothing seemed to go right for him, saw Macauley block a 51st minute shot after McGavin had crossed from the right. Macauley then hit the Wycombe panic button when he forced a save from Cheesewright on 55 minutes. Wycombe responed when Desouza saw another effort go close on 59 minutes and moments later Bell worked his way in from the left before unselfishly squaring the ball to Desouza who stumbled and chested the ball to Kearton in the Crewe goal. A one goal lead is always dodgy against sides near the top of the table and after Mickey Bell saw a free-kick turned wide on 63 minutes, Crewe stepped up their search for an equaliser. On 71 minutes Lee Unsworth saw a half-volley from the edge of the box flash past the post and shortly afterwards Wycombe were glad to scramble the ball. Wycombe sealed the victory when DESOUZA received the ball out on the right and then silenced his critics by forcing his way into the Crewe box and driving the ball past Kearton. Desouza could have made it 3-0 in injury time following another left wing cross by Bell but by then the most Crewe fans were making their way to the exits and Wycombe fans to the bar for a long hard look at the league table it definitely looks better!
Final Score Wycombe 2 Crewe 0
WYCOMBE TEAM: Cheesewright, Cousins, Bell, Kavanagh, Evans, Forsyth, Carroll, DeSouza, Read, McGavin (sub 89 McCarthy), Simpson. subs not used:Harkin and Farrell Att:4,902
Saturday 1st February 1997
Football League Division Two
PLYMOUTH ARGYLE 0 WYCOMBE 0
The hard slog for survival continued on Saturday at Home Park as the Wanderers battled to a goalless draw with a team 5 places above them in the table. Plymouth went into the game without a home League win since October, while Wycombe were looking to complete the double over Argyle having won at Adams Park back in November. Gregory recalled big Terry Evans into the centre of defence in favour of Paul McCarthy while Miguel DeSouza got his chance up front following Neil Davis' return to Aston Villa.
There were few chances for either side in a poor first half. DeSouza had the ball in the net on 14 minutes after Read and Bell had worked a chance from the left wing but the Wanderers best chance of the half came 4 minutes later. This time the ball was switched from the left wing to the right where Jason Cousins elected to lay the ball off to Simpson rather than shoot himself - Simpson's effort flashing narrowly wide of Bruce Grobbelaar's left hand post. Wycombe had to wait until the 36th minute for a further chance when a right wing corner from Carroll was met by the head of Terry Evans but Grobbelaar punched the ball clear for a corner. Plymouth's best attempt of the half came 4 minutes before the break when Michael Evans saw a powerful drive deflected wide for a corner.
With out of favour 'keeper Brian Parkin sitting on the bench, John Cheesewright may have been feeling the pressure as he mis-timed a punch 2 minutes into the second-half. Luckily for Cheesewright and Wycombe, Carl Corazzin pulled the loose ball wide as the goal beckoned. The nearest Wycombe came to scoring during the 90 minutes came after 52 minutes following a Dave Carroll corner on the right - the ball eventually falling to Simpson, on the left edge of the box, who let fly with an unstoppable shot - although on this occasion it was stopped as Argyle defender Tony James somehow managed to deflect the ball over with his head. At the other end Michael Evans saw a close range header pushed away by Cheesewright as both teams pressed for the much needed 3 points. DeSouza should have done better when he was through on goal on 74 minutes but the chance ended with the obligatory woeful finish. The home side piled on the pressure in the closing stages - a left wing cross was met by the flying head of Corazzin but Cheesewright earned the applause by tipping the ball over for a corner. From the resulting corner on the right, sub Ronnie Mauge thought he has scored but Mickey Bell headed clear from under his own crossbar as the alarm bells rang in the Wycombe defence. Wycombe had their own chance to snatch the points in the final minute when another Carroll corner, this time from the right, was met again by Terry Evans but Martin Barlow scrambled the ball clear from the Argyle goalline to keep the score goalless.
WYCOMBE TEAM: Cheesewright, Cousins, Bell, Kavanagh, Evans, Forsyth, Carroll, DeSouza, Read, McGavin, Simpson. subs not used:McCarthy, Parkin and Lawrence Att:5,024
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