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As expected on loan Aston Villa striker Richard Walker returned to the starting line-up in preference to Gavin Holligan and he should have put Wycombe ahead on 16 minutes following a long through-ball. That was one of at least half-a-dozen chances for Wycombe in the opening 25 minutes but Latics stand in 'keeper, Manchester United's fourth choice Paul Rachubka, was never tested.
Those chances began inside the first two minutes when Michael Simpson's free-kick from the right win was glanced inches wide of the far post by Paul McCarthy. On six minutes a Rammell knock down let in Walker, but the Villa player lifted his effort over the bar. Nine minutes were on the clock when Chris Vinnicombe crossed from the left, Rammell flicked on but Stuart Roberts couldn't keep his shot down from just outside the Oldham penalty area. The best chance on 16 minutes came after Darren Currie threaded through a long through ball down the left channel to Walker but with only Rachubka to beat, Walker snatched his shot wide of the far post. Wanderers continued to ask questions of Oldham as Balmer won the battle to clear ahead of Rammell after another probing cross from the left by Vinnicombe. Wanderers purple patch was completed in the 22nd minute when Simpson's free-kick from the left fell to Walker but the shot was stubbed and the Oldham defence were allowed to clear their lines.
However, it hadn't been all one-way traffic. Oldham saw Matthew Tipton pull a shot wide on 7 minutes and a minute later Taylor dived to turn away Carlo Corazzin shot before McCarthy headed away. However, Wycombe's frustration in front of goal saw the home side grow in confidence. On 28 minutes Tipton threw off two challenges before driving in a low shot that Taylor got down to his right to push clear. Two minutes later Taylor made another incredible one-handed save when he somehow got to Lee Duxbury's header at the far post from Darren Sheridan's cross.
The home side broke the deadlock on 32 minutes when Taylor punched weakly follwing a corner from the left and Tipton was able to drive the ball home at the far post. Michael Simpson began to lose the plot when he was booked for dissent on 35 minutes and it got worse for Wycombe six minutes before the break when another corner from the left was glanced by the head of Andy Rammell and the ball beat Taylor as it entered the net off the far post.
Half-time Oldham 2 Wycombe 0
Wanderers needed an early second-half goal to get back into the game and it nearly came on 50 minutes when Mark Rogers got up to head just wide following Currie's free-kick. Two minutes later Currie was playmaker again as his cross from the left to allowed Danny Senda to provide the pass for Dannie Bulman to curl a low effort to force Rachubka's first save of the game.
Oldham responded with a fierce spell of pressure. On 54 minutes Duxbury's diving header was denied by the save of the game from Taylor, as the ex-Derby man swooped to his right to push the ball away for a corner. David Beherall headed wide of the far post from the resulting corner, the first of five corners in as many minutes. But Wycombe survived as Taylor tipped over another shot and Vinnicombe cleared off the line from Dean Holden.
Lawrie Sanchez made his first change of the day on the hour mark when he replaced Simpson with Carroll. The surprise move was emphasised by the fact that it was the first time Simpson had been substituted since the final game of the 1999/2000 at Cambridge.
Simpson's departure saw Carroll slot into the right wing-back role and Senda move forward. The gamble nearly paid off in the 65th minute when Senda went on a 'Dave Carroll style' run before pushing the ball to Rammell but 'Rambo's shot was tipped over by Rachubka for a corner.
Keith Ryan was introduced for Stuart Roberts a few minutes later but as Wycombe battled to force the issue, tempers flared. Balmer and Rammell clashed with the Oldham man left on the deck. Cue a twenty man brawl and the eventual outcome, Rammell heading down the tunnel.
There's was no back after that episode and it was the home side who looked more likely to add to the scoreline, Mark Rogers' desperate tackle preventing Tipton from adding to his earlier score as the home side were more than happy to run out time.
Final Score Oldham 2 Wycombe 0
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