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Staines Town 2
Wycombe Wanderers 2
29th July 2006
Two goals from centre back Tom Cadmore earned a Wycombe Wanderers XI a 2-2 draw at Staines in a pre-season friendly played on the same day that First Team Manager Paul Lambert took his side to play Nottingham Forest in a 'behind closed doors' match.
Wanderers' squad included a sprinkling of youth team players but the day belonged to a midfielder at the other end of his career. In a game lacking cutting edge, Steve Guppy flashed shards of quality. Both Cadmore goals were the result of devilish Guppy crosses, and the former Wanderer would have had a few more assists to his name had his strikers applied the finishing touches his delivery deserved. Guppy announced his intentions in the opening minute, whipping a ball in for Stefan Oakes to attack. The midfielder was closed down before he got a shot away, but a trend was set and with Sergio Torres also showing signs of regaining last season’s form, the Blues were a genuine threat from wide areas.
That threat should have been translated into a goal after 11 minutes when Torres picked out the forehead of Jonny Dixon ten yards from goal, but his glancing header grazed the outside of the far post. Two minutes later Dixon squandered another chance created by Torres, the Argentinian providing the game’s stand-out moment with a shimmy and shot against the bar from 20 yards. The rebound fell Dixon’s way, but his delayed attempt was deflected wide.
It was the story of the afternoon for the young striker, who began the game as if eager to prove he should have been in Nottingham with the ‘first team’. He’d already had three chances to break the deadlock by the time Torres’ shot fell his way, but that was just about his last notable contribution and by the end of the afternoon, although his work-rate hadn’t tapered off, he cut a disconsolate figure up front.
Blues paid for his early profligacy in the 14th minute when Staines broke the length of the field to open the scoring. Ali Chaaban, who scored 18 times in 21 games for the Isthmian Premier League outfit the previous season and netted twice in a 3-1 friendly win against Brentford, made the most of a mere glimpse of goal to send a low shot in off the far post.
Wanderers did level soon after wards, Cadmore bundling the ball home after 21 minutes, and although Torres went close with two stinging drives and Staines saw what looked to be a legitimate effort ruled out for offside, the next goal did not arrive until after the turnaround. Another short corner, another Guppy cross and another Cadmore header gave Wycombe the lead in the 54th minute. Reading triallist keeper Jamie Young made a smart one-handed save to preserve Wanderers' lead four minutes later, but Staines were rarely a threat as the game meandered in the second period.
With Torres moving to centre midfield for the injured Steve Gregory, and Sam Tucknott making no impression on the right, Guppy was Wanderers’ only creative source. After 75 minutes he again picked out Oakes with a perfectly weighted cross. The header went high and minutes later Dixon, well-placed at the far post, headed harmlessly back across goal from another Guppy delivery. And six minutes from time Blues paid again when Pete Castle out-jumped the Wanderers defence to head the equaliser.
Final Score - Staines 2 Wycombe 2
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