|November 1997 Reports|
Also from 1997/98
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Sat 1st Nov 1997 - WYCOMBE 2 Luton 2 - Division Two
Tue 4th Nov 1997 - Plymouth 4 WYCOMBE 2 - Division Two
Sat 8th Nov 1997 - York City 2 WYCOMBE 0 - Division Two
Tue 18th Nov 1997 - WYCOMBE 0 Wrexham 0 - Division Two
Sat 22nd Nov 1997 - Bristol City 3 WYCOMBE 1 - Division Two
Sat 29th Nov 1997 - WYCOMBE 1 Bournemouth 1 - Division Two
Also see the Wycombe v Basingstoke - FA Cup report - if you dare!!
CHERRIES HAND PICKED A POINT
WYCOMBE 1 BOURNEMOUTH 1
Football League Division Two
Saturday 29th November 1997
With the majority of the crowd discussing the ifs, buts and whys of the Basingstoke game, it was no surprise that this game slipped by without a chance of it being recollected in the future. A defensive clanger by the visitors gave Wycombe a chance of three points but John Cornforth's handball on the line with 13 minutes remaining was enough to ensure that this match ended as the banker stalemate it was set up to be.
A defensive looking Wycombe line-up, minus a dropped Keith Scott but with top scorer Mark Stallard returning, started in a reasonable lively manner. The hardworking Steve McGavin forced a good save from Jim Glass in the Cherries goal after 13 minutes with a shot from the right side of the area but goalmouth action was at a premium. Bournemouth rarely troubled Wycombe in the first-half although Taylor had to be alert to tip over on 36 minutes. Wycombe finished the half in a flurry - Steve Brown saw a chance saved on 40 minutes and 2 minutes later the same player set up Kavanagh on the left but Glass was equal again in the Bournemouth goal as the half ended goalless
I was just inspecting my 0-0 betting slip when Bournemouth handed Wycombe a goal after 51 minutes. Cherries Captain Ian Cox made a real hash of a header back to 'keeper Glass and Mark STALLARD, after seeing his first shot save, snapped up the rebound with glee in front of the Valley End. Wycombe had a chance to extend the lead on the hour mark when McGavin took the ball to the right-hand bye line before playing the ball back to Cornforth whose stabbed shot was pushed away by Glass. It was the Welshman who was in the thick of the action at the other end after 77 minutes. His diving save to his right from Steve Fletcher's header following a corner from the left was straight from the Paul McCarthy goalkeeping school and brought with it the formality of the red card. Unfortunately the Cherries had not read the script and Taylor was beaten from the spot for the seventh time this week - Steve ROBINSON sending Taylor the wrong way. From that point Wycombe hung on with Stallard the lone player up front. Wycombe have not won in 9 games - It's going to be a long hard winter folks.
Full-time Wycombe 1 Bournemouth 1
WYCOMBE TEAM: Taylor, Cousins, Kavanagh, Ryan, Mohan, Forsyth, McCarthy, Cornforth, Stallard, McGavin, Brown subs Scott, Harkin and Read Att:4,340
BLUES TRASHED AT ASHTON
BRISTOL CITY 3 WYCOMBE 1
Football League Division Two
Saturday 22nd November 1997
In front of Bristol City's biggest gate of the season, Wycombe were up against it for the majority of the 90 minutes. With City's Bell-boy getting jeered and booed anytime he got near the ball (all in the best possible taste, of course), it took the home side until seven minutes before the break to get their vital break through. Wycombe had no answers to the powerful City frontline and two further second-half goals put a more realistic look to the scoreline. A late penalty by Keith Scott was the definitive consolation as Wanderers continued on their abysmal run of away form prior to Tuesday's replay against Basingstoke.
Fielding an unchanged line-up to Tuesday night's 0-0 affair with Wrexham, Wycombe resisted the early City pressure. Jason Cousins skittled Mickey Bell on 10 minutes just for old times sake as the deserter was given a hard time by the Wycombe fans. With the slippery conditions making control difficult City were restricted to hit and hope efforts. Taylor had to be alert to pick up a skimming shot from Greg Goodridge on 17 minutes while the arial threat of Steve Torpey was thwarted by the Wycombe 'keeper nine minutes later as he blocked his flick header. Taylor also pushed around a Goodridge effort on 35 minutes but it was Taylor's slip that led to the opening goal three minutes later. A poor clearance ended with City picking up the loose ball and as Keith Ryan was out of position Matt HEWLETT drove in a shot from outside of the Wycombe box that beat Taylor high to his left despite the 'keeper getting a hand to shot.
Half-time City 1 Wycombe 0
Keith Ryan's miserable day continued a minute into the second-half when he was booked for a foul on the edge of his own box as City turned the screw. Taylor made two more outstanding saves on 53 minutes - first he blocked Hewlett's shot from the left when he looked certain to score from inside the box then within seconds he pushed away a Torpey header in a Pele v Banks style. Any chance of Wycombe comeback ended on 58 minutes, however. Wycombe forced a couple of corners, the first following a Cornforth free-kick and the second coming after Brown had a run down the left. The latter corner was half-cleared but as the ball was returned into the City box on the left, Paul Read snatched his shot over the bar. City scored from their next attack. Matt HEWLETT cut in from the right, wrong footed Ryan and drove a low shot past Taylor. It got worse on 66 minutes when Bell floated in a free-kick from the left and TORPEY headed home at the far post with Mohan looking on. Wycombe's token reply came as the game entered the final ten minutes. First Keith Scott was denied a definite penalty when he was hauled back by his shirt, then on 82 minutes Steve McGavin set-up Jason Kavanagh for a run into the box on the left and when his cross struck Jim Brennan's arm the referee pointed to the spot. SCOTT strode up to firmly slot the ball to the right of Keith Welch and so register Wycombe's only shot on target of the day. Taylor still had time to make one more spectacular save as the promotion favourites powered past a confidence drained Wycombe side.
Full-time Bristol City 3 Wycombe 1
WYCOMBE TEAM: Taylor, Cousins, Beeton, Ryan, Mohan, Cornforth (sub 69 McCarthy), Kavanagh, Scott, Read (sub Harkin 69), McGavin, Brown sub not used Simpson Att:11,129
GOALLESS AS BROWN RETURNS
WYCOMBE 0 WREXHAM 0
Football League Division Two
Tuesday 18th November 1997
After the FA Cup shambles against Basingstoke, a nervous but more determined Wycombe side huffed and puffed to a goalless draw against 7th placed Wrexham. The Wanderers, minus an injured Dave Carroll, created the better chances with John Cornforth going the closest when he hit the bar midway through the second-half. Steve Brown returned from suspension and didn't get booked despite every effort on his part - in fact referee Phil Richards must have left his notebook at home because he didn't produce one card throughout the 90 minutes - some record these days. Alan Beeton was the other change from Saturday with Mark Stallard and Michael Forsyth still on the injured list.
After a lively opening where both sides created chances within the first few minutes, the first-half turned into a mundane affair with goal scoring opportunities rare. On 20 minutes Scotty shot from a narrow angle on the left after McGavin had provided, while after 38 minutes Cousins raced down the right before playing the ball inside to Kavanagh but he could only force a corner. Wrexham rarely threatened under their own accord but the occasional sloppy defending from Wycombe has the Wanderers fans groaning.
The second-half was a major improvement on the first. After just 2 minutes Scott, with his back to goal, laid the ball to Brown who from a least 30 yards drove in a shot that swerved away at the crucial moment. Seconds later Read saw Marriott in the Wrexham goal block from close range as the crowd warmed to the new spirit in the Wycombe team. McCarthy replaced Mohan on 53 minutes, with the ex-Bradford player heading straight down the tunnel with Richard Hill, presumably with an injury. Macca's introduction coincided with Wycombe improving their passing game but the final ball was always lacking. On 57 minutes Taylor spilled a low shot from Craig Skinner but Wycombe cleared their lines. Wycombe's best effort at taking all three points came midway through the half when Marriott cleared a left wing cross straight out to fellow Welshman John Cornforth whose quick thinking shot beat the 'keeper to his line but the crossbar prevented the much needed goal and boost to the Wycombe morale. Wycombe eventually ran out of steam and it was left to the visitors to finish the stronger side. Wycombe held-out, however, and despite the jeers at the final whistle this was an improvement on recent displays - it was just a shame that the game didn't finish with the Wanderers on top.
Next game is the difficult trip to high-flying, Bell stealing, Bristol City on Saturday kick-off 3.00pm. The replay with Basingstoke is on Tuesday followed by a home League game with AFC Bournemouth.
Full-time Wycombe 0 Wrexham 0
WYCOMBE TEAM: Taylor, Cousins, Beeton, Ryan, Mohan (sub 53 McCarthy), Cornforth, Kavanagh, Scott, Read (sub Harkin 62), McGavin (sub 89 Simpson), Brown Att:3,635
ADAMS PARK SHOCKER
WYCOMBE WANDERERS 2 BASINGSTOKE TOWN 2
Saturday 15th November - 1st Round Proper
Go to the FA Cup special page for full report and details.
WYCOMBE TURN TO SHEET
YORK CITY 2 WYCOMBE 0
Football League Division Two
Saturday 8th November 1997
If the warning signs were there on Tuesday night at Plymouth, the harsh reality hit home hard at Boothan Crescent against in-form York City. On this display it appears that Wycombe have come virually knowhere in the previous twelve months and with the relegation zone looming, these are very worrying times for everybody connected with Wycombe Wanderers. A tough penalty decision against Wycombe on the stroke of half-time set the ball rolling for York but with a totally non-functional midfield and feeble front-line, the Wanderers were never in this game - failing to seriously test the York 'keeper throughout the 90 minutes. Having slipped to 16th place in the table, John Gregory now has ten days to shake up the side before the next League outing - at home to Wrexham on Tuesday 18th November.
Gregory made two changes from the side that were humbled in Devon - Brian Parkin coming in for the suspended Martin Taylor and Paul McCarthy increasing the height at the back in preference to Michael Forsyth. Wycombe's defence looked reasonable but it was the appaling distribution in midfield that cost the Wanderers dear - Michael Simpson being the prime offender. Up front Keith Scott had his worst performance since re-signing in the summer and Stallard and McGavin never had enough to unlock the York rearguard.
This was to be 'clean sheet' day for Brian Parkin and he looked to be coping alright as he got down well to his left to save Mark Tinkler's 35th minute deflected effort. The home fans failed to catch onto the bitter satire of a white duvet cover being hoisted every time Parkin saved, preferring to chant "stik your white sheeet up your ass" in their best Yorkshire accents. Perhaps the sheet would have been better used to cover the eyes of the Wycombe fans as the Wanderers fell behind in first half stoppage time. The spot kick came after Mohan had tackled Steve Bushell strongly in the area and while the York complaints were still ringing in the ears of referee Dean, he pointed to the spot as Rodney Rowe's flick flew up and hit Paul McCarthy's hand. Tony BARRAS strode up to ram the penalty down the centre - Parkin taking the option to move to one side after hearing advice from both Carroll and Cousins.
Half-time York 1 Wycombe 0
York's second goal effectively sealed the game 12 minutes into the second-half. Alan Pouton made a twisting run down the right, dodging token challenges by Simpson, Kavanagh and McCarthy before Mohan cut out the cross at the bye-line. Incredibly Pouton picked up the loose ball and crossed to the far post where Rodney ROWE headed home with ease with Ryan stranded. Two minutes later Paul Stephenson could have made it three with a shot from the left but Parkin did enough to push his 20 yarder away. Gregory threw on Alan Beeton for Simpson shortly afterwards, with Kavanagh moving to midfield but the changes had little effect. Wycombe's best chance of the entire game came with 20 minutes left when the ball fell to Keith Scott directly in front of the York goal but with just the 'keeper to beat he flashed the chance over the bar. The finish was as miserable as the journey home and Gregory must be thoroughly dissatisfied and frustrated by the latest backwards step for the team. Only Southend have conceeded more away goals in Division Two and Wycombe have now lost the last four away games. Will Basingstoke get the backlash of this defeat? I sincerely hope so.
Full-time York 2 Wycombe 0
WYCOMBE TEAM: Parkin, Cousins, Kavanagh, Ryan, Mohan, McCarthy, Carroll, Scott, Stallard, McGavin (sub 72 Harkin), Simpson (sub 63 Beeton) sub not used Read Att:3,333
PLYMOUTH 4 WYCOMBE 2
Football League Division Two
Tuesday 4th November 1997
The warning signs are there again as another disjointed Wycombe performance saw three points dropped. Wycombe had led as early as the fifth but it was Argyle's third goal that sparked more refereeing controversy. Wycombe had just equalised Arygle's two goal reply when Adrian Littlejohn headed home from less than a yard in the 54th minute. Wycombe claimed offside with a passion - Mohan and Scott (at least) both entering Mr Styles book. Meanwhile at the end of the match Dave Carroll, of all players, had to be restrained from giving his forthright views to the officials along with Cousins and Scott. The bottom of the table is now nearer than the top as the strugglers start to make the others struggle.
The Wycombe fans that braved the elements of Argyle's windswept and sometimes wet terrace saw The Wanderers gifted a goal start. Jason Cousins' long throw from the right right was headed into his own net by Argyle defender Simon COLLINS as Scott applied pressure. Scotty obviously tried to claim it but that would have been stretching the imagination a little too far. The home side countered with a series of attacks running towards their own fans (undercover by the way). In the 13th minute, Martin Taylor, dressed in all yellow, made an incredible save from an Earl Jean piledriver. Two minutes later, however, the same player played through to Mark Saunders whose run on goal was ended when Taylor was adjudged to have fouled Saunders inside the box. Taylor was booked for what looked a harsh decision for the penalty - Carlo CORAZZIN sent Taylor the wrong way from the spot. A minute later worse was to come as a low ball from the Argyle right by Chris Billy was slid in at the far post, again by Canadian CORAZZIN. Wycombe could only make token reply, the best effort coming in the 23rd minute when Simpson, the only change from Saturday's line-up, saw a shot parried away by Jon Sheffield after Carroll had laid the ball off.
Half-time Argyle 2 Wycombe 1
Corazzin could have had his hat-trick 3 minutes into the second-half when he capitalised on a static Wycombe defefence. He rounded Taylor on the right side of the box but sliced the shot wide of the target. Wycombe's equaliser was similar to Arygle's second goal. Carroll weaved in from the right and Keith SCOTT was grateful to thump home at the far post after 52 minutes. Thoughts of taking a point lasted less than a couple of minutes, however. A high cross from the right by Corazzin was headed goalwards by Earl Jean and Adrian LITTLEJOHN finished the effort off at the far post. Wycombe players, officials and fans exploded alike - claiming offside. Bookings were handed out as if they were going out of fashion and Wycombe never recovered what minimal composure they might of had. Three minutes later it really was all over - a free kick from the right by Paul Wotton being powerfully headed home by Ronnie MAUGÉ for the goal of the game. A cloud-burst, not quite in the Gillingham away catergory, increased that sinking feeling on the terraces for the Wycombe fans as the game petered out in a very depressing manner. An 81st minute long-ranger from Jason Cousins is all that is remaining from my notebook as thoughts of a 220 mile homeward journey added to the misery - luckily I had taken the option to 'stay-over', 'sample' a few ales and 'murder' a curry. Unfortunately in the cold reality of morning the result still looks dreadful.
Full-time Argyle 4 Wycombe 2
WYCOMBE TEAM: Taylor, Cousins, Kavanagh, Ryan, Mohan, Forsyth (sub 61 McCarthy), Carroll, Scott, Stallard, McGavin, Simpson (sub 71 Read) sub not used Brian Parkin Att:2,993
WYCOMBE 2 LUTON TOWN 2
Football League Division Two
Saturday 1st November 1997
Despite leading on two occasions, Wycombe fans were the more relieved to hear the final whistle as Luton Town continued their climb from the bottom of the table. After drawing level on the stroke of half-time, the visitors dominated the second-half although Wycombe couldn't believe their luck when McGavin scored a superbly taken goal just after the hour mark. Luton's second equaliser was another nightmare for Taylor as Thorpe's looping heading beat him to the line. The draw keeps Wycombe just above the mid-table position with away games at Plymouth and York to come in the next week.
Wycombe's team news saw Keith Scott back in the starting line-up for the first time in three weeks, Michael Simpson continued ahead of Paul Read and Nicky Mohan got the nod before final centre-half Paul McCarthy. Scott's presence up front was a handful for Luton as Wycombe started well - McGavin letting fly from the right hand edge of the box after 2 minutes but Davis collected with ease in the Luton goal. The Hatters began their own spell of pressure on 4 minutes when Paul McLaren saw a 20 yarder skim just wide but it was Wycombe who gained first blood on 12 minutes. A quick throw on the left by Kavanagh was picked up by McGavin who swung a cross into the box for Mark STALLARD to volley neatly home at the far post. A bizarre incident on 15 minutes could have seen Luton draw level. A free-kick on the edge of the Wycombe area was chipped into the Wycombe box and a series of headers was ended when David Oldfield cleared when scoring looked easier. Wycombe should have doubled the lead on 20 minutes when Scott held off his marker before putting through Kavanagh on the left. The Wycombe defender advanced to the bye-line before sending in a low cross, only for Carroll to slide agonisingly wide at the far post. Wycombe were, in the main foiled by an efficient Luton offside trap, but it was the visitor's who had more reason to complain on 24 minutes when Oldfield played through to Thorpe who tucked the ball past Taylor only to be ruled offside when the striker was clearly onside (phew). Luton turned the screw more as half-time approached but just as it looked if Wycombe had survived, Thorpe nipped the ball in from the left and OLDFIELD stroked home from 12 yards despite the intervention of Taylor's legs. There was still time deep in first half stoppage time for Brown and Carroll to combine before Scott forced Davis to save again.
Luton increased in confidence in the second-half with Keith Ryan playing out of his skin in a central defensive role in order to prevent being over-run by a hungry looking Luton forward line. Up front for Wycombe too many passes were going astray particularly from deadball situations and McGavin was having an off-day down the left as Julian James did a shut-out job. Wycombe's stroke of luck came on 63 minutes as referee Brandwood waved play-on as Luton claimed for a foul deep in the Wycombe half. The ball broke to Scott on the right who flicked the ball into McGAVIN who weaved past the Luton defence before placing a delightful low shot into the opposite corner of the net. The goal fired Luton again but the equaliser on 74 minutes was another major disappointment for Wycombe. A high ball was played into the Wycombe box from the right by Gary Waddock and 5 foot 9 inch Tony THORPE out-jumped Jason Cousins to send a looping header over Taylor and into the far corner of the Wycombe net. Wycombe counteracted themselves within a minute when McGavin and Stallard conjured up a chance for Scott on the left side of the area but Davis tipped over. The game could have swung either way in the dying moments as the fresh legs of Harkin tried to find a way through for Wycombe while Luton sent in several dangerous corners as they were urged on by a capacity following at the Hillbottom Road end.
Full-time Wycombe 2 Luton 2
WYCOMBE TEAM: Taylor, Cousins, Kavanagh, Ryan, Mohan, Forsyth, Carroll, Scott, Stallard (sub 78 Harkin), McGavin, Brown (sub 65 Simpson) sub not used McCarthy Att:6,219
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