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October 1996 Reports
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Tue 1st Oct 1996 - Wycombe 4 Rotherham 2 - Division Two
Sat 5th Oct 1996 - Wycombe 1 Notts County 0 - Division Two
Sat 12th Oct 1996 - Bournemouth 2 Wycombe 1 - Division Two
Tue 15th Oct 1996 - Bristol City 3 Wycombe 0 - Division Two
Sat 19th Oct 1996 - Wycombe 0 Stockport County 2 - Division Two
Sat 26th Oct 1996 - Wycombe 0 Wrexham 0 - Division Two
Tues 29th Oct 1996 - York City 2 Wycombe 0 - Division Two
Tuesday 29th October 1996
Football League Division Two

Another thoroughly disappointing defeat ensued for Wycombe from the midweek trip to York. Missing Dave Carroll, Matt Lawrence and Gary Patterson through injury, Gregory continued with the defensive formation that held Wrexham on Saturday. A disputed first half penalty, however, put Wycombe out of their stride and an early second half strike killed any chance of point as the team remain rooted to the foot of the table.
The game opened reasonably brightly for Wycombe, although there were no clear cut chances for either side until 19 minutes when Bell played a one-two with McGavin only to see his low shot to 'keepers Tim Clark's right saved at the second attempt. Just before the half-hour stage Wycombe had another good effort when a curling cross from Skiverton set up Davis with a free header but Clark saved well again. The controversial penalty came on 35 minutes when Gary Himsworth 'fell over' in the area after a block tackle by Steve Brown - the referee pointed to the spot and dispite the protests Nigel PEPPER stepped up to send John Cheesewright the wrong way on his debut in for the suspended Brian Parkin. Neil Davis brought another fine save from Clark in injury time as he turned on the edge of the box but Wycombe trailed at half-time.
Half-Time York 1 Wycombe 0
Wycombe fell further behind 8 minutes into the second-half when Wayne Hall sent through Neil TOLSON and he turned and shot just inside the box to send the ball past Cheesewright's right hand side. Wycombe introduced Williams and Desouza to try and salvage the game but they struggled to gel following the earlier set-backs. Farrell wasted a good chance and Bell sent in a weak chip that was easily gathered but York had the better chances - Pepper and Tolson both going close to grabbing their second goals of the night, the latter bringing a fine save from Cheesewright. So all in all very little to cheer about for the loyal 120 or so travelling supporters from Wycombe who had made the long haul up North.

WYCOMBE TEAM: Cheesewright, Cousins, Bell, McCarthy (sub 76 Williams), Evans, Crossley, Skiverton (sub 62 Desouza), Brown, Davis, Farrell, McGavin. sub not used:Clarke Att:2,254

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Saturday 26th October 1996
Football League Division Two

John Gregory's first game in charge was marked by a hard fought 0-0 draw against an in form Wrexham side at Adams Park. Both sides struggled to create any real goalscoring opportunities with Wycombe adopting a 5 man defence incorporating Matt Crossley. Matt Lawrence remained sidelined with glandular fever while upfront for the Wanderers, Villa loan player Neil Davis adopted the No.9 shirt - with John Williams confined to the subs bench. The gritty performance stopped the rot of three consecutive defeats for Wycombe but with Rotherham winning, Wycombe fall to the basement position of Division 2.
After the home crowd greeted the new boss with enthusiasm, the first half developed into a rather lame affair. 26 minutes had passed before the first serious effort on goal from either side - a long throw from the left by Wrexham Captain Tony Hulmes causing confusion in the Wycombe box and Martyn Chalk turning the chance just wide. Wycombe responded on 34 minutes when Jason Cousins played the ball from the right wing for Dave Carroll to shimmy inside the defence and send in a shot that 'keeper Andy Marriott saved comfortably to his left despite a deflection. An over indulgent Cousins was booked for lunging in after 38 minutes by the extremely fussy referee, Mark Halsey but Wycombe's best effort of the half came a minute before the break when Neil Davis broke through into the box from the right and flashed a low shot past the opposite post to liven the crowd.
Half-Time Wycombe 0 Wrexham 0
With Wycombe playing some of their best passing football of the season, David Farrell nipped in from the left shortly after the break but again the finishing lacked accuracy. 2 minutes later a left wing corner from Carroll was flicked on by Crossley but Marriott finally collected as the boots flew in. Cousins continued his good performance on 51 minutes, directing a right wing ball to Davis who just failed to hit the target from the edge of the box. Skiverton replaced Brown on 65 minutes and moments later another left wing corner by Carroll was headed back by McCarthy but Crossley just failed to re-direct the ball goalwards via a back flick. Wycombe continued to press against the side that has only lost once this season - on 71 minutes Cousins centered from the right but the chance was cleared for a corner and with 7 minutes remaining Marriott was finally asked to save a ball when he had to tip around a curling 25 yard free-kick from Carroll with Terry Evans closing in. Some anxious moments for Wycombe in the dying moments but the defence remained solid to retain a clean sheet and welcome applause from the home fans.
No goals but never the less an entertaining game for Wycombe's second biggest home League gate of the season and an encouraging start for new boss John Gregory to work on.

WYCOMBE TEAM: Parkin, Cousins, Bell, McCarthy, Evans, Crossley, Carroll (sub 90 Williams), Brown (sub 65 Skiverton), Davis, McGavin, Farrell. sub not used: Clarke Att:5,548

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Saturday 19th October 1996
Football League Division Two

Despite a second-half push on goal, Wycombe continued their traumatic start to the season with a 2-0 home defeat to mid-table Stockport County. Ex-non-Leaguer, Brett Angel was the thorn in Wycombe's side, grabbing both goals for the visitors.
Wycombe, without the injured Gary Patterson, almost conceded within the first 30 seconds when Keiron Durkan dribbled through a shambolic Wycombe defence and it was left for Dave Carroll to head off the line. Seconds later John Jeffers sent in a shot from 25 yards that was tipped over by Brian Parkin. County's pressure told after 7 minutes when a corner from the right by Chris Marsden was hit goalwards by Jeffers and Brett ANGEL deflected the ball past Parkin. Wycombe eventually responded after 18 minutes when a corner from the right by Carroll was met by Paul McCarthy but he saw his header come off the top of the bar. Wycombe continued to push forward with McGavin causing problems for County 'keeper Paul Jones on 24 minutes when he latched onto a high cross by Williams but the chance was delflected wide. 3 minutes later a miss hit shot by Carroll developed into a good pass - with the ball finding its way to McGavin but the out of luck forward again saw his effort cleared. Wycombe forced a flurry of corners before the break but couldn't find a way through.
Half-Time Wycombe 0 County 1
Desouza left the field injured two minutes into the second-half to be replaced by Terry Skiverton, getting his first appearance of the season and as the drizzle fell Wycombe were lucky to not fall further behind - a Terry Evans back-header falling into the path of Angel but Parkin managed to block. Wycombe's best spell began on 58 minutes when Steve Brown saw a low shot from the left deflected wide. Then 3 minutes later a left wing cross was headed goalbound from 8 yards by Skiverton but Jones was there to parry clear. On 61 minutes McGavin laid the ball to Mickey Bell who shot narrowly over from 10 yards and 30 seconds later Brown saw another chance flash across the face of the goal from the left. The play then switched to the opposite wing when Carroll sent in a cross that met with McGavin's extended leg only for the ball to inch past the left hand post. On 66 minutes Carroll set up McGavin again from the right who pushed the ball to Williams who on his second touch stabbed the ball in but it was deflected over for another corner.
With so much pressure it was inevitable that County would eventually break and on 73 minutes a left wing cross was met on the volley by Angel but the ball struck the opposite upright and was cleared. Wycombe's last attempt for a share of the spoils came on 84 minutes when Evans went close with a header following a left wing corner by Carroll - 2 minutes later, however, Wycombe were condemened to another defeat when Brett ANGEL got his second of the day - heading home a right wing cross.
The Wycombe players received warm applause at the final whistle for their efforts. But the writing is now clearly on the wall as the fans await the appointment of the new Manager who will attempt to bring the club out of the gloom left by Smith and Kemp.

WYCOMBE TEAM: Parkin, Cousins, Bell, McCarthy, Evans, Williams, Carroll, Brown, Desouza (sub 47 Skiverton), McGavin, Farrell. subs not used: Paul Buckle & Crossley Att:4,017

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Tuesday 15th October 1996
Football League Division Two

Wycombe collapsed to a disappointing defeat at Bristol City and to cap a miserable night, 'keeper Brian Parkin was sent off for deliberate hand-ball with the score at 2-0 . The result puts Wycombe firmly back in the relegation fold and again exposed Wycombe's shortcomings in defence and their inability to create serious chances upfront.
Wycombe fielded an unchanged starting eleven to that which lost at Bournemouth. Matt Lawrence remained unavailable because of glandular fever and Miguel Desouza retuned on the subs bench following his leg injury. It was 'backs to wall' for Wycombe right from the offset with ex-Bristol Rovers 'keeper Brian Parkin taking the taunts from the home fans. Parkin did well, however, after just 4 minutes when he denied Paul Agostino and shortly afterwards he was there again to stop a back header from Terry Evans. The one-way traffic continued with a Hewlett cross just failing to connect with Shaun Goater and on 14 minutes Mickey Bell left a back pass short which Parkin was forced to clear into the path of Gregory but the ball went wide. City took the lead on 18 minutes when Brian Tinnion's left wing cross was headed home by AGOSTINO as he rose above the Wycombe defence.
Wycombe eventually contrived a chance on 24 minutes when Patterson shot weakly high and wide following a Dave Carroll free-kick. The best chance of the half for the Wanderers fell on 33 minutes when David Farrell broke down the the left wing and his shot was tipped onto the crossbar by Naylor in the City goal.
Half-Time City 1 Wycombe 0
The second-half followed a similar pattern to the first, with City continuing to press forward. On 59 minutes the out of form Paul McCarthy needlessly handballed when Agostino tried to lift the ball over him and from the resulting free-kick Darren BARNARD curled the shot in despite Parkin getting his finger-tips to the ball. With Wycombe now in complete disarray, Agostino again caused problems for Parkin but the 'keeper gathered at the second attempt. Caretaker boss Neil Smillie introduced Desouza on 63 minutes but his only contribution was picking up a late booking for a lunging tackle. Things went from bad to worse on 72 minutes when Parkin received his marching orders. Parkin hesitated as a high ball came towards the penalty area and instead of using his head - in every sense of the word - he ended up catching the ball a good two feet out of the box. The referee had no option but to show the red card and with the unusual sight of Steve Brown between the sticks, the free-kick was neatly struck in off the under side of the bar by Brian TINNION. Brown, however, enjoyed good fortune for the remainder of the game as he tipped over a Tinnion lob from 40 yards and made a couple of other good stops. The game ended, however, with Wycombe well beaten by a confident and determined Bristol City side.

WYCOMBE TEAM: Parkin, Cousins, Bell, McCarthy, Evans, Patterson, Carroll, Williams (sub 78 Crossley), Brown, McGavin, Farrell (sub 63 Desouza). sub not used:Skiverton Att:7,325

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Saturday 12th October 1996
Football League Division Two

Neil Smillie's 'honeymoon' period as Wycombe Caretaker Manager ended at Bournemouth as the home side picked up their first points of the season at Dean Court. Smillie, who revealed after the game that he had not applied for the vacant post at Wycombe, could not have been happy with the first half defensive display from his side that saw 2 sloppy goals conceded. David Farrell's bizarre second half goal raised the hopes of the travelling Blue Army but McGavin, Williams and Co failed to deliver the killer blow up front as Bournemouth leapfrogged Wycombe in the table.
Wycombe, who included Gary Patterson returning from injury in place of Lawrence, dominated the opening minutes but it was the home side that got the breakthrough - a left wing cross by John Bailey after 6 minutes being headed back across the goal by Steve Fletcher where Matt HOLLAND cleverly overhead kicked the ball past Parkin. Wycombe responded via two free-kicks from Mickey Bell - the first from the left after a foul on Farrell after 20 minutes which was headed goalwards by Terry Evans before being cleared. Then on 28 minutes Bell sent in another dead-ball from the opposite side that whistled over the bar. Wycombe were then hit with a sucker punch as The Cherries broke from the resultant goal-kick - Wycombe losing out in midfield and Mark WATSON waltzed into the area, rounded Parkin and thumped the ball into the empty net as Evans and Bell scrambled back in vain. John Williams, hero of last season's game at Dean Court, had a chance the reduce the deficit on 37 minutes when he raced into the area from the right but his shot was blocked for a corner.
Half-Time Cherries 2 Wycombe 0
Wycombe's chances of salvaging something from the game were revived 4 minutes into the 2nd half following a fluke goal. David Carroll sent in a miss-hit daisy cutter shot from the edge of the box that was thumped clear by defender Neil Young. The ball hit the outstretched magic red boots of David FARRELL and rebounded into the net, much to the forward's joy. A boosted Wycombe side then pressed for an equaliser with Gary Patterson moving into a more attacking role. However, it was Patterson who brought the jeers from the home fans when he made a strong challenge on John Bailey in the Bournemouth box following a cross from the left after 73 minutes. Bailey was left pole-axed and was stretched off after several minutes treatment. Despite the protests from the home side the referee saw no infringement in what appeared to be a 50/50 challenge. With play restarted Steve Brown had a lame claim for a penalty turned down after he tumbled in the box but moments later Carroll sent over a right wing cross that McGavin headed just over from 8 yards. Wycombe's best chance to equalise came shortly afterwards when Mickey Bell continued his good work on the left - crossing in for Williams who laid the ball back to Brown who smashed the effort against the post from 12 yards. Wycombe continued to pressure well into injury time - Bell taking a quick throw on the left that was whipped across by Farrell where Paul McCarthy's stooping header forced a goal line save by Andy Marshall in the home goal. Even deeper into injury time Patterson confirmed his unpopularity with the home contingent when an incident in the Wycombe area resulted in the obligatory 'handbags at 10 yards' scene. Thankfully referee Alan Wiley had the common sense (can this be right?) to resist any bookings and his whistle moments later brought a relieved cheer from the home terraces.

WYCOMBE TEAM: Parkin, Cousins, Bell, McCarthy, Evans, Patterson, Carroll, Williams, Brown, McGavin, Farrell. subs not used:Skiverton, Crossley & Clarke Att:3,984

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Saturday 5th October 1996
Football League Division Two

Wycombe earnt their second successive victory under Neil Smillie thanks to a 8th minute header from Steve McGavin. McGavin's third goal in two games was enough to see off fellow strugglers Notts County and move Wycombe away from the foot of the table and bring more smiles to the rejuvenated home fans at Adams Park.
Wycombe started the game with the same line-up that finished the 4-2 victory over Rotherham in midweek and it was Steve McGavin who was again in the thick of the action. As early as the 6th minute Matt Lawrence fed the ball to McGavin, as he advanced into the right hand edge of the box, but he screwed his shot wide. Two minutes later, however, Wycombe were ahead as Jason Cousins curled in a deep free-kick from the right, Terry Evans headed the ball back across the face of the goal and McGAVIN was there from close range to head the ball down and into the net. A Dave Carroll corner from the right after 17 minutes caused further problems for County as Evans again returned the ball but John Williams' snap shot flew over the bar from close range. A disappointing County side came close on 28 minutes when Parkin was forced to save a close range header but their best chance of the half came on 40 minutes when Tim Wilks fed the ball right to Chris Wilder who crossed the ball, only for Ian Richardson to sky the effort high into the industrial estate behind the Hillbottom Road end. The half ended with Terry Evans and County's Graeme Hogg both picking up bookings from referee Mr Wilkes.
Half-Time Wycombe 1 County 0
The second half was six minutes old when David Farrell's cross from the left was met by Williams who pulled his shot across the face of the goal before the chance was cleared. A minute later Lawrence spotted Darren Ward off his line but the County 'keeper recovered. Two more bookings were dished out by Mr Wilkes on 60 minutes following a fracas in the centre circle - Matt Lawrence and Shaun Derry being added to the book - although the referee confused the crowd by restarting play with a drop-ball. County continued to press for an equaliser and on 65 minutes Vince Arkins volleyed from 12 yards but Parkin saved to his left. Dave Carroll picked up a rare booking on 77 minutes for a fairly innocuous challenge and 5 minutes later the pen was out again as Shaun Murphy was penalised for a hefty challenge on McGavin. Wycombe meanwhile held firm and had a chance to wrap the game up on 84 minutes when Williams played the ball to Lawrence from the left, who set-up Carroll but his effort went over the bar. Then in the dying moments Carroll pushed the ball to McGavin who beat the oncoming defender and brought a good save from Ward with a low shot to the left. Wycombe finished the game in command and it was the County fans who were left to call for the head of their Manager at the end of an eventful 8 days for Wycombe players and their fans.

WYCOMBE TEAM: Parkin, Cousins, Bell, McCarthy, Evans, Lawrence, Carroll, Williams, Desouza (sub 61 Brown), McGavin, Farrell. subs not used:Crossley & Clarke Att:4,506

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Tuesday 1st October 1996
Football League Division Two

A rejuvenated Wycombe side celebrated their first League win of the season as Caretaker Manager Neil Smillie took charge of team affairs for the first time following Alan Smith's departure the day before. On a cold and clear night at Adams Park, the loyal Wycombe fans welcomed the players with enthusiasm but were shocked as Rotherham took a 2-0 lead in the first-half. A late revival by Wycombe, however, saw Steve McGavin score his first goals for Wycombe since the victory at Oxford last October and enable Wycombe to jump above Rotherham in the table.
Wycombe came out attacking and produced several openings in the first 15 minutes. After only 5 minutes, McGavin combined with Desouza, whose low cross from the right slipped past the outstretched foot of Farrell. 3 minutes later Farrell headed just over from cross by Carroll and with the Valley End singing with real spirit for the first time this season, Matt Lawrence set-up McGavin with a neat back-heel but the transfer-listed striker couldn't compose himself for the shot. Bottom of the table Rotherham had their first real chance on 17 minutes when Jim Dobbin stooped to head over following a right wing cross and a minute later they took the lead as a cross from the bye-line was stroked home from 10 yards by Mark DRUCE. Wycombe re-organised on 32 minutes when Steve Brown left the field injured to be replaced by John Williams. It was McGavin, however, who was being presented with the chances up front - the best being 3 minutes before the break when a Farrell corner saw his effort blocked from close range. A minute later Wycombe found themselves 2-0 down when the visitors beat the offside trap and Andy HAYWARD scored from the right hand edge of the area as the Wycombe defence were left standing. It was on the stroke of half-time, though, that Wycombe pulled an important goal back - Matt LAWRENCE driving the ball hard and low past the 'keepers right to give Wycombe players and their fans hope.
Half-time Wycombe 1 Rotherham 2
Wycombe again played with an attacking style in the second-half, with Farrell causing problems down the left. Rotherham exposed Wycombe's shortcomings at the back as they forced two quick corners on 57 minutes but the game began to swing Wycombe's way as McCarthy forced a save from the visitor's 'keeper after 63 minutes - his header bringing a finger tip save. Parkin collected well when the ball broke free in the area after 70 minutes but a minute later it was the turn of big Terry Evans as he headed against the bar from a corner at the other end. Wycombe finally drew level on 75 minutes when initially a cross from Bell caused confusion in the box but as the ball was returned, McGAVIN beat the offside trap, fooled the 'keeper as he closed from the left and placed the ball into an empty net. A reborn McGAVIN then took Wycombe into the lead for the first time when he put home a loose ball from close range after the original shot was blocked on 79 minutes. McGavin had his hat-trick denied when his header was ruled offside on 83 minutes but with just 3 minutes remaining Dave Carroll produced another of his extraordinary runs into the box from midfield. This time he choose not to score and laid the ball into the path of John WILLIAMS who lashed the ball home from the edge of the right side of the penalty area. That sealed the game and despite Bell having to clear the ball off the line in the dying moments, the Wycombe fans still had time to give a few cries of olè as the passes started to flow. It wasn't perfect but it was a start.

WYCOMBE TEAM: Parkin, Cousins, Bell, McCarthy, Evans, Lawrence, Carroll, Brown (sub 32 Williams), Desouza, McGavin, Farrell. subs not used:Crossley & Clarke Att:3,438

All match reports © 1996 Chairboys on the Net
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