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Burnley 2 Wycombe 2 - Sat 4th October 1997 - Division 2 >>
Gillingham 1 Wycombe 0 - Sat 11th October - Division 2 >>
Wycombe 1 Bristol Rovers 0 - Sat 18th October - Division 2 >>
Wycombe 4 Walsall 2 - Sat 21st October - Division 2 >>
Chesterfield 1 Wycombe 0 - Sat 25th October - Division 2 >>
CHESTERFIELD 1 WYCOMBE 0 Saturday 25th October - Division Two
The sending-off of goalkeeper Martin Taylor after just 16 minutes at Saltergate scuppered all the Wanderers plans to grab vital away points at struggling Chestefield. Steve Brown took over between the sticks but could do nothing to prevent the Spireites second-half winner. Brown seemed to enjoy his time as glovemaster as Chesterfield were limited to hopeful long rangers. Wycombe could have grabbed a share of the points in a spirited performance but home keeper Mark Gayle was in top form to quell the storm at Saltergate. The defeat leaves Wycombe in 12th place in the table having accumulated 19 points from 14 games.
Taylor's sending off came as a result of deliberate hand-ball just inches outside his area. A lobbed pass from Chris Beaumont unlocked the Wycombe defence and with Tony Lormar running through on goal, Taylor threw out an instinctive arm as he rushed to the edge of his box. The linesman on the near side signalled and their was only one option for referee Pike despite the token Wycombe appeals. Steve Brown took over the green jersey as a disconsolant Taylor trudged down the tunnel. The sending-off was the culmination of several early Chesterfield attacks - the best chance coming after ten minutes when Lormar should have scored after he was left in too much space on the right but he dragged his shot wide.
With Wycombe reduced to 10 men Wycombe had to reorganise. An injury to striker Paul Read gave Gregory the opportunity to relay the appropriate messages, resulting in Michael Simpson replacing the struggling Read. The Wycombe back four gave good protection to Brown as the home side slung in a number of high crosses. On 29 minutes Brown half-scooped away an effort at the far post and as the tension mounted Ryan and Chesterfield's Mark Williams ended in the book for getting a little too enthusiastic in goal-mouth melee. Chesterfield, without a win in 7 League games, should have gone behind after 36 minutes when a Carroll free-kick from the right fell to Stallard with his back to goal. Stallard pushed it wide to Simpson who fired in from the right-hand edge of the six-yard box but Gayle produced a fine block to push the ball away for a corner.
The home side got the all important goal after just 3 minutes of the second-half. A cross from deep on the left by Chris Perkins caught the Wycombe defence square and Paul HOLLAND nipped in to float a header past the diving Brown. After the goal Gregory changed his defensive strategy bringing on Mo Harkin for Jason Cousins and with a little more luck, at least point would have been earned. Within a minute of the change Paul McCarthy saw a close range flicked shot tipped over by Gayle. At the other end Brown pushed a 70th minute Steve Wilkinson effort wide for a corner and 2 minutes later denied the same player when he was extra-quick off his line to palm the attempted chip off target. With the home fans jeering their side for lack of ambition, Wycombe could have spoilt their day completely with 5 minutes left. Carroll fed Harkin from the right and the youngster saw his low and accurate shot saved with great agility by Gayle but it was not to be Wycombe's day as they slumped to their third successive defeat at Saltergate.
Final Score Chesterfield 1 Wycombe 0
A disappointing result but under the circumstances a spirited effort. Taylor will now find himself suspended for the game at York - Brian Parkin ready to step into the First Team again. By coincidence it was just over a year ago that Parkin was sent off for a similar offence at Bristol City - the game he missed being the 2-0 defeat at York. It's a funny old game, etc, etc.
WYCOMBE TEAM: Taylor, Cousins (sub 54 Harkin), Kavanagh, Ryan, McCarthy, Forsyth, Carroll, Read (sub 19 Simpson), Stallard, McGavin, Brown sub not used Beeton Att:4,119
WYCOMBE 4 WALSALL 2 Tuesday 21st October - Division Two
Wycombe rose to 9th place in the table after a Mark Stallard hat-trick saw The Wanderers on the way to victory over Walsall. Wycombe lead 3-0 within the first half-hour but sloppy defending let the visitors back in with 2 goals. Paul Read got Wycombe's other goal as Wycombe found their goal-scoring touch again. Stallard is now top scorer in Division Two with 10 goals.
With Steve McGavin starting his first game for over a month, it was Wycombe who could have grabbed an early lead when neat play by Carroll on the right side of the Walsall box set-up McGavin - the striker twisted neatly in the box before shooting just over. After Frenchman Roger Boli had scared the home fans with a long range effort that Taylor clung to, Wycombe took the lead after 11 minutes when a free-kick from Dave Carroll on the right was glanced home by the head of STALLARD at the far post. McGavin could have increased the lead within a minute after he shot wide from a left wing cross by Brown. Wycombe's second goal was well worked following a left wing run by Jason Kavanagh that ended with STALLARD putting the finishing touch on the ball from close range after 22 minutes. It was 3-0 after 27 minutes when McGavin provided from the right and Paul READ was grateful at the far post to see his sidefooted shot hit the back of the net. Walsall replyed within 2 minutes after a corner from Jeff Peron was headed in at the far post by an unmarked Adrian VIVEASH. Panic set in as Wycombe crumbled at the back. Taylor started flapping, the marking was non-existence and following yet another left side Peron corner, disputed heavily by Wycombe, it was Andy WATSON who was gifted space to head in to make it 3-2 with 6 minutes remaining until half-time. It could have been worse if Boli had converted a chance from the edge of the box as Wycombe were glad to hear the half-time whistle.
Half-time Wycombe 3 Walsall 2
Wycombe restored a two advantage goal within 2 minutes of the restart. Carroll broke from midfield and after delaying shooting, unselfishly squared to STALLARD who completed his hat-trick with ease from close range. After the first half danger signs, Wycombe didn't falter again as Walsall played a passing game but without threatening the Wycombe goal. Mo Harkin was introduced for Read after 68 minutes and his lively running nearly produced further goals for Wycombe. On 77 minutes Harkin came in from the right wing and saw his shot deflected just wide for a corner then 3 minutes later Stallard could of had his fourth as he found space on the left but he delayed too long and the chance went.
An excellent result for Wycombe and reward for the 3,800 who braved the colder evening weather. The only down point was the inevitable booking for Steve Brown by the extremely fussy Mr Crick. Brown will now be due a 3 match suspension.
Final Score Wycombe 4 Walsall 2
WYCOMBE TEAM: Taylor, Cousins (sub 90 Beeton), Kavanagh, Ryan, McCarthy, Forsyth, Carroll, Read (sub 68 Harkin), Stallard, McGavin (sub 88 Simpson), Brown Att:3,834
WYCOMBE 1 BRISTOL ROVERS 0 Saturday 18th October - Division Two
Wycombe ended their run of 6 games without a win thanks to a second-half goal from Mark Stallard. The introduction of Steve McGavin at the break changed Wycombe's fortunes up front but the Wanderers still had 'keeper Martin Taylor to thank for a solid display between the sticks.
Before the game Wycombe fans had the bad news that Keith Scott had been sidelined due to an arm injury turning septic. Taking Scotty's place up front was Paul Read after being dropped for the defeat at Gillingham while Steve McGavin returned to the squad as substitute. Nicky Mohan began the first of a three match suspension after being sent-off playing for Bradford reserves two weeks ago.
On an unusually hot October afternoon it was Wycombe who got first sight of goal after 11 minutes. Bodin played a ball out from the left side of defence which culminated in Paul Read finding himself running towards the right side of goal but Andy Collet came out well to block as Read attempted to flick the ball in. Wycombe failed to gel up front and it was Rovers, urged on by 1200 plus fans, who created the better chances in the first half. Rovers Captain Andy Tillson powered a header over on 16 minutes after a free kick from the right and just after the half-hour mark Julien Alsop was left in space on the right side of the Wycombe box but Taylor held the shot well. In between Wycombe crafted a chance that started with Cornforth who pushed the ball wide on the right to Kavanagh before Carroll delivered a bye-line cross that Read just failed to connect with. A similar Carroll cross on 41 minutes saw Stallard head goalwards from 12 yards but the ball inched just wide. At the other end Rovers had a weak claim for handball turned down as Peter Beadle saw a fierce drive blocked by the body of Paul McCarthy.
McGavin, replacing a lethargic Cornforth, took just five minutes to create an opening for Wycombe - playing the ball across the face of the goal from the left only to see Stallard waste the chance by slicing the effort wide. Meanwhile, Paul Read was laided out on the centre-line in front of the Woodlands Stand claiming that Jason Perry had elbowed him off the ball. Despite the Wycombe protests the officials couldn't back up the claim. McGavin played through to Kavanagh on 55 minutes before Brown was tripped on the edge of the box but not for the firt time this season Wycombe failed to hit the target from a dead ball situation. At the other end Jamie Cureton saw a low cross from the left hacked away by the Wycombe defence. Wycombe had a loud appeal for a penalty turned away on 62 minutes when the dynamic McGavin was clipped by Tillson as he forced his way into the box from the left. We've all seen them given but not on the this occasion. Two minutes later there was a major scare for Wycombe when Barry Hayles finally got away from McCarthy. With the latter claiming desparately for offside, Hayles was through on goal but Taylor was quick off his line and parried the ball clear before it was kicked to safety. On 69 minutes Paul Bodin saw a powerful run from midfield end with a ball through to McGavin but Collet blocked again. It finally took a disastrous error by Collet to gift Wycombe the winning goal after 71 minutes. The Rovers 'keeper cleared weakly straight to Paul Read on the left wing and his first time ball across the goal found STALLARD who had the simple job of converting the chance in front of a ecstatic Valley End. Read was immediately replaced by Mo Harkin as Wycombe hung for for the three points in a relatively comfortable manner with the exception of an incident where Taylor had to be brave again to collect the ball - the resulting brawl seeing players from both sides being thrown around and ending with a booking apiece.. but not Steve Brown surprisingly.
Final Score Wycombe 1 Rovers 0
WYCOMBE TEAM: Taylor, Kavanagh, Bodin, Ryan, McCarthy, Forsyth, Cornforth (sub H/T McGavin), Read (sub 72 Harkin), Stallard, Carroll (sub 89 Cousins), Brown Att:5,836
GILLINGHAM 1 WYCOMBE 0 Saturday 11th October - Division Two
Wycombe returned with nothing from a dismal day in Kent - a solitary goal 12 minutes from time extending Gillingham's unbeaten home run. Continual rain throughout the 90 minutes made the afternoon particularly unbearable for those stranded on the uncovered terracing while Wycombe's performance on the pitch was as limp as my rain soaked match programme. New signing Nicky Mohan stepped in for the suspended Paul McCarthy while out of form 'striker' Paul Reid was excluded from the squad. There was still no place for Steve McGavin who teamed up with Club Press officer Alan Hutchinson for the match commentary on Wycombe local radio.
Both sides failed to find their feet in front of goal on the difficult surface but it was The Gills who had the first chance on 5 minutes - a corner from the right being palmed away by Martin Taylor before Andy Hessenthaler saw his shot pushed away for a corner on the opposite side. Wycombe's first sight of goal came courtesy of a John Cornforth free-kick on 9 minutes - the Welshman's curling effort being tipped around the post by Jim Stannard in the home goal. Ade Akinbiyi was the key threat to Wycombe with old boy Steve Butler also causing problems but lacking that final touch - one shot endangering the corner flag more than the net. On 31 minutes Hessenthaler should have finished better after being set-up by a Butler header while Wycombe, relying on the occasional breakaway, saw Stallard come into space on 38 minutes but he pulled his shot wide of the left hand upright. Akinbiyi fired over 2 minutes later at the other end as both sides continued to suffer from a bout of Paul Read style finishing.
The second half followed a similar pattern with Simon Ratcliffe going close with a header following a right wing cross from Akinbiyi. It was Wycombe, however, who came closest to breaking the deadlock after 1 hour when a Dave Carroll cross from the left found Stallard at the opposite post - but his shot from 10 yards rebounded off the post to safety. That chance appeared to wake up the home side. Substitute Dennis Bailey put a chance wide on 71 minutes with the goal at his mercy then on 75 minutes Akinbiyi saw a placed shot from the left cleared wide for a corner as the innevitable approached. The obligatory goal came after a series of Gillingham corners from which Martin Taylor looked anything but safe. On 78 minutes Steve Butler sent in a deep cross from the left wing, Guy Butters rose at the far post to head into the six yard box and the ball was scooped home by the leg of AKINBIYI. Wycombe made a token effort to save the game, the best chance coming with 7 minutes remaining. A run to the left bye-line by Bodin ended with a corner on the opposite side which Carroll swung to the far post where a spectacular overhead kick by substitute Mo Harkin was well blocked by Stannard. Scotty got involved in bar-room type brawl seconds later, the outcome a booking for either side - the frustration on Scotty's face summing up Wycombe's day as the bad run of no wins in 6 continues.
Full-time Gillingham 1 Wycombe 0
Wycombe drop to 16th place in the table and with Luton and Burnley both picking up wins the danger signs are there again. Next game is at home to 5th place Bristol Rovers next Saturday (kick off 3.00pm), followed by the Tuesday night visit of Walsall (kick-off 7.45pm) to Adams Park. A reminder that the Club will be dishing out cup-tie vouchers at both these games.
WYCOMBE TEAM: Taylor, Kavanagh, Bodin, Ryan, Mohan, Forsyth, Cornforth (sub 80 Harkin), Scott, Stallard, Carroll, Brown subs not used:Cousins and Simpson Att:5,545
BURNLEY 2 WYCOMBE 2 Saturday 4th October - Division Two
Wycombe fans were left wondering what might have been following a 2-2 draw at struggling Burnley. Substitute Paul Read missed a glorious chance in the dying moments to seal 3 points but Burnley too had their chances as Wycombe sat back on their 2-1 lead. Paul Read was Wycombe's only change from last week's starting line-up against Preston - Keith Scott making his full return after his ankle injury. There was still no place for Steve McGavin who played for the reserves in the week but didn't travel with the team due to his wife expecting a baby.
With the local rumour in Burnley being that Uri Geller is due to take the club, no report would be complete without some contrived mention of the latest football bandwagon jumper. Sure enough as early as the 3rd minute a right wing cross from Burnley player-manager Chris Waddle was mysteriously bent over the Wycombe defence and Gerry CREANEY was given space to place a header past Taylor's left hand side. It was only Burnley's second home league goal of the season and delighted the vast majority of the 2nd Division's biggest gate of the day. Those same fans were incensed after 12 minutes though, when Stallard was adjudged to have been fouled in the area just as he was about to shoot. John CORNFORTH stepped up to calmly slot the penalty home to the 'keepers left and level the scores. That goal gave Wycombe confidence but they failed to take a firm enough grip as their opponents stuggled on. Keith Scott narrowly missed connecting with a Cornforth corner on 17 minutes while Wycombe's only other serious threat on the Burnley goal came 3 minutes before the break when Stallard was up-ended in the area but the appeals were waved away - Burnley very nearly scoring from the resulting break-way.
A similar incident 8 minutes into the second-half saw first Keith Ryan 'shield' Paul Barnes as he twisted and turned in the box and then as the loud Burnely appeals were laughed off Wycombe broke but with no effect. Wycombe took the lead, however, on 56 minutes after stirling work from Cousins deep in his own half. He sent Carroll down the right whose eventual cross was picked up by Stallard at the far post. Stallard took far too much time to shoot but snapped up the rebound on the left bye-line to cross onto the waiting head of Keith SCOTT. Scotty could have put Wycombe further ahead on 62 minutes after he powered in from the right but Beresford blocked well in the Burnley goal. It was from this point that Wycombe appeared to sit-back. On 64 minutes Lee Howey tested Taylor with a header following yet another Waddle cross from the right. Then, after Gregory had replaced Cousins and Stallard with Kavanagh and Read, Burnley were given their lifeline. Substitute Paul Weller got the better of Paul Bodin on the right bye-line and CREANEY was there again to head home the centre. Wycombe were now clinging on but after Taylor had seen a Harrison cross from the right glance off his far post in the final minute, Wycombe should have snatched victory. Keith Scott delivered a low ball from the left across the face of the Burnley goal to Paul Read but, when scoring looked easier, he side-footed the ball wide to match his woeful miss the previous week against Preston. Full-time Burnley 2 Wycombe 2
A draw may have been a fair reflection on the game but Wycombe should be kicking themselves on not turning the screw after they had taken the lead. Waddle was given far too much respect by the Wycombe defence and the late change up front was a mystery to most Wycombe fans. On the plus side Scotty came through the 90 minutes unscathed and Dave Carroll is now back in favour. Wycombe drop one place to 11th following the draw at Turf Moor.
WYCOMBE TEAM: Taylor, Cousins (sub 64 Kavanagh), Bodin, Ryan, McCarthy, Forsyth, Cornforth, Scott, Stallard (sub 72 Read), Carroll, Brown sub not used:Harkin Att:9,057
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