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Tuesday 5th September 2000
Worthington Cup First Round - Second Leg
Stewart Castledine - photo Paul DennisWycombe fans breathed a sigh of relief as the First Round Worthington Cup tie with Barnet finally drew to a close at 10.30pm at Adams Park.
With the scores on the night locked at 1-1, giving The Bees a one goal advantage from the First Leg, it was literally in the final minute of normal time that Wycombe's substitutes Danny Senda and Stewart Castledine combined, the latter smashing the ball home as the ball was centered from the right channel.
In extra-time, League Cup goal specialist, Paul McCarthy rose to loop a header over Barnet 'keeper Lee Harrison to send Wycombe through to Round Two for the third season running.
Up until Castledine's goal, his first since his summer return to Wycombe, it looked like a weary Wanderers would make a sad exit to the Third Division outfit. With Steve Jones now out of the equation, Mo Harkin returned to the side after international duty and like the First Leg at Underhill, Wycombe began much the brighter side.
Jermaine McSporran was guilty of two early misses. In the third minute he crashed a difficult chance a yard wide after Andy Baird's centre from the right bye-line and a minute later he should have scored when he was one-on-one Harrison but the Barnet 'keeper made the first of several terrific blocks. However, after Jamie Bates limped off with a dead leg, it was McSporran who gave Wycombe the lead. Dannie Bulman played through another dream ball through from just right of midfield allowing McSporran to take the ball wide of Harrison and strike the ball in from an acute angle. There was only one winner at that point but The Bees were let back into the game with a sloppy goal. Wycombe lost possession from a throw just inside their own half on the right and when Tony Richards spotted Martin Taylor off his line, the Barnet midfielder cleverly lobbed the ball home from around 35 yards. It wasn't quite as bad as Micky Conroys goal for Fulham in 1997 but it was one that Taylor will want to forget about in a hurry.
Even then Wycombe had a host of chances to swing the tie back in their favour. Mo Harkin saw a shot deflected wide on 29 minutes while shortly afterwards Jason Cousin's snap shot from 18 yards was pushed around for one of six first-half corners for Wycombe. Six minutes before the break Harrison was there again to deny Baird's header at the far post from McSporran's right wing ball.
Corner count.
Half-time Wycombe 1 Barnet 1
The second-half started in similar vein. Cousins had the ball in the Barnet net on 49 minutes but the flag was already raised for offside while on the hour mark, after Bees Captain had pulled back McSporran on the edge of the box, Simpson powered in a free-kick that was eventually cleared.
It was just after this point when Lawrie Sanchez took the gamble of sending on Stewart Castledine and the ex-Wimbledon player made every effort to get involved. Even so, with the clock showing 44 minutes played of the second half, it looked like Barnet would hold on as they grew in confidence and seemed happy to hold on without ever really testing Martin Taylor. The nearest they came was when Heald glanced a header wide on 74 minutes. McSporran, Castledine and Bulman all saw half chances evaporate but just as it looked like it would be a quiet September the ball broke to Senda wide on the right and when the ball was delivered, Castledine flashed the ball home to draw the tie level.
90 minutes Wycombe 2 Barnet 1
The goal certainly gave Castledine the confidence he needed. Within a few minutes of the start of extra-time he thundered a drive just wide after Simpson had made a run from inside the Wycombe half. Andy Baird also made a brave attempt for a header on 102 minutes from Senda's cross but Mark Arber got there first.
The winning goal was pleasing as it came from a set-piece. Michael Simpson sent in a free-kick from the left and McCarthy connected to but Wycombe ahead on aggregate for the first time.
With Barnet only needing one goal to take advantage on the away goals rule there were still some worries for the Wycombe contingent but as Barnet pressed Wycombe could have killed the tie completely. A minute into the second-period of extra-time Baird threaded the ball through to McSporran but again the final shot went wide. Then with five minutes left Senda had clear sight of goal from McSporran's pass but the shot was sliced wide.
The final whistle was a massive relief for Wycombe fans but quite what mental strain it has but on the team ahead of Friday's game with Oxford, only time will tell.
Final Score Wycombe 3 Barnet 1 - after extra time
Aggregate Score Wycombe 4 Barnet 3

Full match report to follow - Wednesday pm.
Wycombe: Taylor, Rogers, Vinnicombe, Bates (sub 17 Cousins), McCarthy, Brown (sub 72 Senda), Bulman, Simpson, Harkin (sub 64 Castledine), Baird, McSporran
subs not used: Lee, Brady
Yellow Cards: Brown (31), Rogers (52), McSporran (119)
Barnet: Harrison, Stockley, Sawyers (sub 90 Newton), Heald, Arber, Doolan, Currie, Basham, Toms (sub 101 Bell), Purser (sub 59 Strevens), Richards
subs not used: Naisbitt, McGleish
Yellow Cards: Toms (44), Arber (46), Heald (60),
Referee: Steve Tomlin Attendance:2,205 (300 Barnet)
Chairboys Stat File
5th Sep 2000

Division Two
Played 5
Won 2
Drew 3
Lost 0
Goals For 4
Goals Against 2
Position 3rd

Top Scorers (League)
Steve Brown 2
Andy Baird 1
Dannie Bulman 1
Recent Games
Sat 2nd Sep 2000
Division Two
Brentford 0
Wycombe 0

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Wycombe 1
Luton 1

26th Aug 2000
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Millwall 1
Wycombe 2
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