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Wycombe Wanderers 0
Saturday 16th September 2000
Nationwide Football League Division Two
Andy Baird back in the team for trip to Millmoor - picture Paul DennisA scrappy goal conceeded just after the break was enough to see Wycombe lose to a fairly ordinary Rotherham side. Although Martin Taylor had his busiest day of the season, Wycombe hit the woodwork three times, with Andy Rammell having the best chance of the afternoon when he crashed the ball against the crossbar in the 36th minute.
The winning goal came after Wycombe failed to clear a Rotherham corner from the left and Guy Branston headed past Taylor. As Wycombe pressed for a late equaliser, the home side saw David Artell sent off for nudging over Jermaine McSporran a yard outside the Rotherham penalty area. From the resulting free-kick Jamie Bates saw his deflected effort saved by home 'keeper Ian Gray to make it an unhappy day out for the Wycombe fans who beat the fuel crisis to travel north.
The game saw Andy Baird return to the starting line-up after missing the midweek game with Bristol Rovers with a groin strain. Baird was slotted into a three pronged Wycombe front-line with Mo Harkin relegated to the subs bench.
Despite the attack minded policy it was the home side who had the better of the opening exchanges. The scrooge like Wycombe defence looked all at sea after five minutes when Stewart Talbot was almost let in down the left but Taylor recovered in time to thwart the danger. Two minutes later several of the home fans were fooled into thinking that their side had taken the lead when a Paul Warne shot from the edge of the Wycombe penalty area flashed wide of Martin Taylor's right hand upright and rebounded off the support for the netting. The Millers continued their encouraging start down The Millmoor slope when full debutant David Artell headed a 16th minute cross just wide of Taylor's goal.
Wycombe responded with an attacking spell midway through the first half. Guy Branston was booked for catching Baird late down the left wing and from the resulting free-kick Paul McCarthy headed against the crossbar. Another foul on Baird, this time in a more central position saw Michael Simpson curl a free-kick over The Millers wall only for 'keeper Ian Gray to tip spectacularly away for a corner.
Wanderers' gilt edged chance during the game came in the 36th minute. Mark Rogers and former Wycombe loan player Andy Turner had tangled on the Wycombe right - leaving the Rotherham player floored. While the home side were complaining, the ball was played across to Chris Vinnicombe whose through found Andy Rammell in space but with just Gray to beat from 15 yards the shot came down off the crossbar and back into safety.
Rammell had another chance five minutes later after Dannie Bulman had found the former Walsall striker. This time Rammell had less time and space and his shot dropped onto the top of the Rotherham net.
With those chances not taken it was the home side who regained the upper hand shortly before the break when first Darren Garner shot straight at Taylor and then on the stroke of 45 minutes Jamie Bates headed inches past his own post following Rob Scott's long throw from the right side.
Half-time 0-0
The winning goal came after a disputed corner on the Rotherham left. Steve Brown was still complaining when the ball was delivered to the far post and when Paul Warne headed back ahead of Brown, Branston was there to head past Taylor from three yards.
Wycombe laid siege to the Rotherham goal for the majority of the remaining fourty-two minutes but once again without really testing the opposing 'keeper. On 52 minutes a McSporran run down the left saw his cross palmed off the crossbar by Gray, while three minutes later Bulman's low cross from the opposite side failed to find that vital Wycombe boot.
Jamie Bates had an amazing run from inside his own half on 72 minutes but when he pushed the ball left to McSporran the final shot lacked the power to beat Gray.
Lawrie Sanchez gave Danny Senda and Stewart Castledine the chance to grab some glory in the final minutes but in the end it was just one of the days when Wycombe could have played all day and not scored.
Final Score Rotherham 1 Wycombe 0
Wycombe: Taylor, Rogers, Vinnicombe, McCarthy, Bates, Bulman, Simpson, Brown (sub 76 Castledine), Rammell, McSporran, Baird (sub 74 Senda)
subs not used: Cousins, Harkin, Brady
Yellow Card: Bates (54), Brown (65)
Rotherham: Gray, Watson, Hurst, Warne, Branston, Artell, Talbot, Scott, Garner, Robins (sub 68 Berry), Turner (sub 90 Beech)
subs not used: Pettinger, Monkhouse, Varty
Yellow Card: Branston (18), Scott (85)
Red Card: Artell (87)
Referee: G Frankland Attendance: 3545 (212 Wycombe)
Chairboys Stat File
16th Sep 2000

Division Two
Played 8
Won 3
Drew 3
Lost 2
Goals For 7
Goals Against 5
Position 8th

Top Scorers (League)
Steve Brown 3
Andy Baird 2
Dannie Bulman 1
Jermaine McSporran 1
Recent Games
Tue 12th Sep 2000
Division Two
Wycombe 0
Bristol Rovers 1

Fri 8th Sep 2000
Division Two
Wycombe 3
Oxford 1

Tues 5th Sep 2000
Worthington Cup
First Round - First Leg
Wycombe 3
Barnet 1
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