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Barnsley 2
Saturday 15th March 2003
Football League Division Two
Jermaine McSporran
Jermaine McSporran - First goal since his return from injury should have set Wanderers on their way to victory.[player profiles ]
Wanderers twice threw away the lead as they ended up drawing 2-2 with Barnsley at Adams Park. Wycombe looked like heading for a scrappy 1-0 victory after Jermaine McSporran's great finish on 34 minutes was still left seperating the sides going into the final 15 minutes of the game. However, poor defending from Wycombe on 76 minutes saw Mike Sheron left unmarked at the far post to level the scores and although Roger Johnson headed Wycombe back into the lead on 83 minutes from a Steve Brown corner it still wasn't enough. With just four minutes left on the clock a fantastic volley from Bruce Dyer beat Frank Talia inside his right hand post and Wanderers chance of all three points disappeared again.
To cap a disappointing result for Wycombe, Brown was sent off in the final minute for tripping Kevin Betsy as he headed for goal on the break. It was Brownie's second yellow of the day having been booked early in the half and his ninth red card in his Wycombe career will see him miss the home game with Stockport on Saturday 5th April.
Wycombe will be kicking themselves for not winning this one and could have got off to flying start in the opening seconds when Jonny Dixon pulled an effort wide of the far post and finding space on the right side of goal. It proved to be a rare assault on goal from either side on a sunny afternoon at Adams Park. A McSporran run from midfield in the 22nd minute ended with a tame shot that bounced wide of the right-hand upright while four minutes later at the other Johnson cleared the danger at the last moment after the visitors had worked the ball in from the left.
Talia made his first crucial save of the game on 28 minutes when he dived full length to his left to save a free-kick from Mitch Ward following a foul by Brown just a few yards outside the Wanderers penalty area. Meanwhile, Wanderers playing with Darren Currie in midfield in place of the suspended Michael Simpson continued to play very deep and chances were limited.
It was a quickly taken free-kick on the right wing by Brown that finally gave Wycombe the breakthough. The free-kick appeared to be wasted but as the ball broke it was McSporran who drove the ball home low into the far right corner of the net to Wycombe the lead.
But Wycombe failed to capitalise on the goal and the nearest there came to another goal was when Steve Brown worked his way into the penalty area from the left but Brownie's theatrical dive for a penalty didn't interest the referee.
Half-time Wycombe 1 Barnsley 0
It was just past the hour mark before there was any further goalmouth action of note, Danny Senda's cross from the right seeing Dixon take a boot in the face as he attempted a brave header.
Senda made another good opening on the right in the 67th minute but he delayed too long with his cross and Barnsley intercepted and broke down their right wing where only the efforts of Johnson prevented further danger.
Currie showed a bried glimpse of his brilliance in the 69th minute when he worked some space on the right before his shot forced the Barnsley 'keeper to push the ball away for a corner on the left.
Talia had to save from Gary Jones in the 72nd minute after the visitors made use of a throw-in from the right that Talia conceeded in a panic clearance moments earlier. It was a sign of worse things to come as on 76 minutes when Jones' cross from the right was allowed to travel across the face of the goal where Sheron was waiting at the far post to convert in front of a stunned Valley End.
Two minutes later and after Lawrie Sanchez had completed the third of his substitutions it was Betsy who could have given the visitors lead but he curled his effort over the bar as Wanderers continued to be exploited down the left side of defence.
But Wanderers looked to have been given a lifeline on 83 minutes when Brown's corner from the left was picked out by the head of Johnson to beat the Barnsley 'keeper at the near post. It really looked like Wycombe had got out of jail but Wanderers conceeded again when a long ball forward from Barnsley was only hooked clear by Mark Rogers as far as Dyer on the left side of goal and his volleyed finish from around 20 yards was a sweet site for the travelling fans but quite the reverse for the home followers.
Brown can be forgiven for his last minute trip on Betsy as the Barnsley striker could well have converted the chance. A last minute winner for the visitors would have been a little too hard to take on a day when Wanderers had only themselves to blame for not taking all three points.
Final Score Wycombe 2 Barnsley 2
Wycombe: Talia, Thomson, Rogers, Johnson, Senda, Ryan, Brown, Bulman, Currie (sub 78 Lee), McSporran (sub 72 Holligan), Dixon (sub 77 Faulconbridge) - subs not used: McCarthy, Rammell
Yellow Cards: Brown (foul 58)
Red Card: Brown (foul, last man 89 - second bookable)
Barnsley: Ghent, Kay (sub 56 Betsy), Morgan, Austin, Donovan, Mulligan, Gary Jones, Ward, Neil, Sheron, Dyer - subs not used Gorre, Crooks, O'Callaghan, Parry
Yellow Card: Gary Jones (foul 89)
Referee: Paul Taylor Attendance: 5,931 (461 away end)
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