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Wycombe Wanderers 0
Saturday 21st December 2002
Football League Division Two
Darren Currie
Darren Currie - went closest for Wycombe at Cheltenham with a first-half free-kick.
Wanderers returned from the visit to second from bottom Cheltenham with a point after a fairly uninspiring 0-0 draw. As expected Sean Devine was completely absence from the squad and he was expected to complete his move to Exeter City sometime during the following. Other team news saw Andy Thomson pull out due to illness while Danny Senda and Steve Brown returned after their suspensions but has to be content with places on the bench.
It was the home side who had the better chances throughout and Martin Taylor was called upon on a number of occasions to make important saves. Darren Currie went closest for Wycombe on 28 minutes when he curled in a free-kick from the right that clipped the top of the crossbar.
The main talking point before, during and after the game was the verbal and visual protests regarding the proposed sale of Devine to Exeter. 'Sanchez Out' and 'Save our Sean' banners were displayed on the away terrace and their was a small but significant group of fans venting their anger throughout via chants. Lawrie Sanchez walked away from the Press conference without comment after the game but it was revealed by his assistant Terry Gibson that Devine had been left out of the squad at his own request. A move that must surely mean that Devine's days are numbered at the club. To complete the farce substitute Jonny Dixon was forced to wear Devine's No.10 shirt with the name taped over after the Youth Teamer's regular No.36 shirt had been left at Adams Park by the kit-man.
Devine's two goals the previous week against Stockport had won the points but there was little inspirational play from the Wycombe front-line at Whaddon Road. Indeed Martin Taylor had to be on top form to shut out the home forwards in a lively first half.
On 8 minutes Taylor reacted well to push away Martin Devaney's header, while 6'5" striker Julian Alsop was a constant threat to a Wanderers back four that included Keith Ryan in the right back role.
Darren Currie on 18 minutes created Wanderers first opening - weaving through from midfield before pulling his final shot wide of the right-hand upright.
Taylor had to dive to save from Hugh McAuley on 22 minutes before Wycombe's best effort of the game six minutes later after Stuart Roberts' run down the right channel had won a free-kick. Currie curled in the ball from a narrow angle but saw the ball bounce off the top of the crossbar.
However, it was the home side who finished the half on top. On 41 minutes McAule's curling free-kick prompted Taylor to get to ground at the far post. Then two minutes before the break Taylor saved again, this time denying former Wanderers' triallist Damian Spencer after the striker had got past Ryan down the Town left.
Half-time 0-0
The second-half was a less lively affair with both sides cancelling each other out. Only Currie's shot from 20 yards on 69 minutes troubled Steve Book in the Cheltenham goal, while at the other end Martin Taylor struggled through to the final whistle despite nursing a calf injury suffered in the first-half.
Danny Senda's introduction on 70 minutes for Darren Currie saw Wanderers revert to a back five formation. Later in the game Jonny Dixon provided a rare flash of style and movement up front but time ran out before he had the chance to make a real impact.
It was the home side who the best chance to snatch all three points when Spencer cut in from the right but Taylor stood up well at the near post and gathered with relative ease.
This was Wanderers first clean sheet since the 0-0 draw at Huddersfield on 9th November, while it was Martin Taylor's first shut-out since the 1-0 victory at Layer Road on 5th October. The result keeps Wanderers in 14th place in the table but this game is unlikely to be remembered for footballing reasons.
Full-time Cheltenham 0 Wycombe 0
Wycombe: : Taylor, Rogers, Anderson, McCarthy, Ryan, Simpson, Currie (sub 70 Senda), Bulman, Roberts (sub 87 Lee), Faulconbridge (sub 80 Dixon), Rammell subs not used: Harris, Brown
Yellow Cards: Roberts (foul 40), Simpson (foul 58), Anderson (dissent 63)
Cheltenham: Book, Howarth, Mike Duff, Brough, Victory, Devaney, Forsyth, Finnigan, McAuley, Alsop, Spencer subs not used: Yates, Brayson, Higgs, Shane Duff, Williams
Yellow Cards: Alsop (handball 61)
Referee: M Fletcher (Warley) Attendance: 4,303 (621 Wycombe)
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