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Notts County 1
Saturday 1st February 2003
Football League Division Two
Wanderers pre-match huddle Wanderers beat Notts County at Adams Park without ever really getting out of first gear. Fielding an unchanged line-up to the one that lost at Luton seven days previous, Wycombe could hardly string two passes together in the opening 15 minutes but two goals in as many minutes from Richard Harris put Wanderers in total control.
Harris limped off injured in the 35th minute to be replaced by Stuart Roberts and it was the Welshman who scored a candidate for Goal of the Season just before the hour mark when he rifled a shot from the left wing into the opposite top corner of the County net.
Former Wanderers striker Mark Stallard pulled a goal back for the visitors on 70 minutes as County made a token effort to put some respectability on the scoreline. A bulky Darren Caskey sent a diving header just wide of Frank Talia's right hand post five minutes later but in the end a poor County side were well beaten and they have now not won in eight League and cup visits to Adams Park. Wycombe move up to 12th place in the table.
Celebrations following the opening goalThe two goals for Richard Harris will be a massive confidence booster for the former Palace player who was started his second consecutive Wycombe game for the first time since joining the Club.
Harris's twin strike came after County had dominated the opening stages - Paul Heffernan wasting the best chance for the visitors on 8 minutes when he angled a shot wide of the left hand post from around six yards. The opening goal came in the 16th minute when a through ball from Danny Senda was flicked on by the head of Craig Faulconbridge. Harris then muscled his way past County defender Craig Ireland before finishing with a low shot from the edge of the penalty area.
The crowd were still settling down from the first goal when Harris struck again. This time a long clearance by Frank Talia down the right channel was flicked on again by Faulconbridge before Danny Bulman swung the ball across to the far side of the penalty area where Harris cut back inside before sending in a low shot that went straight under the dive of County 'keeper Steve Mildenhall.
County were shellshocked and although Talia had to come out quick to block Stallard on 27 minutes they never recovered from the two goal blast as Wycombe dominated up until the half-time interval. Faulconbridge saw a shot from the right side of the penalty area pushed away by Mildenhall in the 30th minute before Harris was denied a chance to go for his hat-trick when he appeared to pull a hamstring while going in for a tackle down the right wing and was replaced by Roberts.
On 39 minutes a high ball in from the left by Keith Ryan was headed back into the danger area by Faulconbridge only for Senda to volley wide of the far post. Three minutes before the interval both Steve Brown and Roger Johnson saw shots blocked in quick succession as County's defence looked likely to buckle again.
Half-time Wycombe 2 Notts County 0
County began the second half like the first but Talia, still sporting a protective bandage for the stitches from his head injury at Luton, was rarely required to stop a shot. At the other end Michael Simpson went close with a shot from a Senda pass on 57 minutes before Roberts scored his cracker.
The third goal came from yet another long clearance by Talia and yet another flick on header by Faulconbridge down the left channel. This time Roberts was on the end to take one touch and then, quick as a flash, smash the ball into far corner of the net, giving Mildenhall no chance.
That was effectively "game over" and Lawrie Sanchez could even afford to bring on the luxury talents of Darren Currie for a tiring Keith Ryan. However, Stallard's goal after 70 minutes caused Wycombe to regroup at the back and contend themselves with ensuring the three points.
If Caskey's diving header had gone in on 75 minutes it may have been interesting as County began their best spell of the game, forcing two corners in quick succession and culminating in Talia needing to block with his legs Shaun Harrod's shot from the right edge of the six yard box.
Paul McCarthy replaced Steve Brown with ten minutes remaining with 'Macca' filling in at left back as Wycombe held out with ease the remaining minutes to register a comfortable victory.
Final Score Wycombe 3 Notts County 1
Wycombe: Talia, Thomson, Rogers, Johnson, Senda, Bulman, Simpson, Brown (sub 80 McCarthy), Ryan (sub 61 Currie), Harris (sub 35 Roberts), Faulconbridge - subs not used: Lee, Cook
Yellow Cards: none
Notts County: Mildenhall, Fenton, Richardson (sub 71 Nicholson), Ireland, Holmes (sub 87 Jupp), Ramsden, Caskey, Baraclough, Liburd, Heffernan (sub 71 Harrad), Stallard - subs not used Deeney, Francis
Yellow Cards: Fenton (foul 86)
Referee: Graham Barber (Tring) Attendance: 5,690 (away end 237)
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