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Before the game Wanderers' squad has been supplemented by the addition of new signing Matt Bloomfield from Ipswich Town but he was not risked at the Withdean as Tony Adams named an unchanged line-up for the first as Wanderers' boss. Team news for Brighton saw John Piercy come in for the suspended Leon Knight while in goal Ross Flitney stepped in on loan from Fulham for his third spell with the Seagulls with former Wanderer Ben Roberts and deputy Michel Kuipers both injured.
We'll never know if Wanderers would have put up a better fight fight with a full compliment of players but even before Johnson's outburst Wycombe could have been behind. In the 11th minute Brighton whipped in a free-kick from the left but Steven Taylor was on hand to clear. Then on 15 minutes Steve Williams saved with his legs after a scramble in the Wanderers penalty area.
Johnson's sending-off prompted Tony Adams to sacrifice Craig Faulconbridge up front for Ian Simpemba to slot into a defensive role. Wycombe were firmly on the back foot from that moment onwards but even then too many passes went astray and too many players were virtually anonymous.
Brighton went ahead in the 29th minute after Rogers had been penalised for a crude tackle from behind on Piercy. On loan Steven Taylor was booked for dissent over the decision and with the ball moved forward ten yards it was Richard Carpenter who curled the free-kick over the wall and into the top left corner of Steve Williams net.
With Wanderers failing to make any impression on the home goal it was Albion who doubled their lead on 42 minutes when Michael Simpson lost possession in midfield and Piercy got past Rogers before crashing a 25 yard effort past Williams from just right of centre.
Wanderers had a token effort at goal on the stroke of half-time when Jermanine McSporran sent in a shot from a narrow angle but Flitney gathered with ease. However, any hope of a Wanderers revival was ended four minutes into the second-half when Mark Yeates' corner from the right was knocked back in by Guy Butters and Chris McPhee was on hand to knock home from close range. By this time Wanderers had been forced into more changes when Chris Vinnicombe was forced off with a leg injury after coming out the worst following a clash with an Albion player.
It was 4-0 in the 63rd minute when a cross in deep from the left was nodded back by McPhee and Piercy scored his second with his left foot. Wanderers' calamity was added to in the 65th minute when Rogers was pulled up for shirt pulling on Gary Hart, leaving the referee with little option but to produce a second yellow card for the Wanderers defender.
Not surprisingly Tony Adams had little to say afterwards to the press, but commented on the Johnson red card by saying "I can't defend him as you will always run that risk by saying such things.". Meanwhile, Brighton boss Mark McGhee said ""There's been plenty of games I've been involved in, both as a player and a manager, when you find it difficult to play against ten men, but I thought we exploited the situation very well."
Final Score - Brighton 0 Wycombe 4
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