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Queens Park Rangers 2
Saturday 20th March 2004
Football League Division Two
Stuart Nethercott, Nathan Tyson and Craig Faulconbridge wait for a ball in versus QPR Wanderers recorded their ninth draw in eleven games after they threw away a two goal lead to draw with promotion chasing Queens Park Rangers at a windswept Adams Park. In front of the biggest League gate of the season at Adams Park and with the wind behind them, Wanderers scored twice in three first half minutes through Matt Bloomfield and Craig Faulconbridge but things were levelled up after the break as the wind turned the game into a near lottery. Kevin Gallen pulled a goal back a minute after the re-start and then on 68 minutes 'Wanderers reject' Martin Rowlands floated in a cross/shot from the right wing that Steve Williams watched sail over his head and into the back of the net. Danny Senda came closest to winning it for Wycombe when he went close in the 75th minute while Williams made up for his earlier misjudgement when he made late saves to frustrate the large travelling contingent from West London.
Tony Adams made one change to the side that had drew in the week versus Colchester United - a not fully fit Jermaine McSporran dropping to the bench and Danny Senda moving forward to the right of midfield and Mark Rogers returning to the side at right back for his first appearance since Boxing Day.
The effect of the wind was difficult to gauge in the opening stages where Wycombe's best chance came on 7 minutes when Nathan Tyson dragged a shot wide from the left after a good through ball from Michael Simpson. It was Tyson who played a major part in both of Wycombe's goals. First on 26 minutes he raced in on the left side of the penalty but under challenge from Clarke Carlise the ball deflected across the face of the goal where Bloomfield was waiting to convert his first goal in Wycombe shirt. Three minutes later Tyson broke again down the left and this time centred for Faulconbridge to cooly finish for his first goal since February 2003.
Tyson was the centre of attention again three minutes before the break when he fought back to retrieve the ball down the right only for Carlisle to challenge roughly backed up by Marc Bircham. Tyson seemed to react by raising his arms to Carlisle and will probably be grateful for only picking up a yellow card along with the Rangers player.
Half-time Wycombe 2 QPR 0
Matt Bloomfield versus QPRIt was disappointing from Wycombe's point of view to concede so soon after the re-start when Kevin Gallen made the most of poor defending from Wycombe as he was able to take a touch on the right side of goal before finishing past Williams. However, Wanderers almost restored their two goal advantage on 61 minutes when Currie's goalbound free-kick from the left seemed to be headed over by Faulconbridge from inside the Rangers six yard box.
QPR's equaliser will go down as freak goal - Rowlands slung in a cross from the right that swirled and dipped in the wind before nestling in the far corner of the net. Most onlookers would have made QPR favourites to win from this point but Wanderers stuck in there and there was a chance to claim victory when Steve Brown's through ball to Tyson on 75 minutes culminated in Simpson and finally Senda seeing their efforts on goal twarted. At the other Williams made an excellent save from a Gallen free-kick on 82 minutes and with five minutes left on the clock he pushed away another Gallen attempt to earn Wycombe their deserved point and perhaps in more favourable conditions it would have been three.
Final Score - Wycombe 2 QPR 2
Rangers boss Ian Holloway commented on the conditions that had spoiled the game as spectacle, commenting "It was a really surreal day. I've never seen wind affect a football match like that before - not even in my amateur days. It was the most bizarre half time experience of my life. I wanted to scream and shout - but I also didn't think it was necessary. I just knew we'd get back in it.". Meanwhile, Tony Adams said he thought at half time that the two goal lead was not going to be enough bit and was frustrated that Wanderers had conceded straight away after the break. The Wycombe gaffer also didn't concede that his team were relegated "They're giving me everything they've got and as a manager I can't ask for more from them. They haven't thrown the towel in yet and they haven't done since I've been here. We may only have eight games left to avoid the drop but we're going to keep fighting until the last. If we win the last eight games, we'll stay up. Are we going to win the last eight? We'll most definitely try and that's all we can do."
Wycombe: Williams, Rogers (sub 87 McSporran), Vinnicombe, Johnson, Nethercott, Senda, Simpson, Currie (sub 77 Philo), Bloomfield, Faulconbridge (sub 63 Brown), Tyson - subs not used: Simpemba, Dixon
Bookings: Tyson (ungentlemanly conduct 42)
Scorers: Bloomfield (26), Faulconbridge (29)
QPR: Camp, Forbes (sub HT Edghill), Carlisle, Gnohere, Rowlands, McLeod (sub 75 Cureton), Bircham (sub 86 Bean), Johnson, Gallen, Thorpe, Furlong - subs not used Day, Palmer
Bookings: Carlisle (foul 42), Bircham (foul 59)
Scorers: Gallen (46), Rowlands (68)
Referee: Martin Atkinson Attendance: 7,634 (1,986 away end)
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