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Tranmere Rovers 2
Monday 12th April 2004
Football League Division Two
Roger Johnson in action against Tranmere Wanderers were officially condemned to Division Three football following a 2-1 home defeat to Tranmere. Results elsewhere and remaining fixture combinations left no scenario where four clubs could mathematically finish below Wycombe.
Relegation had been on the cards for weeks but the actual moment of relegation was left bizarely undefined with few realising the inevitable had actually happened when they left the ground following Wanderers 10th home League reverse of the season.
The manner of the defeat was disappointing too. In a lacklustre display, Wycombe were two goals adrift at the break following a brace from Eugene Dadi. Only a late goal by Roger Johnson put some respectability on the scoreline. Speaking after the game Tony Adams was unhappy with the first half showing, commenting "If I was a fan, I would have been disgusted by that first half display, it was totally unacceptable. Tranmere were a team turning up to be beaten and we gave them a two goal head start."
For the game with Tranmere, Wanderers fielded Lee Worgan in goal having received special dispensation from the Football League as a result of Steve Williams' injury in the 2-1 defeat at Plymouth on Saturday leaving Wycombe with no other fit professional 'keeper at the Club. The other change in the Wycombe line-up saw Dannie Bulman replace Matt Bloomfield in midfield who was unavailable due to a thigh strain.
Lee WorganWanderers started well enough but then gifted Rovers their opening goal when Chris Vinnicombe under hit a back pass to Worgan and Dadi nipped in to slot the ball pass the loan 'keeper and into the left corner of the net. Darren Currie went close with a free-kick from the right channel on 25 minutes that John Achterberg tipped over, while Craig Faulconbridge directed a header wide from the resulting Vinnicombe corner but Wycombe struggled to create other clear opportunties.
Mark Philo replaced Faulconbridge just after the half-hour mark as Adams changed tatics against a Rovers side with tremendous physical presence throughout their line-up. It was the visitors who finished the half the stronger side and only an excellent save by Worgan on 39 minutes prevented Gary Jones from making the score 2-0. The former Wimbledon trainee then had to back peddle to tip over a 40 yard effort from the same player. However, there was nothing the stand-in 'keeper could do to stop Dadi converting a squared cross from the right by Paul Hall and with 45 minutes on the clock, it left Wycombe with another mountain to climb.
Half-time Wycombe 0 Tranmere 2
Ian Simpemba shoots against TranmereThere were more tactical changes at the break with Charlie Mapes replacing Vinnicombe and Wanderers switching to a back three of Ian Simpemba, Stuart Nethercott and Roger Johnson. Wanderers best spell followed. A pin point cross from the right by Currie on 55 minutes saw Johnson crash a header against the foot of the post while four minutes later Danny Senda crossed from the right but Nathan Tyson's downward header went wide of the far post.
Philo scuffed a chance at near post following a Tyson cross on 72 minutes before the former Reading striker, who was nursing an injured ankle, was replaced by Jonny Dixon. By this stage Johnson was playing up front too as Tranmere seemed content to sit on their lead and leave Worgan with little to do. Wycombe went close again on 79 minutes when Johnson steamed in at the far post. There were two minutes remaining when Johnson got the reward for his effors. He started a move in midfield and then directed a header back past Achterberg following Currie's cross from the left. Sadly there was no time for Wycombe to force an equaliser and the news later that Wycombe were relegated completed a sad day for the Club but one from which The Wanderers can hopefully bounce back.
Final Score - Wycombe 1 Tranmere 2
Tony Adams was asked by BBC Three Counties Radio what he had told the players at the half-time interval. The Wycombe Manager commented "I said it was unacceptable and I can't protect you. The fans have turned up and paid their wages. They are paying their price to come into this stadium and we need to entertain them. For the first ten minutes, we did, and OK we make mistakes but I didn't think we reacted well enough and got 'beaten up' in a lot of areas and it's just unacceptable." Adams also revealed that some performances against Tranmere had made his mind up over out of contract players, adding "Decisions have got to be made in the summer and a lot of those players confirmed those decisions for me today."
Wycombe: Worgan, Simpemba, Nethercott, Johnson, Vinnicombe (sub HT Mapes), Senda, Simpson, Bulman, Currie, Tyson (sub 74 Dixon), Faulconbridge (sub 33 Philo) - subs not used Brown, Rogers
Bookings: none
Scorer: Johnson (88)
Tranmere: Achterberg, Loran (sub 86 Connelly), Sharps, Allen, Roberts (sub 80 Hume), Goodison, Hall (sub 80 Beresford), Mellon, Harrison, Jones, Dadi - subs not used Howarth, Navarro
Bookings: none
Scorers: Dadi (11,45)
Referee: Paul Danson Attendance: 5,256 (396 away end)
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