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Notts County 2
Saturday 26th February 2005
Football League 'League Two'
Joe Burnell goes close in the dying stages against Notts County Wanderers' hit and miss season continued as they slumped to their sixth home League defeat of the campaign when 20th placed Notts County went away with a 2-1 victory at Adams Park. Wanderers trend of conceding first came in the 13th minute when a corner from the right by Stefan Oakes found an unmarked Kelvin Wilson at the far post who headed past Frank Talia. In characteristic manner Wycombe were level within 30 seconds of the restart when Ian Stonebridge converted from a narrow angle on the left after he beat County 'keeper Saul Deeney to a 50/50 ball. Wycombe's best spell followed but the second period saw the visitors control the majority of the play culminating with a wonder strike from Oakes in the 71st minute after Gus Uhlenbeek had conceeded a free-kick that was taken quickly by County. Wycombe pressed in the latter stages but the goal didn't come and a great save by Talia kept the deficit to a single goal.
Team news for Wycombe saw John Gorman name an unchanged side to the line-up that had beaten Mansfield 4-1 on the road in the week. Nathan Tyson and Joe Burnell returned on the bench following their respective injuries while Mike Williamson was still absent following a bout of flu.
Coming off the back of the victory at Mansfield, Wanderers look full of confidence in the opening stages. In the second minute a Steve Guppy free-kick from the right saw Stonebridge come close to converting. Moments later a Roger Johnson shot from the right flank was goalbound but blocked by the County defence. On nine minutes Danny Senda curled a free-kick from just right of centre a fraction over the crossbar.
Not for the first time this season Wycombe were caught out with a soft goal. Oakes corner from the right found Wilson in yards of space and he was able to place his header with ease past Talia. Wycombe's response was even quicker than normal. The Wanderers' bench were still debating the goal when Stonebridge chased down a ball on the left bye-line and managed to angle the ball past Deeney.
It was Stonebridge who went closest to putting Wycombe ahead on 32 minutes when he broke clear on the right before sending a low shot just a yard wide of the far post. Meanwhile at the other end Wanderers' occasional fraility in defence was highlighted again as Paul Bolland crossed from the left to find County defender David Pipe with the simple task of knocking the ball into an open goal. It was much to the amusement of the home support when he contrived to shoot high of the target.
Half-time 1-1
Nathan Tyson replaced Guppy at the break as Wycombe began the second period in a positive manner. An attack down the right forced County to clear for a corner on the opposite flank but the end result was a Keith Ryan effort that ended wide of the upright.
Former Wanderer Mark Stallard sent a dipping shot wide of Talia's left hand post on 51 minutes while eleven minutes later Talia was forced into action when he tipped wide a Matthew Gill effort from the left flank.
Wycombe's chance of getting in front came in the 63rd minute when Tyson broke in from the right of midfield but under pressure from a County defender he pulled his shot wide of the far post. A couple of minutes later Senda's ball in from the right saw Deeney mishandle but Johnson couldn't reach the loose ball as the chance went begging.
The winner on 71 minutes came following a clumsy foul by Uhlenbeek out on the County left on Boland. The kick was taken quickly and Oakes curled in a 30 yard strike that flew into far corner of the net for one of the most spectacular goals seen at the ground to date. Despite a late surge by Wycombe where substitute Joe Burnell almost headed back level it was County who went away with their first victory at Adams Park in ten attempts. For Wycombe, incredibly, even after this defeat they are still only two points from the play-off zone but the gap to 6th place has opened up to five points and the gap to 5th place is now ten points.
Final Score - Wycombe 1 Notts County 2
Speaking after the game to BBC Three Counties Radio, Wycombe Manager John Gorman expressed his disappointment with the result, commenting "I understand these things happen but it's becoming a trend now. We are playing really well away from home." He went on to say "Today it was all in our hands. We've had a wonderful win in midweek away from home and you want to follow on. I was a bit nervous before the game. Everybody was saying well done and things are going great. I didn't like it because I know in football it kicks you in the teeth. And sure enough it came back to haunt us again today." The Wycombe boss was also disappointed that he hadn't given something for the Wycombe supporters to cheer about, saying "That's what is disappointing. We wanted to give them some joy and fill the ground the next game. It's disappointing because it was a real chance for us today to really show we are back in business and in a play-off position."
Meanwhile, County boss Ian Richardson was naturally delighted with side's victory, commenting to the Magpies official website "I thought Wycombe were a bit better in midfield in the first-half than us, but in the second we got tighter to and it worked for us and Stefan got more room to play, and he did that to brilliant effect with his goal."
Wycombe: Talia, Senda, Easton, Johnson, Nethercott, Ryan, Bloomfield (sub 69 Burnell), Uhlenbeek (sub 79 Dixon), Guppy (sub HT Tyson), Stonebridge, Claridge - subs not used: Silk, Philo
Bookings: none
Scorers: Stonebridge (14)
Notts County: Deeney, Pipe, Oakes, Gill, Baudet, Hurst (sub 89 Harrard), Bolland, Ullathorne, Wilson, McFaul, Stallard - subs not used: Elliot, Scully, Williams, Friar
Bookings: Wilson (foul 65)
Scorers: Wilson (13), Oakes (71)
Referee: T Parkes Attendance: 4,199 (away end 248)
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