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Wycombe Wanderers 2
Saturday 15th January 2005
Football League 'League Two'
Last at The Vetch Field for WycombeWanderers came back from 2-0 down in their last visit to The Vetch Field to salvage a draw following late goals from Roger Johnson and Steve Guppy. The match saw Steve Claridge make his Wycombe debut following his loan move from Brentford and he linked well with former Leicester teammate Guppy who scored his first goal in a Wycombe shirt since March 1994.
Clarige replaced the injured Craig Faulconbridge upfront with John Gorman opting for a defensive back three and Tony Craig and Danny Senda as wing backs. The change in formation saw Wycombe have slightly the better of the first half. Joe Burnell should have got his shot on target in the 2nd minute after Senda's cross from the right was flicked on by Mike Williamson, while on 19 minutes Johnson flung himself in to go close with a diving header after Guppy had curled in a low corner from the left.
The hosts first response came on 21 minutes when Andy Gurney sent a 20 yard effort over the Wycombe crossbar, while three minutes later dangerman Lee Trundle cut inside both Williamson and Tony Craig on the right wing but then curled his low shot wide away from the far post.
But it was Wycombe who finished the half on top. An exchange between Claridge and Guppy in the 35th minute ended with the latter seeing a left footed drive tipped over by Willy Gueret in the home goal. Three minutes later came Wanderers' best chance of the half when Claridge laid the ball back for Senda to cross from the right only for Nathan Tyson to head high of the target from the centre of the six yard box.
Half-time 0-0
Swansea boss Kenny Jackett made two surprise changes at the break but denied after the game that it was due to a bust up between Gurney and Robinson. Whatever the reasons, it was Swansea who took the lead five minutes into the second-half when Paul Connor beat the offside trap before nipping around Frank Talia to convert into an empty net. It looked like curtains for Wycombe nine minutes later when Talia took Lee Trundle's legs away on the right side of the penalty area and Trundle got up to convert the spot kick. Six minutes later Talia prevented Swansea taking a three goal lead when he was quick off his line to cut out No17.
Gorman sacrificed the back three on 65 minutes when he brought on Gus Uhlenbeen for Stuart Nethercott and the gamble paid off. An outswinging corner from the left on 77 minutes saw Johnson's shot from around the penalty spot mark tipped over. Wycombe then hauled themselves back into the game from the resulting corner. Guppy's delivery to the near post from the right was partially cleared but Craig flashed in a shot that curled away but Johnson was alert to head home at the far corner of the six-yard box. The equaliser came after a foul on Uhlenbeek out on the right wing. Guppy curled in the free-kick to the far post and it eluded everybody and ended in the corner of the net. Tyson made a cheeky claim that the shot and skimmed his head but later admitted it had gone straight in. Wycombe then looked side more likely to win with Danny Senda falling in the box in the dying minutes but the claims for a penalty were waved away.
Final Score - Swansea City 2 Wycombe 2
Speaking after the game John Gorman told BBC 3 Counties Radio that he thought Wycombe had played the best football since he took charge at the Club, adding "I changed the formation and I asked them to play passing out and get wide and get crosses in and we did exactly that. We brought Steve Claridge in, who had a tremendous first game for us and it was almost frightening to think we went in at half time without being in the lead." The Wycombe boss believed the changes made at the break by Kenny Jackett were down to the problems being caused by The Wanderers, commenting "They changed two players at half-time which showed the respect they had for us and they dominated the 20 minutes and killed us a wee bit by going 2-0 up. I had to be quite brave and change the system and take off Stu (Nethercott) who was playing well and go with a flat back four and play Gus wide and give us more threat going forward." Gorman also paid tribute to Roger Johnson who scored hos fourth goal of the season, all coming since the departure of Tony Adams, "Roger was tremendous again. He has come up with another great goal. He's deserved it and he's nearly scored with the first volley that the 'keeper tipped over the bar and he's ended up scoring again with one of his headers", said Gorman.
Wycombe: Talia, Williamson, Craig, Johnson, Nethercott (sub 65 Uhlenbeek), Senda, Ryan, Burnell (sub 79 Easton), Guppy, Claridge, Tyson - subs not used: Williams, Stonebridge, Cooke
Bookings: Nethercott (41 foul), Talia (58 foul), Craig (73 foul)
Scorers: Johnson (77), Guppy (83)
Swansea City: Swansea: Gueret, Ricketts, Austin, Monk, Iriekpen, Tate, Britton, Gurney (sub HT Maylett), Robinson (sub HT Anderson), Connor, Trundle - subs not used: Murphy, Pritchard, Fisken
Bookings: Gueret (78 time wasting), Austin (85 foul)
Scorers: Connor (51), Trundle (59,pen)
Referee: Mike Fletcher Attendance: 6,793 (173 away end)
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