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Nationwide League Division Two Bristol Rovers v WYCOMBE
Tuesday 7th March 2000
Division Two
A Nathan Ellington goal after just ten minutes was enough to defeat The Wanderers at Division Two leaders Bristol Rovers on Tuesday evening. The two sides played out a 1-1 draw at Adams Park earlier in the season but since then Rovers have rose to the top of the table thanks to the striking partnership of Jamie Cureton and Jason Roberts. They've scored 38 League goals between this season from Rovers total of 56. Wycombe put a block on that duo at The Memorial Stadium but never had enough ideas up front to trouble Rovers.
Wycombe could have been three or four goals before the break. After two minutes ex-Wycombe Youth Team player Jason Roberts cut in from the right but Dave Carroll intercepted. Then on 6 minutes Rovers Captain Andy Tillson rose at the far post from a cross in from right but it was straight into Martin Taylor's arms. The vital goal came after yet another move down the Rovers right - this time a corner being headed on by Tilson before Ellington got the crucial last touch. Somehow Wycombe survived further damage as the home side played some attractive football in difficult conditions. Taylor pulled off another amazing save after 24 minutes when he palmed away Cureton's top corner bound shot. It was 35 minutes before Wycombe managed any form of attack when Lee Holsgrove just failed to connect to a left wing cross from Mark Rogers. Roberts went close again for Rovers on 38 minutes before a controversial tackle ended Andy Baird's involvement in the game - a high challenge from Andy Thomson earning the Rovers player a yellow card. The loss of Baird saw McSporran switch from midfield to join Devine up front, with substitute Dannie Bulman in midfield.
Half-time Rovers 1 Wycombe 0
Surprisingly, after the break Wycombe gave the home fans some nervous moments but there were times when the game threatened to boil over. A clash of heads between Brown and Thomson after 53 minutes left the Rovers player needing treatment and the home crowd bellowing. Five minutes later they got what they wanted when Brown talked himself into the book after he disputed a free-kick given against for a foul on Robbie Pethick - the decision also saw Lawire Sanchez being restrained by the 4th Official as he claimed a dive by The Rovers player. With the 8,000 plus crowd still buzzing Ellington blazed a chance over before Wycombe had their best spell of the game. First Devine summed up his night when he shot woefully wide from a good position on the left then Rovers 'keeper Rhys Evans had to improvise to chest a ball away when he was caught out of his area. Brown's corner from the right on 67 minutes was met by the head of Holsgrove but the ball edged wide of the target. Cureton shot over from 25 yards on 75 minutes before Wycombe picked up their second booking of the night when McSporran foolishly kicked the ball over the stand after play had stopped. Taylor was called to make his only save of the half with six minutes of normal time remaining when he did well to block Cureton's flick at the near post. Wycombe came close to equalising in the dying moments when Richard Thompson's low drive was deflected wide and then Dannie Bulman headed inches wide after Wycombe had forced a stoppage time corner.
Full-time Rovers 1 Wycombe 0
Wycombe Team: Taylor, Carroll, Vinnicombe, Cousins, Rogers, Baird (sub 43 Bulman), Holsgrove (sub 78 Thompson), Simpson, Brown, McSporran, Devine subs not used Harkin, Brady, Senda Att:8,053
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