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Nationwide League Division Two Cambridge v WYCOMBE
Saturday 6th May 2000
Division Two
Wycombe ended the season with a 2-1 win at sunny Cambridge on Saturday but for periods it looked like it would be the home side who would take all three points. The Wanderers survived a first-half onslaught from The U's and were grateful to go into the break on level terms with Martin Taylor saving a 29th penalty and making two outstanding saves from former Wycombe player Jason Kavanagh.
Midweek injuries to Mark Rogers and Paul McCarthy ensured a Football League debut for Youth Team captain Ben Townsend and a recall for former Youth Teamer Alan Beeton. Jason Cousins was also favoured before Jamie Bates who was publicly lambasted recently by Manager Lawrie Sanchez.
The trio went up to make a 4-4-2 Wycombe formation that were under the cosh from the word go. Within a minute of the start John Taylor capitalised on hesitation in the Wycombe back-four by Martin Taylor stuck out a foot to push the ball wide. Six minutes later United's Taylor pushed the ball wide left only to see John Hansen's low shot deflected wide of the target.
It was from another Cambridge corner in the 18th minute that Jason Kavanagh was presented with a clear sight of goal but former teammate Martin Taylor blocked brilliantly before Trevor Benjamin smashed the loose ball wide.
The Wycombe fans were given something to cheer about in the 18th minute when Jermaine McSporran broke down the right wing before Michael Simpson whipped the ball into the side-netting at the near post. However, it was a brief relief from Cambridge pressure with Hansen heading over from close range in the 25th minute before United were presented with a penalty three minutes later. Benjamin fed the ball in from the right to Neil Mustoe and Beeton's clumsy challenge a yard inside the The U's penalty area saw referee Tony Bates point to the spot. John Taylor opted to blast the spot-kick down the middle but name sake Martin in the Wycombe goal saved with his feet to keep the game goalless. Two minutes later later Kavanagh looked certain to break the deadlock when he shot from a similar position to his first attempt but Taylor tipped the ball over to the disbelief of the former Wanderer.
Wycombe finally broke out of their shell in the 32nd when Andy Baird managed to find space on the left but he shot the ball wide. Three minutes later, however, Baird combined with Devine on the left edge of the The U's penalty area that culminated in a Baird dribble and neat side-foot into the opposite top corner of the net.
The lead lasted less than a minute when a quick ball in from the from Cambridge left found Benjamin in space had he stabbed the ball past Taylor for his 20th League of the season.
Half-time 1-1
The second-half began like the first with first Benjamin and then Alex Russell seeing chances go wide. However, Ben Townsend, now joined by Roger Johnson at the back didn't looked phased and Townsend pulled out a brilliant challenge to thwart Benjamin as The U's sensed the three points were there for the taking.
But with Hansen substituted at half-time due a dead-leg, United faded badly and Wycombe dominated the final third of the game.
In the 58th minute Beeton flicked through to Vinnicombe on the left wing and from the resulting cross McSporran forced Lionel Perez to save low to his left. Four minutes later Devine nearly caught Perez off his line after the The U's keeper had made a poor clearance.
McSporran was now beginning to run The U's defence ragged and both Marc Joseph and Jason Kavanagh were shown the yellow card for blatant trips on the Wycombe player as he powered towards goal.
Jason Cousin's 'daisy-cutter' free-kick nearly found a way through in the 79th minute and from Mo Harkin's resulting corner Devine saw a spectacular overhead kick tipped over by Perez.
There were just four minutes remaining when McSporran captalised on more sloppy play from the Cambridge midfield, powering through before taking the ball slightly right and then thundering the ball past a stunned Perez.
There was a last minute free-kick from The U's to survive after a handball decision against Beeton but when Benjamin fired wide it was the 1,000 Wycombe fans who were celebrating at the final whsitle.
The win takes Wycombe over the magic 60 point barrier for the first time since the departure of Martin O'Neill, with results elsewhere meaning a final League placing of 12th.
Final Score Cambridge United 1 Wycombe 2
Wycombe Team:
Taylor, Townsend (sub 73 Senda), Cousins, Beeton, Vinnicombe, McSporran, Bulman, Simpson (sub 73 Harkin), Lee (sub HT R Johnson), Baird, Devine subs not used Brady, Westhead Att:5,355 

- United v Chairboys - Form Guide

Including a look at the Men in Form - Jonathan Hunt and Martyn Lee.

- Stat Attack up to 30 April 2000

Sean Devine back on top of the shooting charts - and still caught offside the most too!

OPTA - Index up to 1 May 2000
Rhino tops the midfield and Simo sneaks in at sixth.
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