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Nationwide League Division Two Chesterfield v WYCOMBE
Saturday 8th April 2000
Division Two
An incredible second-half turn around saw Wycombe complete the double over Chesterfield at Saltergate on Saturday. Trailing 1-0 at the break and with the front line of Sean Devine and Keith Ryan making little progress, a double half-time substitution saw Wycombe convert to a 4-3-3 formation and take the points with goals from Ryan and Devine. The match will also be noted for a first half penalty save by Martin Taylor and a 70th minute red card for Dave Carroll after he delivered a few choice words to the Asssitant Referee. With 52 points now in the bag, Wycombe have climbed to 12th place in table and Division Two safety is now a formality.
After 45 minutes it looked the bottom club were on their way to a rare victory. Keith Ryan had been slotted in alongside Sean Devine after Andy Baird pulled out of the squad with an injury. However, the duo hardly had a look in, with the home side creating all the early chances with big striker David Reeves a constant threat.
Wycombe's only attempt on goal in the first-half came in the fourth minute when Devine headed straight at Mark Gayle in The Spireites goal from a Carroll cross. Jamie Hewitt saw a shot deflected wide by Steve Brown on 8 minutes while Reeves and Tony Carss also had chances in the opening twenty minutes.
It was Reeves pass to Jonathan Howard in the 21st minute that ended with penalty for the home side after Paul McCarthy had lunged in. However, Reeves hit the spot kick weakly to Taylor's right and the Wycombe 'keeper blocked before the ball was cleared. Five minutes later Taylor was facing another spot kick when Danny Williams cross from the left hit Dannie Bulman's arm and the referee some how decided it deserved a penalty. Michael Simpson talked his way into the book before Reeves took the 'Route one' option - blasting the ball straight down the middle past Taylor to put the home side ahead.
Wycombe could have gone further behind before the break. On 29 minutes Taylor saved at his feet from a Reeves header at the far post and six minute later Ryan Williams got past Cousins with embarssing ease but Taylor picked the ball out to spare the blushes for JC. Paul McCarthy was booked on the stroke of half-time for dissent as it looked like it wasn't going to be Wycombe's day.
Half-time Chesterfield 1 Wycombe 0
Drastic action was needed and a double half-time substitution saw Jamie Bates replace a very disappointing Jason Cousins and Jermaine McSporran slotted in alongside Ryan and Devine up front - Michael Simpson being sacrificed in midfield - possibly as protection for his desire for a red card.
The gamble paid off as Wycombe drew level within six minutes of the restart. Steve Brown sent in a free-kick from the right - Devine tried to force the ball in at the near post and after some desperate defending, Ryan was there to stab the ball home. A minute later Wycombe should have been ahead when Bulman was left in space on the left but ballooned the ball over when scoring looked easier. Bulman was booked five minutes for a foul on Carss as The Spireites forged out chances through Breckin - shooting over after a one-two with Carss - while Steve Blatherwick headed over from a Williams cross after 69 minutes. However, there was to be another twist in the tale. In the 70th minute Dave Carroll saw red for what must have been foul and abusive language towards the Assistant Referee after a foul on Howard. Ironically Carroll looked like he would be substituted moments early after picking up a knock. The decision fired up Wycombe again and after Breckin had been booked for the home side, Wycombe took a 76th minute lead. Bulman's corner saw Bates' header cleared off the line only for Devine to show his poachers instinct by forcing the loose ball home.
Wycombe held on with ease for the remainder of the game as the home fans concentrated their efforts on chants of "Duncan Out!". The nearest the home side came to equalising came in the 83rd minute when Mark Rogers sliced a clearance straight towards his own goal but thankfully Taylor was alert.
Chesterfield are now doomed to Division Three while the three points for Wycombe means that we won't have to go through any Lincoln style escapades this season.
Final Score Chesterfield 1 Wycombe 2
Wycombe Team: Taylor, Vinnicombe, Cousins (sub HT Bates),
McCarthy, Carroll, Rogers, Bulman, Simpson (sub HT McSporran),
Brown, Devine (sub 79 Senda), Ryan subs not used Thompson, Brady. Att: 2,081
Referee: Alan Kaye (Wakefield)
Chesterfield v Wycombe OPTA Form Guide
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