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WYCOMBE v Preston North End
Saturday 21st August 1999 - Division Two
Wycombe had to settle for a share of the points as they drew 1-1 with ten-man Preston North End in a entertaining game at Adams Park on Saturday. Preston went into the game as league leaders and looked in control when they took the lead in the 23rd minute - an unmarked Kurt Nogan knocking in a Graeme Alexander free kick from the left side. However, Wycombe responded well against a side that has never lost at Adams Park.
After Nogan had given Preston the lead this Saturday, it was goalmachine Sean Devine who was there to set the ball rolling for Wycombe with a 29th minute equaliser after Jamie Bates' deep free-kick had been knocked down by the head of Paul McCarthy. Devine lashed the ball past Dave Lucas in the Preston goal from 12 yards to score for the second week running. A minute later Wycombe could have snatched the lead when McSporran half-volleyed over. Matt Lawrence saw a free-kick deflected over on 36 minutes as the game began to turn Wycombe's way. Michael Simpson also saw a free-kick curl inches wide before controversey struck on the stroke of half-time. Preston hardman Sean Gregan elbowed Paul McCarthy to the ground and after the melee of players was broken up Gregan was heading down the tunnel. Jamie Bates got caught in the resulting arguments and he was lucky to escape with just a yellow card. It was 3.55pm before the half closed!
Half-time Wycombe 1 Preston 1
Like the Burnley game two weeks previous, Wycombe began the second-half at a canter. On 52 minutes Lawrence flighted a cross in from the left but McSporran's connecting header looped over at the near post. A minute later McSporran left the Preston defence for dead as he pulled back the ball from the left only for Emblen's fumbled effort to be eventually pulled back for handball. Emblen was there again three minutes later when his low shot was tipped wide from Simpson's lay-off. Ten man Preston battened down the hatches soon after and even the introduction of Andy Baird couldn't find the vital inspiration for the winning goal. Sean Devine came closest when a delicate lob in the final minute of normal time went just the wrong side of the Valley End crossbar.
After three games Wycombe have five points, are still unbeaten and lie tenth place in the table.
Final Score Wycombe 1 Preston North End 1
WYCOMBE TEAM:Taylor, Lawrence (sub 87 Cousins), McCarthy, Bates, Simpson, Emblen (sub 62 Baird), Carroll, Ryan, Devine, Brown, McSporran (sub 81 Senda) subs not used Holsgrove and Osborn Att:5,091
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