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September 1996 Reports
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Tues 3rd Sep 1996 - Wycombe 2 Reading 0 - Coca Cola Cup
Sat 7th Sep 1996 - Wycombe 0 Luton Town 1 - Division Two
Tue 10th Sep 1996 - Walsall 2 Wycombe 2 - Division Two
Sat 14th Sep 1996 - Burnley 2 Wycombe 1 - Division Two
Sat 21st Sep 1996 - Wycombe 0 Brentford 1 - Division Two
Sat 28th Sep 1996 - Peterborough 6 Wycombe 3 - Division Two
Saturday 28th September 1996
Football League Division Two

Wycombe threw away a 3-1 lead to Barry Fry's Peterborough side and slumped to the bottom of the table after they equalled their worst ever Football League defeat. They also conceeded 6 goals for the first time in 9 years and ironically it was Barnet, managed at the time by Barry Fry, who inflicted the pasting that day for a Wycombe defence, when they ran out 7-0 winners at Loakes Park in September 1987. No such defeat seemed possible at Peterborough though, when after 34 minutes Smith's gamble of dropping Desouza and bringing in Michael Mahoney-Johnson seemed to have paid off - the loanster from QPR scoring twice as Wycombe took a 3-1 lead. A disastrous spell a few minutes either side of half-time, however, saw Wycombe concede three goals and continue their nightmare start to the campaign that had the fans baying for Smith's head.
The goal avalanche began on 6 minutes when Greg HEALD headed home a corner after Parkin had earlier blocked. Wycombe responded well with Cousins setting up Farrell from the right but the left winger failed to hit the target after the ball broke loose. Wycombe's equaliser fell on 11 minutes when the ball was delivered from the right and MAHONEY-JOHNSON stroked the chance away after the Posh 'keeper Jon Sheffield had attempted to clear. Wycombe continued to press, with chances falling to Bell and Brown before Dave CARROLL gave Wycombe a deserved lead on 15 minutes - heading home a left wing cross by Farrell. Wycombe then took what looked like a firm grip of the game on 34 minutes when MAHONEY-JOHNSON popped up again to thump home a pass from Carroll from about 12 yards out. 4 minutes before the break, Boro pulled a goal back as Parkin misjudged a cross and Ken CHARLERY headed home at the left hand post. A minute later the scores were level as Cousins lost out in midfield and when the ball was crossed from the left, Derek PAYNE was there to strike it home past a helpless Parkin as chaos ruled in the Wycombe defence.
Half-time 3-3

As far as half-time talks go, Barry Fry's obviously has more effect than Alan Smith's - Peterboro taking the lead within moments of the start of the second half. Another cross from the left finding the head of a delighted Posh substitute, Simon CLARK. Desouza replaced Farrell on 55 minutes but events went from bad to worse on 61 minutes when Charlery crossed from the left yet again and Sean FARRELL was there to stick the ball in the back of the wilting Wycombe net. Terry Evans was replaced to a mixed reception on 68 minutes by Crossley and after Ken Charlery had been taken off by Fry on 77 minutes, Wycombe's nightmare was completed. Once again a left wing cross found Sean FARRELL who claimed his second goal of the day as he flicked the ball past Parkin from 10 yards. Wycombe's only act of defiance came with 2 minutes remaining when Bell's left wing cross was chested over the bar by a frustrated Desouza.

Full-time Boro 6 Wycombe 3

WYCOMBE TEAM: Parkin, Cousins, Bell, McCarthy, Evans (sub Crossley 68), Lawrence, Carroll, Brown, Mahoney-Johnson, McGavin, Farrell (sub 55 Desouza). sub not used: Skiverton Att:5,580

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Tuesday 24th September 1996
Coca-Cola Cup Second Round - Second Leg

Wycombe made a brave exit from the Coca Cola Cup after Forest snatched a winner in extra time by Jason Lee. Paul McCarthy had earlier drew the tie level on aggregate and Wycombe could have won the game - with McCarthy, Lawrence and McGavin all going close.
See our special page for a full match report and first leg review.
WYCOMBE TEAM: Parkin, Cousins, Bell, McCarthy, Evans, Lawrence, Carroll (sub 90 Williams), Brown, Desouza, McGavin, Farrell. subs not used:Crossley & Markman Att:6,310
Saturday 21st September 1996
Football League Division Two

The result says it all as Wycombe slumped to their third successive 1-0 reverse at home in the League. Again it was a case of the visitors scoring a goal - this time after only 4 minutes - and then sitting back and watch Wycombe fire blanks in front of goal. Marcus Bent got the decisive goal for Brentford and despite a second-half rally from the Wanderers it was another afternoon of frustration and question asking for the home fans in a crowd that included ex-Wycombe favourites Martin O'Neill, Keith Scott and Paul Hyde.
The League leaders came out with all guns blazing against a Wycombe side that included Steve McGavin in the starting line-up for the first time this season and also saw Gary Patterson dropped in preference for Matt Lawrence. Brentford brought a good save from 'Man of the Match' Parkin after just 3 minutes but a minute later Carl Asaba pushed the ball into the area from the right and Marcus BENT was there to crash the ball home from close range. Wycombe's best chance of the half fell to McGavin who raced through on the Brentford 'keeper after 13 minutes but couldn't find the technique to beat Kevin Dearden. Bell was out of luck from a free-kick after 28 minutes and Desouza also went close but Jamie Bates also had chances at the other end to increase the visitors lead but the half ended 1-0 to Brentford.
There was hectic goalmouth action in the opening minutes of the second-half. On 51 minutes Lawrence sent in a fierce shot from the right hand edge of the penalty area but he saw the ball strike the corner of post and bar before it flew to safety. A minute later Carroll saw a close range effort blocked by Ijah Anderson - Wycombe's claims for handball by the Brentford player fell on deaf ears. At the other end, on 57 minutes, Parkin made another good stop - this time from Robert Taylor after he fired in a shot from the left side of the 6 yard box. Mahoney-Johnson, on for Desouza, wasted a good chance on 67 minutes after the ball was laid to him from the right by Carroll and Steve Brown was booked for dissent 2 minutes later as the frustration levels increased for Wycombe. On 75 minutes Carroll couldn't quite connect with a Farrell cross and the writing was on the wall for Wycombe as McCarthy headed over a Carroll corner in the 88th minute. Brentford held on to maintain their unbeaten run and extend Wycombe's nightmare start to the season.
The result leaves Wycombe one place off the bottom of the table with no League wins - without a major change in fortune or personnel, Wycombe fans are in for a long and hard season.

WYCOMBE TEAM: Parkin, Cousins, Bell, McCarthy, Evans, Lawrence, Carroll , Brown, Desouza (sub 61 Mahoney-Johnson), McGavin, Farrell. subs not used:Crossley & Skiverton Att:5,330

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Wednesday 18th September 1996
Coca-Cola Cup Second Round - First Leg

A goal 2 minutes into the second half by Brian Roy was enough to give Forest a slender lead in the First Leg Coca Cola Cup game at the City Ground. See our special review for a full match report.
WYCOMBE TEAM: Parkin, Cousins, Bell, McCarthy, Evans, Patterson, Carroll , Brown, Desouza, Lawrence, Farrell. subs not used:McGavin, Crossley & Skiverton Att:6,482

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Saturday 14th September 1996
Football League Division Two

Despite taking a first minute lead, Wycombe continued their dismal start to their 1996/97 League campaign - losing out to a very ordinary looking Burnley side. The home side won the game with two goals in a twelve minute spell in the first half and although Wycombe improved after the break, Burnley were never in any serious danger. The result sends Wycombe to one place off the bottom of the table with no wins from 7 League starts - their worst start in 89 years.
Wycombe, playing at a transformed 25,000 all seater Turf Moor, stunned the home fans within the first 20 seconds. The ball was fed to Farrell on the left wing whose centre was half-volleyed home by DESOUZA from the edge of the box. Burnley hit back with a long range effort by Gerry Harrison on 10 minutes and with 19 minutes gone an outswinging cross/shot by Damien Matthew was palmed away by Parkin. The home pressure finally told after 26 minutes when a corner from the left by Matthew was deftly headed past Parkin at the far post by top scorer Kurt NOGAN. 4 minutes later Burnley should have taken the lead when the ball found its way to Paul Barnes on the edge of the box but after rounding Parkin he sliced the chance wide of the open net. Burnley took the lead, however, on 38 minutes thanks to a terrible mix-up between Parkin and Evans - they couldn't decide who should clear and NOGAN welcomed the chance to hit the ball home from close range. More bad news for Wycombe as an injured Carroll was replaced immediately following the goal. Half-time score 2-1 to Burnley.
Wycombe's sparse away following saw Farrell have a good chance 9 minutes into the 2nd half - he weaved into the box from the left but could only find the side netting. Like previous games against Bury and Luton, the opposition seemed more than happy to sit back and let Wycombe come forward. Brown almost deceived Marlon Beresford in the Burnley goal on 70 minutes with a shot from the edge of the box but Wycombe's best chance to salvage a point came on 80 minutes following a clever free-kick from Cousins. The ball was floated into the area from a central midfield position where Evans knocked the ball down but Desouza got in a tangle near to goal and eventually fluffed the ball wide. Parkin prevented a heavier defeat on 82 minutes when he saved well to his right from David Eyres but by this time it was clear that it was going to be another long journey home for Wycombe fans with further inquests into the playing style and Management team.

WYCOMBE TEAM: Parkin, Cousins, Bell, McCarthy, Evans, Lawrence, Carroll (sub 39 Patterson), Brown, Desouza, Williams, Farrell. subs not used:Crossley & Mahoney-Johnson Att:9,379

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Tuesday 10th September 1996
Football League Division Two

Wycombe earned a point from their visit to the Bescot Stadium in a game that saw Walsall take the lead twice and lose it again within a few minutes. All 4 goals came in the opening 28 minutes as both defences committed football suicide with a series of needless errors and wayward passes.
Wycombe began brightly when Bell swung in a left wing cross after 2 minutes but Carroll could not get the accuracy on the connection. The match was 11 minutes old, however, when Wycombe fumbled in midfield and Walsall's Kevin WILSON strode through the static defence before putting a low drive past Parkin. The scores were level within 3 minutes when Bell floated in a ball from the left to the head of Terry EVANS who saw his effort loop over Wood in the Walsall goal. A minute later Williams fired in a low shot that was forced away - the rebound falling to Farrell who also saw his shot blocked. The action didn't hold-up as Bell tried a long range effort on 18 minutes - while at the other end Brown was booked (again!) for a tackle on the edge of the Wycombe box. John Williams claimed for a push in the box on 25 minutes but a minute later Desouza needlessly gave the ball away in the Walsall half - the ball was switched to the opposite wing where Andy WATSON eventually smashed the ball into the roof of the net as Wycombe failed to recover. The scoring for the night was completed when DESOUZA seemed to deflect in a long range shot from Brown, that crept past the home 'keeper to level the scores again. Lawrence saw an effort tipped over from 20 yards as the half ended 2-2. (Note: Video evidence has since revealed that Brown's shot came off a Walsall player and consequently the goal has been credited to Brown).
Defences tightened slightly after the break but it was Walsall who had the better chances to win the game. The home fans bayed for a penalty on 68 minutes when Lawrence lunged in but the appeals were waved away. Then on 74 minutes Parkin won a few admirers when he made an excellent block from Chris Lightbourne as the forward raced clear on a one on one. Both sides seemed determined to throw the game away as time went on - Farrell went close with a low shot on 85 minutes and the quality of football was summed up in the dying moments when the Walsall 'sub' shovelled the ball over the bar from 10 yards.
A relatively entertaining game although not really one for the football connoisseur and sadly still no encouraging signs of any improvements in the Wycombe camp.

WYCOMBE TEAM: Parkin, Cousins, Bell, McCarthy, Evans, Lawrence, Carroll, Brown (sub Patterson 89), Desouza, Williams, Farrell. subs not used:Crossley & Mahoney-Johnson Att:2,659

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Saturday 7th September 1996
Football League Division Two

Wycombe fans may have got the feeling of Deja Vu watching this game as another three points were dropped and the strike force again failed to deliver. Luton, with no points and having conceeded 8 goals from their two away games before the visit to Adams Park, rarely looked in danger of letting their lead slip following a 52nd minute strike by David OLDFIELD that delighted the travelling fans.
As expected Wycombe gave their debut to Ray Wilkins but dispite a couple of flicks and neat passes, he failed to influence the rest of side. A good crowd of just under 6,500 saw a game a few chances. In the 11th minute a dipping shot by Luton's Guentchev sailed just over the bar, while 2 minutes later a effort at the other end by Desouza ended in similar fashion. Luton almost took the lead on 16 minutes when a scramble ended with Farrell clearing the lines and it was Farrell at the opposite end who should have done better with a loose ball after 30 minutes - his effort failing to hit the target. A brief moment of magic between Carroll and Wilkins livened the home crowd on 38 minutes as they exchanged passes but the game remained goalless at half-time.
Luton won the game 7 minutes into the second half when Andrew Fotiadis knocked the ball down for David Oldfield to knock home from close range. Wycombe failed to respond and Alan Smith lost a few more fans when he substituted John Williams for loan player Michael Mahoney-Johnson - Williams was visibly upset with the decision and took his shirt off in protest as he made his way off and headed straight for the dressing room. With Luton happy to sit back and defend, Wycombe had their best chances in the dying moments with their best effort following a Dave Carroll corner that saw the ball thumped against the corner of the post and bar by Matt Lawrence but it was forced clear.

WYCOMBE TEAM: Parkin, Cousins, Bell, McCarthy, Evans, Lawrence, Carroll, Wilkins, Desouza, Williams (sub 64 Mahoney-Johnson), Farrell. subs not used:Crossley & Patterson Att:6,471

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Tuesday 3rd September 1996
Coca-Cola Cup First Round Second Leg

The smiles returned to the faces of Wycombe fans as they saw a 2-0 success in the home leg of the Coca Cola Cup tie against Reading - giving an aggregate victory of 3-1. The game marked the opening of the Wanderers new 5,000 seater stand and those there saw Wycombe's first victory of the season. Smith brought in Jason Cousins for his first game of the season and moved Matt Lawrence to midfield - dropping Gary Patterson and being forced to leave out Michael Mahoney Johnson at QPR's request. The game began in similar fashion to the first leg with Reading dominating the possession but failing to capitalise. Wycombe again looked poor at the back but survived until the break. Wycombe came out a different side in the second half and eventually eased ahead thanks to the hefty boot of Terry EVANS - the big defender thumping home a 65th minute free-kick from Mickey Bell. Reading were buried 10 minutes later when John WILLIAMS had a simple tap in after a weaving run by Desouza. Parkin made a good save from Martin Williams late on to make up for a couple of clangers in the first half and Wycombe could well have made it 3-0 as Reading crashed out in sad style despite the introduction of Player Manager Jimmy Quinn.
The only disappointing aspect of the evening was the 'official' attendance of just over 5,000 which included nearly 2,000 Reading fans many of whom missed the kick-off due to the inadequate facilities in the away end - several Reading fans were eventually housed in the new stand but this was well into the second-half. The Club have got to sort this situation out before they gain a reputation for poor treatment of away fans. On the plus side it was great to see the Woodland Stand open for the first time - the view at the top is apparently fantastic - let's hope Wycombe can get it right on the pitch and tempt the fans back who have unfortunately been put off by Wycombe's lack of entertainment value.

WYCOMBE TEAM: Parkin, Cousins, Bell, McCarthy, Evans, Lawrence, Carroll, Brown, Desouza, Williams, Farrell. subs not used:Crossley, Patterson & Markman Att:5,069

All match reports © 1996 Chairboys on the Net

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