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|Wycombe Wanderers 1992-1993 - retro|
January 1993 - Super Bobby steps in
The shock news of Glyn Creaser’s injury brought a frantic search for a central defender ahead of the home game with Northwich Victoria on Saturday 16th January 1993. It was Club Director and Liverpool fan Alan Parry who inadvertently sparked the negotiations that eventually brought Blackburn Rovers 22 year old defender Rob Dewhurst to Adams Park.
Parry was organising some tickets at Blackburn for an ITV game he was covering. By chance Rovers boss Kenny Dalglish was at reception when the call came in. Parry relayed the injury problem to Dalglish and it was suggested by the ex-Liverpool boss that he knew a lad who might help Wycombe out.
Martin O’Neill contacted Dalglish on his car phone and arranged for a loan period at Wycombe. Dewhurst travelled down by train on the day of the match with Wanderers Assistant Manager John Reardon ready to pick him up from Watford Junction station.
However, the train was an hour late and he arrived at Adams Park with barely enough time to introduce himself. O’Neill said "I just told him to get the names of the keeper and the back four, because that’s all I had time for."
It was a worrying time for O’Neill with Steve Thompson suspended and Kim Casey still on the side-lines. But O’Neill’s nerves were calmed when Dewhurst rose to head home from Dave Carroll’s free-kick after Keith Scott had been felled. Mark West, making only his second Conference start of the season, wasted a couple of second half chances to increase the lead and Wanderers fans were grateful in the 79th minute when Vics striker Tony Hemmings was clean through but sliced his effort wide. Hemmings went on to join Wycombe the following season.
Dewhurst won the Man of the Match award but had little time to collect it before being whisked back to the train station via a Police escort. Meanwhile praise was being heaped on the player. O’Neill said "It was a great goal. He did not flinch at all. It was a great performance". Wanderers stand-in Captain Andy Kerr added "You cannot really expect a better debut than that". And O’Neill was delighted with another three points that meant Wycombe were sitting on 55 points from 24 games - 15 points clear of nearest rivals Dagenham and Slough, both sitting on 40 points but 2 and 3 games in hand respectively. "It was the win of the season considering the things we had to overcome" added O'Neill.
It was during this week that O'Neill continued to dismiss rumours of a possible move to Notts County. O'Neill, a former County player, told the local press "I won't be applying for the job, I have a job here to finish. I've not stayed on here for another year not to see this one through"
The following weekend on Saturday 23rd January 1993 Wanderers made their first ever visit to the Northern grime of Stalybridge Celtic. The day was not without incident. The game itself only went ahead after a last minute inspection of the mud bath that was being passed off as a football pitch. The large number of Wycombe fans who had travelled to see the game eventually swayed the referee but having conceeded a goal within the opening two minutes many were beginning to think whether it had been worth it. A Keith Scott header from a Dave Carroll cross on 25 minutes and then an Andy Kerr header from a Steve Guppy cross four minutes later changed that way of thinking. However, after missing chances to go further ahead, it was Kerr who deflected a first half stoppage time shot into his own net and at 2-2 that was how the score remained.
With the Stalybridge game out of the way it was time again to concentrate on the FA Trophy and a Second Round visit to Morecambe. Around a 1,000 Wycombe fans were planning to head north for the tie against the HFS Loan Premier side. Steve Thompson was available again after his three match ban but the game proved to be a difficult one for The Wanderers.
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