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Darlington 0
Wycombe Wanderers 0
Saturday 23th October 1993
Football League Division Three

Darlington v Wycombe v programme - 23rd October 1993 Wanderers travelled to bottom of the table side Darlington with expectations to win against a side who had not won for 15 games and had a suffered a 11-1 aggregate defeat to Bradford City in the Football League Cup. But for the first time that season they failed to hit the net in a League game and had to settle for a point in a 0-0 draw.
The result saw Martin O'Neill's side fall back to 5th spot in the League ahead of a midweek journey to Northwich Victoria to play in the 1993 Conference Championship Shield. Rivals Colchester United leap-frogged Wycombe into 4th spot. Crewe headed the table, with Preston 2nd and Rochdale 3rd.
The disappointing result at Darlington came at the end of a week where Wanderers had announced a profit of 272,000 for the 1992/93 season when they had won the Conference and Trophy double. The figures were officially announced at the AGM with the major up turns being a rise in gate receipts of 61% to 617,000. However, playing staff costs rose by 40% and Police costs rocketed by 200%. Transfer fees paid out were 25,000 with none received.
Wycombe: Hyde, Cousins, Horton, Crossley, Evans, Ryan, Carroll, Hayrettin (sub 75 Hutchinson), Thompson, Scott, Guppy - subs unused: Kerr, Moussadik (GK)
Scorers: none
Bookings: Thompson 28 (foul), Hayrettin 59 (not retreating ten yards)/td>
Darlington: Collier, Joyce, Pearson, Case, Sunley, Gregan, Himsworth, Gaughan (sub 27 Shaw), Painter, Chapman (sub 67 Ball), Isaacs
Scorers: none
Bookings: Himsworth 9 (foul), Gregan 41 (dissent), Shaw 85 (foul)
Referee: Mr Eddie Wolstenholme Attendance: 2,057
What the papers said:
Bucks Free Press - Claire Nash reporting from Feethams:
Wycombe failed to hit the mark in a League game for the first time this season with Saturday's goalless draw at bottom-of-the-table Darlington. Wanderers preserved their unbeaten away record. But the result, which follows last week's defeat by Lincoln and a dull draw at Northampton before that, indicates Blues' momentum has clearly been unsettled.
Their main strength had previously been that they were always likely to score goals, even if they let a few in. On Saturday they were fortunate Darlington failed to find a late winner against the run of play. Wycombe's highest scorer Keith Scott didn't do his confidence any favours when he spurned two clearcut second-half chances to secure victory, which follows hard on the heels of his penalty miss against Lincoln.
Wanderers dominated the game, their 13-4 corner count was testimony to that, and they cleverly carved a handful of chances to take it by the scruff of the neck. But Darlington, who have not yet won a League game this season and on paper presented the sort of proposition a full three points should be snatched from, battled hard to mount a resurgence. The managerless club, which won the Division Three championship two years ago in the same season they re-entered the League after winning the Vauxhall Conference, were bolstered by former Liverpool star and much travelled veteran Jimmy Case, making his first appearance after joining on a free transfer. But it was Darlington's forwards Robbie Painter and Gary Chapman, and midfielder Gary Himsworth who posed the greatest problems.
Both teams were forced to contend with some whistle-happy refereeing, in a game of four bookings. But Wycombe will ultimately rue their wasted opportunities.
It was clear Martin O'Neill was trying a different tack after his men crumbled against Lincoln. Winger cum-striker Tony Hemmings was dropped completely, and Andy Kerr was forced onto the substitutes' bench by Jason Cousins' return from suspension. On the brighter side Steve Thompson, in his best game yet since his return from injury three weeks ago, and Keith Ryan blazed a bustling trail throughout, but they suffered a frustrating afternoon when their good work did not receive appropriate finishes.
First-half chances fell to Terry Evans, whose early looping header saw Darren Collier backtrack well to tip over, and Dave Carroll, who was put through by Scott with just Collier to beat, but the keeper was quicker off the mark.
Paul Hyde was relatively untroubled at the other end until the 32nd minute when Himsworth tested his reflexes with a long-range shot. Scott wasted a chance early in the second half after a flowing move started by Ryan. The midfielder fed Thompson who played a short pass to the feet of Scott, racing through the middle, but the striker lofted his shot over.
Wycombe's best opportunities came in quick succession in the 77th and 78th minutes. Scott looked sure to score from Simon Hutchinson's cross after the winger had raced down the right flank, but his effort went the wrong side of the far post. Within a minute Thompson conjured up another chance when he picked the ball up in midfield, beat three Darlington markers, then centred for Scott whose shot was blocked on the line by right back Joe Joyce.
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