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|1993-1994-RESULTS, SCORERS, ATTENDANCES - MORE REPORTS||1993-1994 RETRO INDEX|
Lincoln City 1
Wycombe Wanderers 3
Saturday 15th January 1994
Football League Division Three
With cup ties against Norwich and Colchester behind them it was off to Sincil Bank on Saturday 15th January 1994 for a Division Two encounter with 13th placed Lincoln City. Wanderers were looking for revenge for a 3-2 reverse to The Imps at Adams Park three months previous but got off to a bad start when Steve Thompson had to be replaced after just seven minutes as he pulled up with a calf strain. It got worse six minutes later when City debutant Youth Team player Steve Williams tucked the ball in at the near post past a static Wanderers defence.
On a mud bath of a pitch Wanderers remained under the cosh and only a point blank save by Paul Hyde on 33 minutes from Paul Smith kept Wycombe in touch at the break. Martin O'Neill would have been desperate to give a half-time rallying call but instead had to deal with his team being asked to re-group in a temporary dressing room on a school gym on the other side of the club car-park.
Whatever O'Neill managed to say it seemed to work as Wanderers came out all guns blazing in the second-half. On 53 minutes Wycombe's first corner was floated across from the left by Dave Carroll and when Terry Evans managed to head the ball back into the six yard box it was substitute Tim Langford who stabbed the ball home.
Jason Cousins was felled by a disgraceful two footed challenge by John Schofield on 54 minutes and had to be replaced by Andy Kerr. But Wanderers rallied again and took the lead in the 69th minute when Evans played a long ball through from defence which Langford nodded down on the run before whipping the ball past the City 'keeper from 12 yards and delighting the travelling support and Wanderers' bench.
Wycombe's dominance was completed in the 73rd minute when Steve Guppy's cross from the right was flicked on by the head of Kerr at the near post before Evans bravely dived in to secure a 3-1 victory.
News off the pitch in the week leading up to the Lincoln game had seen Manager Martin O'Neill deal with a transfer request from defender Andy Kerr, who claimed he was uncertain of his future at Wycombe. While new faces midfielder Mark Cooper and left-back Steve Prindville arrived on short term deals. 25 year old Cooper, son of former Leeds United full-back Terry Cooper, had been released by Fulham having previously spent time at Southend United and Birmingham City. Prindville, also 25, arrived on a free transfer from Doncaster Rovers. But O'Neill said his search for a striker was on the up and that he hoped to make a signing within the next ten days. The urgency had been stepped up following an injury to Tony Hemmings who would require surgery on a knee problem. West Brom striker and former Blackburn Rovers legend Simon Garner was one name being touted in the national press.
Bucks Free Press - Claire Nash reporting from Sincil Bank:
It was trench warfare for Wycombe at Sincil Bank on Saturday.
They turned the tables on Lincoln to inflict a heavy defeat when their suffering a near rout looked the more likely initially in this bruising encounter. Martin O’Neill’s half-time rallying cry inspired his troops to mount their comeback of the season, substitute Tim Langford grabbing a brace and Terry Evans his eighth goal of the season.
But with Tony Hemmings already missing, with surgery imminent on his left knee, further casualties were suffered on a muddy mire. Barbed wire and mist would have completed the no man’s land scene. Wanderers midfielder Steve Thompson hobbled off after just seven minutes with a calf strain. And Jason Cousins was later carried piggyback to the team coach by skipper Evans. An injury to his right ankle resulted from Lincoln captain John Schofield’s two-footed challenge during the second half.
Bleak forebodings were underlined when Lincoln’s youth team player debutant Steve Williams rifled home Schofield’s left-wing cross on 13 minutes. Wycombe’s defence was in disarray after failing to clear a corner, and continually creaked to contain the Red Imps’ breaks on both flanks. Blues’ midfield was swamped in the muddy morass, while up front Lee Hodges and Langford appeared easy cannon-fodder for the towering Lincoln defenders. Needless to say, however hard they threw themselves into the fray, Wycombe didn’t get a sniff of goal during the first half. Instead they were run completely ragged on both wings by Paul Smith and David Puttnam, with Williams and fellow forward David Johnson snapping up anything loose.
Paul Hyde’s vital point-blank block with his feet from Smith on 33 minutes kept Wycombe in touch. O’Neill must have dipped into Churchillian ‘We will fight them on the beaches’ prose at half time, entirely appropriate considering the mass of sand on the pitch and around the ground, which is being redeveloped.
A cultured passing game was out of the question on a surface scarred by dips and holes. But Blues exacted revenge for their 3-2 defeat against Lincoln at Adams Park last October. With City pressing to increase their lead, Wycombe had more space to exploit on the break.
Blues capitalised almost immediately with their first corner on 51 minutes. Evans angled down Dave Carroll’s cross to spark a goal-mouth melee. Langford managed to scramble the ball over the line from close range. The nippy striker, relegated to the substitutes’ bench for Wycombe’s last four games, proceeded to make Lincoln’s mammoth centre half Lee Hirst, on loan from Coventry City, look cumbersome rather than the impassable obstacle he represented during the first half. With transfer-listed Andy Kerr having come on to replace Cousins, who was felled by Schofield’s tackle on 54 minutes, Wycombe secured a precious victory in a blinding four-minute spell. Evans played on a long ball from defence, Langford latching onto it after a perfectly-timed run on 69 minutes. He outsprinted Lincoln’s defence before slotting the ball deftly past Mike Pollitt.
The response from the Wycombe dug-out underlined how against the odds this result was. O’Neill, first team coach Paul Franklin and youth team manager Jim Melvin raced to the touchline and punching the air. Hodges forced a fine save from Pollitt on 72 minutes with a searing header towards the top right-hand corner from a Steve Guppy corner. Wanderers’ joy was made complete with a typical set piece. Guppy’s corner was flicked on by Kerr for Evans to head powerfully home at the near post on 74 minutes. Lincoln tried to flicker through substitute marksman Neil Matthews, dropped because he failed to score a hat-trick against Chester in midweek, but it was a damp squib. Wycombe mopped up. Their resilience had secured a stirring victory.
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