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|1993-1994 RETRO INDEX
|Retro - A look back on the 1993/94 season
March 1994 - Up and down the League, out the Cup
Simon Garner missed the visit to Doncaster Rovers on Saturday 19th March 1994 due to injury but a Wanderers side fresh from their break in the sun cruised to victory at Belle Vue.
Keith Ryan replaced Garner up front for most of the game but it was Steve Brown who shot Wycombe into a sixth minute lead with his first goal in a Wycombe shirt since his move from Northampton in February. The goal came after Glyn Creaser had flicked on Matt Crossley's free-kick. Brown revealed after the game that the trip away with the players had helped him, saying "All the pressure was off after the week away. I had a good crack with the lads. Before that I would only talk to them when I turned up for two and half hours' training." The new camaraderie was noticeable in the 'skipping' style goal celebration that followed Brown's opener. Steve Guppy added to Wycombe's lead in the 21st minute when he started a move down the left and then followed up Dave Carroll's shot that had been cleared off the line.
Guppy scored his second and Wycombe's third on the stroke of half-time when he headed home Ryan's cross. The home side came more into the game during the second-half but there were no further goals, leaving the 500-strong contingent from Wycombe with plenty to celebrate at the final whistle. There was also good news when Tony Hemmings returned to action as an 80th minute substitute following his two month lay-off through injury as Wanderers rose to 3rd place in the table.
The second leg of the AutoGlass Southern Area Final took place on Tuesday 22nd March 1994 as Swansea City made their first ever visit to Adams Park protecting a 3-1 lead from the first game in Wales.
The visitors brought with them a sizeable following amongst the 6,710 attendance but they didn't cover themselves with glory as a minority caused damage at nearby pubs before delaying the kick-off by six minutes with several minor pitch invasions. However, those travelling supporters were soon silenced by a blistering opening by the Wanderers which culminated in Tony Hemmings knocking in a rebound from Guppy's shot on 29 minutes to give Wycombe the lead on the night.
As Wanderers pressed for an aggregate leveller, the visitors found openings and Paul Hyde had to save well from Mark Clode and Andy McFarlane after the break. In a final attempt to draw the scores level Glyn Creaser was pushed up front and in stoppage time Tim Langford came within inches of silencing the baying mob from Swansea. But it was not to be and despite this gallant attempt by Wycombe, it was Swansea earned the trip to Wembley. Speaking after the game Martin O'Neill commented "The players said Langford's shot was only eight inches away. I think if that had gone in then our determination and courage would have taken us through. I could not have asked for more from the players."
The home game with Chesterfield on Saturday 26th March 1994 would kick-off Wanderers' final ten Division Two games of the season. Seven of those were at Adams Park and there was every hope that this would see a run to automatic promotion.
Nick Cusack would make his Wycombe debut in the home meeting with The Spireites. The 28 year old striker had been signed on a short term loan from Oxford United. On the bench was another new signing in the form of Tony Cunningham. The 36 year had joined for a £4,000 fee from Doncaster Rovers in a deal lasting until the end of the season.
7th placed Chesterfield provided testing opposition although John Duncan's side appeared to have come for the 0-0 draw but it was the visitors who grabbed all three points via a 39th minute penalty awarded for handball against Matt Crossley. It was a Steve Norris shot that appeared to wrong-foot Crossley who back-pedalled and then handled as the ball went goalwards. Crossley was red-carded by referee Kenneth Leach and Wanderers never really recovered after Norris converted the spot-kick. There was a late flurry by the Wycombe that saw Cunningham, Ryan and Guppy go close. Then in the final minute Mark Jules was shown the red card for bringing down Dave Carroll down the right wing but the resulting free-kick came to nothing and Wanderers were back down to 4th spot in the table on 59 points behind Shrewsbury (61), Crewe (61) and Chester (63). Just below Wycombe were Preston on 58 points while back in 13th place on 45 points were Carlisle United.
After the game Martin O'Neill reflected on his earlier outburst at fans following a home defeat to Wigan. The Wycombe boss commented "I'd heard George Graham saying for a couple of months with Arsenal they had been winning matches almost on the side. Their performances had been poor, in fact they had been booed off the field a couple of times at Highbury. I didn't feel so bad after that. If 40,000 are booing George Graham, who has won two League Championships and endless cup competitions and they are being booed at Highbury for lack of performance and they were still involved in the European Cup Winners Cup, I shouldn't have taken it badly about being booed against Wigan."
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