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Wycombe Wanderers 3
Leyton Orient 0
Tuesday 15th August 1995
Football League Cup 1st Round
1st Leg

Wanderers opened up a three goal 1st Leg advantage over Leyton Orient following the First Round Football League Cup encounter at Adams Park. Two goals inside the opening 20 minutes by Miquel Desouza and a second-half effort from Matt Crossley meant Wycombe would travel to Brisbane Road the following Tuesday with one eye already firmly on the seeded Second Round draw.

Team news had seen Manager Alan Smith stick with the same starting XI that had drawn with Crewe Alexandra on the opening day of the campaign - central defender Mark Foran, on loan from Sheffield United continuing at the back ahead of former Orient hero Terry Howard.

Reporting for the Bucks Free Press from Adams Park. Claire Nash said: Miquel Desouza is undoubtedly one of the top dogs in the shop window after his scorching double gave Wycombe a commanding 3-0 first-leg lead in the Coca-Cola Cup first round. But how much for someone who is such a key figure for Wycombe’s promotion and cup campaigns? He already looks priceless. With his eighth and ninth goals in almost as many starts by the club, the sharpshooting 25- year-old put Blues in the driving seat against Leyton Orient at Adams Park on Tuesday. The manner in which he scored left everyone in the house drooling. His boss was no exception. “You won’t get better goals in the Premier League,” said Alan Smith afterwards.

Desouza’s display gave a host of visiting scouts plenty of food for thought. It also impressed Barry Hearn, the boxing and snooker impresario who took over ownership of Leyton Orient late last season. “They were two good strikes. He did very well,” said Hearn in confirmation of Desouza’s mighty body blows to Orient’s cup hopes. Matt Crossley added a third to complete a confidence-boosting night for Wycombe.

A more accomplished all-round team performance helped banish an unsteady opening to the new League sea son and, barring a disastrous hiccup in Tuesday’s second leg, should see them in the next round and a potential tie against a Premiership club.

The Coca-Cola clash, in front of a 3,300 crowd, was a million miles away from the high drama of Smith’s most recent experience of the competition, with Crystal Palace in last season’s semi-finals. But with Blues endeavouring to strive forward into his brave new world, the stakes are no less high. The journey will not be straight forward, but Wycombe’s style of play on Tuesday suggested that they are capable of establishing an encouraging platform.

Desouza brought the visitors’ bright opening screeching to a halt when he scored two goals in eight minutes. His first, conjured out of nothing, saw the striker chest down a speculative ball forward before turning and letting rip with a supreme 25-yarder which took a deflection on the way past a hapless-looking Peter Caldwell on 11 minutes.

Desouza’s second was even better, a deadly drive from the edge of the box after a short pass by Steve McGavin. Wycombe would certainly have won by a far greater margin if not for Caldwell’s superb goalkeeping display for Orient in the second half. The pressure was relentless after Orient’s Ian Hendon was sent off for his second bookable offence on 58 minutes. But Caldwell frustrated Blues by tipping Mickey Bell’s chip over the bar on 66 minutes; parrying Dave Carroll’s vicious curler two minutes later and blocking Crossley’s close-range header on 74 minutes.

Captain Steve Brown, at the heart and soul of Blues’ effort, had a goal disallowed for pushing. But Crossley stole in unmarked to thump home a Carroll corner flicked on by fellow central defender Mark Foran on 76 minutes. Wycombe retained their stranglehold, with the defence and goalkeeper Paul Hyde neatly tidying up any late trouble.

Wycombe: Hyde, Cousins, Hardyman, Crossley, Foran, Brown, Carroll, Bell, Desouza (sub 87 Hemmings), McGavin (sub 87 Garner), Soloman - sub not used: Howard
Scorers: Desouza 11, 19, Crossley 76
Bookings: Soloman 55 (foul)
Leyton Orient: Caldwell, Warren, Austin, Chapman, Hendon, Bellamy, Brooks, Cockerill, Inglethorpe, Shearer, Stanislaus (sub 72 Baker) - subs not used: McCarthy, Feron
Scorers: none
Bookings: Hendon 38 (foul) - Hendon 58 (red card - second bookable offence)
Referee: G Pooley (Bishop’s Stortford) Attendance: 3,310

Speaking after the game Manager Alan Smith said: "“I thought we were unfortunate not to win by a lot more. In the second half especially we passed and moved well. The difference between the two sides tonight was enormous. We conducted ourselves in a very good way which gives us a fighting chance to get through to the next round." The Wycombe Manager, who had brought his side in for Sunday training, added: "“I think we saw the benefit of training on Sunday. It wasn’t as a punishment but to remind the players where their responsibilities are."

Next game - Notts County v Wycombe - Saturday 19th August 1995
Leyton Orient v Wycombe - 2nd Leg - Tuesday 22nd August 1995
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