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Leyton Orient 2
Wycombe Wanderers 0
Tuesday 22nd August 1995
Football League Cup 1st Round
2nd Leg

Wanderers managed to scrape through to a Second Round Football League Cup meeting with Premiership Manchester City despite ending their 2nd Leg First Round tie at Leyton Orient with nine players. Alan Smith's side were protecting a 3-0 lead from the 1st Leg at Adams Park seven days previous but having fallen behind after 20 minutes, then had goalkeeper Paul Hyde red carded for a 'professional foul' just before the break. That meant a rare appearance for perennial reserve 'keeper Chuck Moussadik - new signing Brian Gorry being the player sacrificed on his full debut following a free tranfer from Peterborough. Colin West tucked in a 54 minute penalty to set more alarm bells ringing but Smith's side clung on despite Paul Hardyman also seeing red for a second bookable offence with five minutes of normal time remaining.

Reporting for the Bucks Free Press from Adams Park. Claire Nash said: Alan Smith couldn’t watch the last five minutes of a game which saw Wycombe Wanderers plumb new depths of indiscipline. After Paul Hardyman became Blues’ second man sent off in a bizarre night’s football, the Wycombe boss left the dug out at Brisbane Road. Two sendings off, two stretcherings off, a controversial penalty, a handful of bookings, and two goals, made up Tuesday’s incredible proceedings — which shamed Blues, but it was gripping fare.

The bare facts are embarrassing for Wycombe. They played out the final moments of a 2-0 defeat with nine men after totting four red cards in four games. They played dreadfully, deserved to lose, and were lucky to get through to the Coca-Cola Cup second round. They have been even more fortunate in getting a big draw against Manchester City. With the club’s indifferent start to the season continuing.

Goalkeeper Paul Hyde, sent off for a professional foul in first-half injury time, and Paul Hardyman, dismissed for a second bookable offence in the second half, follow full back Jason Cousins and centre half Mark Foran into Wycombe’s hall of shame.

There was no indication on the outset that the match would blow up like it did. The 2,000 plus crowd struggled to raise much of a cheer for boxer Herbie Hide who shuffled awkwardly onto a red carpet for a quick pre-match wave.

The first half-hour was innocuous stuff, although Orient were the hungrier of the two sides. Their hunger developed into a voracious appetite once Kevin Austin fired home Alex Inglethorpe’s 20th-minute cross. Wanderers became increasingly frustrated by Orient’s off-side trap and then hit the panic button. Their catalogue of catastrophe began when Jason Cousins was stretchered off with a knee injury after landing awkwardly in a tackle on 30 minutes. Orient full back Mark Warren had also been carried from the fray with an injury early on.

Blues rejigged their already changed defence, with Matt Crossley, more usually centre back, going from left back to right back. Wycombe registered their first shot at the target when Dave Carroll’s shot flew over the cross bar on 45 minutes. In the tenth minute of first-half injury time, Hyde was sent off after his tackle on Tony Kelly outside the box. The Blues goalkeeper raced out to clear a looping ball, hesitated, missed and brought down the man. His replacement, five-a-sides specialist Chuck Moussaddik, almost found his favoured form of football by the end of the game with Wanderers’ ever depleting resources.

Matters threatened to get out of hand when a penalty was given on 54 minutes. It came amid Moussaddik safely catching Inglethorpe’s shot. The players were retreating back up the field for a goal-kick when Hemley blew up and awarded a penalty against Hardyman for having tugged the Orient striker’s shirt. Brown was lucky not to be booked for his defiant protests. West’s fierce spot-kick sent Moussaddik the wrong way to set up a thrilling last half-hour.

The match’s edge continued when Orient players steamed in on Brown after he upended Austin at the other end. Substitute Joe Baker’s darting runs forward caused problems, the already- booked Hardyman being sent off for bringing the winger down on 85 minutes. Blues got through the last five without letting in another goal. If they play like this again, God knows how they’ll get through the rest of the season.

Wycombe: Hyde, Cousins (sub 33 Hemmings), Hardyman, Foran, Crossley, Brown, Carroll, McGorry (sub 45 Moussaddik), McGavin (sub 81 Garner), Desouza, Howard
Scorers: none
Bookings: Hardyman 51 (foul), Brown 57 (foul), McGavin 81 (kicking the ball away).
Sendings off: Hyde 45 (professional foul), Hardyman 85 (second bookable offence)
Leyton Orient: Caldwell, Warren (sub 9 Shearer), Austin. Chapman, Hendon, McCarthy, Kelly, Cockerill, Inglethorpe, West (sub 73 Baker), Brooks - sub not used: Williams
Scorers: Austin 20, West 54 (pen)
Bookings: Chapman 66 (foul), Kelly 76 (dissent)
Referee: I Henley (Bedfordshire) Attendance: 2,478 (away 433)

Speaking after the game Manager Alan Smith said: "Most of all I feel sorry for our supporters because they watched a performance which is well below what it should have been. The less I say about the game the better. The only positive thing is that we got through to the next round of the Coca-Cola" The Wycombe manager said he would fine all four of the players sent off in the previous two weeks the maximum possible (two weeks’ wages).

Meanwhile, Orient Chairman Barry Hearn commented: "What a night!. That was brilliant. I'd even buy a ticket for that and I don't even like football"

Next game - Wycombe v Bournemouth - Saturday 26th August 1995
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