The Story of The Blues
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Wycombe Wanderers 1
Bristol City 1
Saturday 16th December 1995
Football League Division Two

Wanderers had to settle for 1-1 draw at home to fifth from bottom Bristol City after new loan Wimbledon signing Gary Blissett's opener on 12 minutes was cancelled out with a second-half effort from City's Brian Tinnion. The result saw Wycombe remain 9th in the table but the unrest surrounding the dispute with Paul Hyde was said to be unsettling the side. The meeting with City saw on loan 'keeper Ben Roberts make his home debut, with Chuck Moussadik's departure being comfirmed during the week following his dispute with Manager Alan Smith. Steve Brown missed the game as he served the second game of his three match suspension.

Reporting for the Bucks Free Press, Claire Nash wrote: 'Wycombe Wanderers boss Alan Smith lambasted his players for approaching their matches like a painting by numbers exercise after they let a lead slip for the umpteenth time this season on Saturday. Blues were pegged back by Bristol City in front of a disappointing 4,020 crowd on Saturday. Smith blamed wingers David Farrell and Miquel Desouza, who was moved from up front to wide right, for not giving the front pairing of Simon Garner and on loan Wimbledon striker Gary Blissett enough service. It was Blissett who put Blues in front on 12 minutes on his home debut, but Wycombe failed to capitalise on further pressure. City took the initiative in the second half and looked the side most likely to score a winner.

Blues were indebted to the most experienced players on the pitch to get what had been a hoped-for return to winning ways after six games without a victory underway— with Garner setting up the goal and Blissett scoring it. Fellow thirtysomething skipper Terry Evans almost stole the three points for Blues in the dying seconds, but his header from a Farrell corner was disallowed for a foul on the goalkeeper. Garner, who has been in and out of Blues’ starting line-up all season, underlined that there is no substitute for age and experience. The 36-year-old striker’s delicate flick set Farrell on his way before the left winger sent in a first-time cross met perfectly in the centre by 31-year-old Blissett who slid in to toe poke home.

Blues crafted further promising attacks, with Dave Carroll pulling the strings in midfield. Garner wasted a great opportunity on 31 minutes after a misdirected clearance by City played the ball into his path, but his usual poise in front of goal deserted him when he ballooned his shot way over. Blissett continued to take up good positions but City’s defence had by now tightened up and cleared most crosses into the box. That Blues failed to convert their pressure was particularly dis appointing with Smith choosing an attacking starting line-up.

Smith’s frustration was clear in the second half, the Wycombe manager bellowing at the midfield to spread out and Farrell go out wide. But it all too frequently got bunched up. Honours were even for the first 20 minutes of the second half. Carroll had a fierce drive, unleashed after winning the ball on the edge of the area, cleared for a corner on 47 minutes, while Evans directed a header into City keeper Keith Welch’s hands three minutes later.

Ben Roberts, Wycombe’s new on loan goalkeeper, did well to race out to deny Kevin Nugent who had been put clean through on 52 minutes and moments later City goal scorer Brian Tinnion shot over from Nugent’s build-up. A neat flick by Blissett put Garner through but Matt Bryant steered the striker off the ball. City began to play the ball about with more confidence. Their equaliser was off the top shelf. Tinnion struck a magnificent left- foot shot from 35 yards after taking down Darren Barnard’s ball over the top The visitors ran the show after that, hitting the woodwork twice during the Iast 15 minutes. If Evans’ last-gasp effort had stood, it would have been a lucky reprieve for Blues.'

Wycombe: Roberts, Rowbotham, Bell, Howard, Evans, Cousins, Carroll, Garner (sub 72 McGavin), Desouza, Blissett, Farrell - subs not used: Patterson, Williams
Scorers: Blissett 12
Bookings: none
Bristol City: Welch, Carey, Hewlett, McLeary, Bryant, Kuhl, Bent (sub 24 Agostino), Owers, Nugent, Barnard, Tinnion – subs not used: Kite, Paterson
Scorers: Tinnion 70
Bookings: Owers 40 (foul)
Referee: Mr P Taylor (Cheshunt) Attendance: 4,020

Speaking after the game Manager Alan Smith said: "We need more service from the wide players. That is one of the problems here. With these players, they think it’s like painting by numbers. They don’t know what to do when a side tries to make things difficult for them. The only time the wide players did well was with the goal, but once we score we did not continue the same way. I don’t think the players lack confidence, they lack knowledge." Smith went on to add: "Some of my players lack knowledge of the game."

Next game - Wycombe v Shrewsbury - Saturday 23rd December 1995
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