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April 1998 Reports
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Sat 4th April 1998 - Bournemouth 0 WYCOMBE 0 - Division Two
Fri 10th April 1998 - WYCOMBE 1 Grimsby 1 - Division Two
Mon 13th April 1998 - Oldham 0 WYCOMBE 1 - Division Two
Sat 18th April 1998 - WYCOMBE 0 Millwall 0 - Division Two
Sat 25th April 1998 - WYCOMBE 1 Chesterfield 0 - Division Two
Sat 2nd May 1998 Walsall 0 Wycombe 1 - Division Two
Saturday 2nd May 1998 - Division Two

Wycombe finished the season on a high when a first half goal from Paul Read was enough to claim all three points at the Bescot Stadium. Ironically Read's last goal for the Wanderers was during the 4-2 victory over Walsall at Adams Park back in October. Read got his chance after Keith Scott was pulled from the squad by Neil Smillie. Scott had been taking pain killing injections prior to recent games and will be rested until the start of next season. The winning goal came after 17 minutes when a long clearance from Taylor caught the home defence napping and Read nipped in to head over the advancing Jim Walker in the Walsall goal. Read also missed a host of chances to extend the lead before Taylor made another brilliant save on the stroke of half-time. There was no luck for Mark Stallard chasing the club goal scoring record - a half-chance just after the break being his best effort but his header went wide with Walker in a flap again. Walsall could have grabbed an equaliser when Platt missed the target from close range on 58 minutes but Wycombe remained in control and the travelling Blue Army even had time to perform a conga in the away end.
Full-time Walsall 0 Wycombe 1
WYCOMBE TEAM:Taylor, Kavanagh, Beeton, Ryan, Cousins, Mohan, Carroll, Cornforth (sub 89 Patton), Stallard (sub 88 Baird), Harkin (sub 78 Simpson), Read Att:4,412

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Saturday 25th April 1998 - Division Two

Neil Smillie was announced as the new Wycombe Manager for next season prior to kick-off but it failed to inspire the team to victory on a sunny afternoon at Adams Park. Both goals came in the first half, with Chesterfield taking the lead on 20 minutes through Roger WILLIS after a mix-up in the Wycombe defence. Wycombe equalised on 27 minutes when Mark STALLARD drove a low shot past Billy Mercer in the Chesterfield goal from just outside the box. Wycombe could have snatched victory in the second-half when John Cornforth was put through by Dave Carroll but his final touch couldn't direct the ball in. Carroll also saw a free kick skim just wide as the game fell flat. The day ended on a sour note for Wycombe when Nicky Mohan was sent-off for kicking the Chesterfield No.5 in the 90th minute.
Compared to recent games, the match began brightly for Wycombe. On 16 minutes Dave Carroll put Stallard away on the right but his cross only found a Chesterfield defender who smashed the ball over his own bar. Carroll's resulting corner also caused problems in the Chesterfield defence, with Ian Breckin clearing off the line. Chesterfield's goal came totally out of the ball after Mercer's long clearance split the Wycombe 'defence' and WILLIS ran on to score. Wycombe equalised six minutes later and it was made to look simple as STALLARD ended a move down the Wycombe right when he drove his skimming shot to the right of Mercer from a central position. Wycombe had to wait until the second-half for more openings. Two minutes after the break Harkin let fly from the left side but Mercer picked the ball out with ease. On the hour mark Carroll's free-kick went agonisingly close before Stallard's cross-cum-shot saw Mercer claim again with substitute Read closing in. Cornforth had a golden chance with with eleven minutes left but the ball raced away and once again Read couldn't assist with the final touch. It was an eventful last few minutes for Nicky Mohan. He saw a couple of headers go close at the Chesterfield end before he tangled with Mark Williams in midfield. Williams got away with stamping on Mohan and went away laughing. Seconds later Mohan took the law into his own hands and kicked Williams up the backside - unfortunately for Mohan the officials saw that incident.

Full-time Wycombe 1 Chesterfield 1
WYCOMBE TEAM:Taylor, Kavanagh, Beeton, Ryan, Cousins, Mohan, Carroll, Scott (sub 65 Read), Stallard (sub 82 Baird), Harkin (sub 76 Cornforth), Brown Att:5,113
The Wycombe players made the customary end of season lap of honour at the end of the game as the Wycombe fans contemplated on what is to come next season.

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Saturday 18th April - Division Two

The point gained from Wycombe's 11th 0-0 of the season was enough to secure Division Two safety for another season. With both Plymouth and Brentford losing, Wycombe's total of 56 points, already one more point than last season, (that's progress!) cannot be caught by those two teams plus Carlisle and Southend.
The game itself was another dire encounter. Wycombe hit the woodwork twice while Millwall forced Martin Taylor to pull off an excellent close range save in the first-half as chances for both sides were limited. Millwall finished the stronger side but a draw was probably a fair result. Wycombe fans can now relax and debate who we will be playing next season, who will be the Manager and what players will come and go.
Keith Ryan was awarded with the Supporters Club Player of the Season prior to the game but almost gave Millwall a goal start after just 11 minutes - a backpass being hacked to safety by Martin Taylor. Six minutes later Taylor pulled off another candidate for his save of the season when he stopped a Danny Hockton drive from the left side and then denied Kim Grant with the follow-up. That save prompted Wycombe's best spell of the game. Within thirty seconds a move down the Wycombe left ended with Steve Brown centering for Paul Read whose attempted shot fell to Keith Scott but he shot over. On 19 minutes another flowing move by Wycombe saw Read play the ball out from a central position to Harkin on the right-wing. Harkin's return pass was met by Read with a first time volley but there was no golden ending as the ball flew over the Millwall bar. Wycombe came close to taking the lead on 33 minutes when a move down the Wycombe left finally came out to Jason Kavanagh standing about 25 yards from goal on the opposite side. He spotted Spink off his line but his attempted lob was going nowhere until it was helped on by Read but the bar back bounced off the bar. Millwall wasted their final chance of the half on 39 minutes when Hockton should have done better from close range.
Wycombe's second strike of the woodwork came ten minutes into the second-half when Read swiveled with his back to goal but saw his snap effort come off the corner of post and bar. Two minutes later Grant should have been more accurate when he placed a free-header wide of Taylor's left hand post following a Millwall cross from the right. From then on the game went rapidly downhill. Cornforth came on for Brown with fifteen minutes left but it was Millwall who looked more eager to claim all three points. Most of the crowd were glad to hear the final whistle of another afternoon of minimal entertainment but a result that saves Wycombe for certain and practically guarantees The Lions safety.

Full-time Wycombe 0 Millwall 0
WYCOMBE TEAM:Taylor, Kavanagh, Beeton, Ryan, Cousins, Mohan, Carroll, Scott, Reid, Harkin, Brown (sub 75 Cornforth) Subs not used Simpson and Hodgson Att:5,371

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Monday 13th April - Division Two

Wycombe edged to within one victory of relegation safety with a smash and grab win at Boundary Park on Easter Monday. The game had 0-0 written all over it until Wycombe scored on the break in the 67th minute through Mark Stallard. In a dire game Wycombe's defence held out against the limited ideas from the Oldham forward-line as the Wanderers registered their third away win of the season and the double over the Latics. Oldham Manager Neil Warnock will also be sick of the site of Wycombe, who have beaten his sides on the last five occasions (Huddersfield twice, Plymouth and now Oldham).
Wycombe had an unexpected change to the starting line-up when Keith Scott pulled out with flu at the last moment - Paul Read getting his chance in the No.8 shirt - otherwise Wycombe were unchanged from the Good Friday team against Grimsby.
On a bright but blustery day in Oldham both sides lacked any inspiration up-front. Martin Taylor had to wait until the 45th minute to make a save when he blocked a Mark Allott effort after a move down the Oldham left. At the other end Gary Kelly had even less to think about. Wycombe's token effort in the first 45 was a half-chance for Mo Harkin on 15 minutes after Stallard had dinked the ball into the area but Harkin couldn't connect. The tedium extended into the second-half as the travelling Wycombe fans amused themselves with the long playing version of "Chairboys Barmy Army". Meanwhile the home fans had fallen asleep. The decisive goal came after Steve Brown had pushed the ball out wide to Paul Read on the right and his low cross from the bye-line was turned home at the far post with a low shot from STALLARD. The only question now was if Wycombe could hold on. Late goals in recent games added the necessary caution to Wycombe's game and despite a minor scare when Taylor dropped a cross and an indirect free-kick was kicked wide by Toddy Orlygsson, Wycombe came through to grab a vital victory. If ever the cliche "the result was more important than the performance" was valid, this was it. Neither side deserved to lose this excuse for football match but Wycombe fans weren't complaining at the final whistle as safety for another season edged that bit closer.

Full-time Oldham 0 Wycombe 1
The three points gained at Boundary Park puts the Wanderers in 12th place on 55 points with four more points needed for mathematical safety. The closeness of the situation at the bottom of the table is emphasised by the fact that 20th placed Plymouth have 49 points. Southend, Carlisle and Burnley look almost certain for the drop with one other from a host of clubs above.
WYCOMBE TEAM:Taylor, Kavanagh, Beeton, Ryan, Cousins, Mohan, Carroll, Read, Stallard, Harkin, Brown subs not used Cornforth, Simpson and Baird Att:4,305

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Friday 10th April - Division Two

Grimsby dominated this game at Adams Park but it was Wycombe who looked like snatching all three points until The Mariners equalised with 25 seconds of normal time remaining. Grimsby's failure to win means Bristol City are promoted while Grimsby will have to struggle through the play-offs and Wycombe need a few more points to be 100% safe from relegation. Wycombe fans will be looking at Saturday afternoons results with interest before the trip to Oldham on Holiday Monday.
Wycombe made one change to the side that drew at Bournemouth the previous week - Mo Harkin getting the nod ahead of John Cornforth. Harkin had a chance for Wycombe after just 5 minutes when a quick clearance by Taylor was back-healed by Stallard but Harkin's effort was forced wide for a corner. A minute later Stallard had a chance blocked from a central position as Wycombe made a lively start. Wycombe took the lead on 17 minutes after Stallard forced a corner on the right. Grimsby cleared away for another corner on the same side but Carroll's deep ball was met by the head of Keith SCOTT who saw the ball nestle in the corner of the Valley End net. Two minutes later Wycombe could have extened their lead when another cross from the right by Carroll saw Stallard place a header inches wide of the target. So far so good for the vast majority of the remainder of the game it was Grimsby who were in control. Harkin looked to lack the necessary pace up front on a surface heavily laiden with water from the continual rain of the previous 24 hours. Jack Lester looked a threat up front for Grimsby but his frustration got the better of him when he clattered Keith Ryan and received a yellow card a moments later a wild swing at Steve Brown didn't connect otherwise he may have seen red.
Half-time Wycombe 1 Grimsby 0
Grimsby literally camped in Wycombe's half for the opening 30 minutes of the second-half although Martin Taylor had little serious work to do. The nearest Town came was after 73 minutes when Paul Groves screwed a low shot just wide. With eleven minutes remaining it looked like Wycombe had survived the storm when Harkin broke through from midfield but his shot was blocked and Scott couldn't convert the rebound. A minute later Scotty saw a shot from the left side pushed away by Aiden Davison in the Mariners goal. The lively LESTER finally got the last word of the afternoon, however, when he powered home a cross from the right with seconds remaining. It was another late blow for Wycombe fans following the defeat to Bristol City and means that the battle for survival extends for a few more games.

Full-time Wycombe 1 Grimsby 1

WYCOMBE TEAM:Taylor, Kavanagh, Beeton, Ryan, Cousins, Mohan, Carroll, Scott, Stallard, Harkin, Brown subs Cornforth, Read and Andrew Baird Att:5,846

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Saturday 4th April - Division Two

Wycombe must be setting some sort of Football League record this season as they registered their tenth 0-0 result of the season following a windswept game at Dean Court on Saturday. In a game spoilt by an end-to-end gale, it was Bournemouth who came closest to scoring, hitting the woodwork once in each half. Wycombe's rare assaults on goal saw Steve Brown force home 'keeper Jim Glass to palm a lob wide while in the second half a weaving run by Mark Stallard ended with the striker being booked for a dive. It was a decision that was to cost Stallard dear, as in the dying moments when he failed to retreat for a Bournemouth free-kick, referee Mick Fletcher produced the second yellow card and Stallard was sent-off.
With Steve McGavin out with a foot injury, John Cornforth adopted the No.10 shirt but still played a midfield role. Jason Cousins returned in defence as Wycombe played with the wind behind them in the first-half, kicking towards the travelling fans. Wycombe failed to take advantage, however, and could have fallen behind after 17 minutes when Jason Brissett's cross from the left was flicked onto the woodwork by the head of Mark Stein. Two minutes later a low shot from the right was tipped wide by Taylor. Wycombe's best chance of the half came on 25 minutes when a move on the right fell to Brown who from about 25 yards from goal attempted to scoop the ball over Jim Glass but the 'keeper recovered to push wide for a corner on the Wycombe left. Bournemouth increased the pressure in the closing minutes of the half - forcing a couple of desperate scrambles and right on the stroke of 45 minutes Eddie Howe headed over at the far post with the goal at his mercy. Meanwhile Dave Carroll picked up a rare booking for not very much, while other loose challenges went unpunished.
Half-time 0-0
Keith Scott rose above the 'keeper 3 minutes into the second-half after Beeton had crossed from the left but the chance went wide of the far-post. The woodwork came to Martin Taylor's and Wycombe's rescue again after 57 minutes when Brissett swung in a free-kick from out on the right wing. Taylor seemed to let the ball go and then was grateful to see the ball smack his far post and go to safety. Stallard's first booking came on 71 minutes when he weaved into the box from the left, took a tumble, claimed for a penalty and after play was waved on, was booked at the next opportunity. Was he booked for diving? Then, with one minute left, as Wycombe clung onto the previous point, Stallard failed to retreat at a free-kick and out came the yellow card, then the red. Off went Stallard and off came his shirt in protest - brave man in those conditions.

Final score 0-0
WYCOMBE TEAM:Taylor, Kavanagh, Beeton, Ryan, Cousins, Mohan, Carroll, Scott, Stallard, Cornforth, Brown subs not used Harkin, Read and Simpson Att:4,271
Wycombe remain in 14th place in the table with 51 points from 41 games following this hard fought draw. It looks like Wycombe will need 6 or 7 more points from the five games remaining.
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