|April 1999 Reports
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Sat 3rd April 1999 Macclesfield v WYCOMBE - Division Two
Mon 5th April 1999 WYCOMBE v Gillingham - Division Two
Sat 10th April 1999 Wrexham v WYCOMBE - Division Two
Wed 14th April 1999 Stoke City v WYCOMBE - Division Two
Sat 24th April 1999 Man City v WYCOMBE - Division Two
Tue 27th April 1999 Notts County v WYCOMBE - Division Two
NOTTS COUNTY v WYCOMBE
Tuesday 27th April 1999 - Division Two
A penalty conceded by an unfortunate handball by Jamie Bates in the 49th minute proved to be the difference between the two sides at a boggy Meadow Lane on Tuesday night. Gerry Creaney converted the spot kick as Wycombe never looked like breaking down the County rear-guard. A lacklustre performance from the Wycombe midfield provided too few openings for the front men. The best chance to equalise fell to Keith Ryan on 79 minutes, when his dipping shot from 25 yards was pushed away by Darren Ward in the County goal. Two minutes earlier County's Dennis Pearce had been sent off for a second-bookable offence when he tripped Jermaine McSporran on route to goal. It proved to be a very frustrating evening for the 800 or so travelling fans from Wycombe, as County dominated a largely aerial battle.
With Steve Brown and Dave Carroll sidelined with injuries, Sanchez gave youngster Martyn Lee his first start in the Football League. He was joined by the return of Paul Emblen and Jamie Bates, after their one match suspensions. Michael Forsyth was rested after his first full game for over a year on Saturday. It was the lack of creativity in midfield, though, that proved to be a major factor in Wycombe losing out. County, with ex-Wanderer Mark Stallard takes the jeers from the visiting fans, came at Wycombe from the start. However, on 7 minutes Wycombe broke and could have taken the lead when Sean Devine glanced a header wide after a cross from the right. At the other end Martin Taylor made a good save on 12 minutes when he scrambled across at his left hand post to push away an inswinging shot. Wycombe tried to copy County's long ball tactics game but Mark Warren dominated at the back for the home side and there were too few opportunities to run at goal for the likes of Baird and Devine.
The decisive goal came five minutes into the second-half when a strong run by Alex Dyer from the left ended when Bates handballed in his own area. Taylor went the right way for Gerry Creaney's spot-kick but the ball crept in. That was all that County needed and they seemed quite happy to defend for the rest of the game. McSporran came on for Emblen after 56 minute and his pace down the right wing started to create a few openings. Wycombe forced their first corner of the evening on the hour mark. The final twenty minutes was a frantic battle for the equaliser - even Paul McCarthy and Alan Beeton were playing up front aganist a ten-man County defence. Keith Ryan actually had the ball in the net on 81 minutes after a Simpson corner from the right but it was dissallowed without much dispute for a foul on the County 'keeper. Even six minutes of injury time couldn't save Wycombe as all eyes turn to Saturday's game with Blackpool.
Final Score Notts County 1 Wycombe 0
WYCOMBE TEAM:Taylor, Lawrence, Vinnicombe, McCarthy, Bates, Ryan, Lee (sub HT Beeton), Simpson (sub 92 Senda), Emblen (sub 56 McSporran), Devine, Baird Att:4,271
MANCHESTER CITY v WYCOMBE
Saturday 24th April 1999 - Division Two
Victories don't come much sweeter than this as Wycombe strolled into the Maine Road cauldron, outplayed City for the first 30 minutes, scored twice and then took everything that Joe Royle's side could through at them. Wycombe's goals were clinically finished by Andy Baird and Sean Devine, each player taking it turn to set the other up. You won't see much better finishing outside of the Premier League and it won't be long before they're being chased by other clubs. City pulled one goal back just before the break when Shaun Goater tucked in a ball from the right but Wycombe remained tight in the second-half and hung on to celebrate in style at the final whistle. The 1,000 Wycombe fans who made the trip to Manchester might have been in a temporary stand stuck in one corner of the ground but these memories will last forever.
The result was even more amazing when you consider that Wycombe were without the suspended Jamie Bates and Paul Emblen while Dave Carroll was also missing with a groin strain picked up in the game at Stoke City. Jason Cousins also failed to recover in time from the injury in the away win at Bristol Rovers. It meant that a re-shuffle was necessary by Lawrie Sanchez. Steve Brown came back in the starting line-up and Michael Forsyth was involved for his first game in over a year. Forsyth slotted in at the back like he'd never been away and hardly missed a ball. He also played a big part in the second goal, heading forward for Baird to flick on and Devine to score with a pure magic touch.
Wycombe are now the only club to have done the double over City this season having beaten them at Adams Park back in November last year. If it's any consolation for City fans, Wycombe did the double over Huddersfield in 1994/95 and Bradford in 1995/96 and they both still went up.
A Special Report from Maine Road is available via this link
Final Score Man City 1 Wycombe 2
WYCOMBE TEAM:Taylor, McCarthy, Lawrence, Vinnicombe, Forsyth, Ryan, McSporran (sub 52 Beeton), Simpson, Brown, Devine (sub 85 Senda), Baird sub not used Lee Att:29,337
STOKE CITY v WYCOMBE
Wednesday 14th April 1999 - Division Two
The fight for survival continued on Wednesday when a late goal earnt The Wanderers another vital point on a bitterly cold evening at The Britannia Stadium. Sean Devine had put Wycombe ahead during the first half as Wycombe dominated but an equaliser from nothing by Ray Wallace and an injury to Dave Carroll was followed by City substitute David Oldfield giving City the edge. The noisy 500-strong contingent from Wycombe looked to heading for a miserable journey home when the luck finally turned. A ball in from the right cannoned into a painful area of the referee and Sean Devine gratefully excepted the chance to fire the ball low past Carl Muggleton. It was nothing less than Wycombe deserved against a Stoke side that included Wycombe cast off Nicky Mohan. The other ex-Wycombe glory hunter Jason Kavanagh was an unused substitute for the Potters.
Wycombe fielded another unchanged line-up and after an early scare when Taylor had to quick off his line on 8 minutes, Wycombe began to gain confidence. A neat move by Wycombe after 11 minutes ended with an 18 yard pile-driver from Andy Baird being tipped over by Muggleton. On 24 minutes a Michael Simpson corner from the right saw Paul McCarthy stoop in with a header but it was grabbed on the line. Five minutes later Wycombe were ahead thanks to excellent work by Dave Carroll down the left. Almost in Steve Guppy style he skipped around a couple of defenders before angling back a low cross that found Paul Emblen on the opposite side 20 yards from goal. His shot was deflected up towards the left hand post and Devine raced in to, first, head at Muggleton and then tuck the loose ball in. With snow beginning to fall it was Stoke who equalised when Richard Forsyth flicked the ball through from midfield and as Taylor and Vinnicombe met on the edge of the box Ray Wallace nipped in to chip the ball in. It was a massive blow as previous to this Wycombe looked quite secure at the back. Six minutes before the break Andy Baird saw a downward header saved following a corner from the right by Simpson before Carroll pulled up with an injury and was replaced by Steve Brown.
Half-time Stoke 1 Wycombe 1
Apart from the goal Sean Devine was not having one of his better games - perhaps this was deliberate to try and get the asking price from Barnet dropped? Eight minutes into the second-half he blazed the ball yards over after he was clean through and generally his first touch looked poor. Wycombe were missing Carroll and on 62 minutes fell behind when Graham Kavanagh's powerful shot looked to have been blocked and cleared but as Matt Lawrence and David Oldfield slid in for the loose ball at the left hand post, the ball ended up in the back of the net to give the home side the lead. Oldfield claimed the goal but Lawrence could well have got the vital touch. The goal knocked Wycombe from their stride for a spell. Taylor had to be alert on 69 minutes to tip over a looping header while from the resulting corner Mohan headed over from six yards much to the amusement of the Wycombe fans behind the goal. McSporran was called for and delivered as Wycombe tried to break down a ten-man Stoke defence keen to claim a rare home victory. On 83 minutes Graham Kavanagh could have sealed matters when he shot straight at Taylor after breaking from midfield. A minute later Simpson ballooned another dreadful cross high and wide and hope looked to be fading for the travelling fans. Then with under two minutes left on the clock the referee played his part in setting up Devine for another goal and sending his tally to five goals in his seven loan games this month. The following morning he had signed permanently for Wycombe.
Final Score Stoke 2 Wycombe 2
WYCOMBE TEAM:Taylor, Lawrence, Vinnicombe, McCarthy, Bates, Ryan, Carroll (sub 42 Brown), Simpson, Emblen (sub 72 McSporran), Devine, Baird sub not used Westhead Att:6,569 (Stoke's lowest league gate of the season)
WREXHAM v WYCOMBE
Saturday 10th April 1999 - Division Two
Wycombe started a run of four consecutive away games with victory from the visit to North Wales to play Wrexham. Wycombe had lost on all four of their previous four visits to The Racecourse Ground and the three points lifts Wycombe out of the bottom four for the first time since the opening weeks of the season. Second-half goals from Dave Carroll (70 mins) and Jermaine McSporran (88 mins) sealed the points as the Welsh side were beaten with ease in front of their lowest League gate of the season.
It was another unchanged Wycombe side that took the field at a sunny but blustery Racecourse Ground aiming to complete a third successive victory on the road. Wycombe's all out attacking policy seemed to shock the home side and their fans and with construction work taking place in the Main Stand produced an almost lifeless atmosphere apart from the efforts of the 300 or so Wycombe fans. As Wycombe chipped away but without success up front, Wrexham took until the 24th minute to force their first corner and that was only after Emblen had mis-controlled. The corner produced a brief panic at the back but Wycombe survived and could have taken the lead on 27 minutes when Jamie Bates planted a ball through to Andy Baird but with Carroll in waiting Baird's effort was nothing more than a back pass. The chance gave Wycombe more belief and within a minute a corner, won as a result of bizzare Wrexham clearance, resulted in a series of headers and then a Keith Ryan half-volley that went wide. Bates then saw a chance go begging after Vinnicombe sent in a free-kick from the right. Wycombe's best effort of the half came seven minutes before the break. Simpson fed the ball to Lawrence on the right, he played a one-two with Emblen and Lawrence's cross was met with a great header by Sean Devine that was brilliantly turned onto the bar and over for a Wycombe corner by Tommy Wright in the Wrexham goal.
Despite Wycombe's pressure the goal seemed like it would never come and there was always the danger of Wrexham counter-attack. Karl Connolly looked dangerous for The Robins but Bates and McCarthy looked fairly solid. The breakthrough finally came on 70 minutes when Emblen middled from the right. The ball was half-cleared to Devine whose shot was parried into the path of Carroll who tapped the ball into an empty net before diving into the Wycombe fans behind the goal. Devine had a good chance to increase the lead but wanted too much time before Wrexham briefly threatened. Steve Brown was introduced with eight minutes left and when he was joined by Jermaine McSporran Wycombe completed sealed their first ever victory in North Wales. With just two minutes left Brownie sent a long weighted pass out to the right wing where McSporran strode on before slotting past Wright and dancing towards the delighted Wycombe fans. A few minutes later the referee brought proceedings to an end and prompted a torrent of boos from the home fans left in the ground but celebration again for the loyal travelling contingent from Wycombe.
Final Score Wrexham 0 Wycombe 2
WYCOMBE TEAM:Taylor, Lawrence, Vinnicombe, McCarthy, Bates, Ryan, Carroll, Simpson, Emblen (sub 82 Brown), Devine (sub 86 McSporran), Baird (sub 90 Beeton) Att:2,450
WYCOMBE v GILLINGHAM
Monday 5th April 1999 - Division Two
Wycombe's winning run came to an end at Adams Park on Easter Monday against an in-form Gillingham side. After holding the Gills comfortably to 0-0 at the break, the visitors dominated the second-half and claimed the points with goals from Barry Ashby on 68 minutes and Carl Asaba on 74 minutes. Wycombe's best efforts came in the first-half through Carroll and Ryan.
This was always going to be a tough game against the play-off candidates but Wycombe more than held their own in a lively first-half. Lawrie Sanchez kept the same XI who beat Macclesfield the previous Saturday - with Steve Brown returning after his one match ban as substitute. Spurred on by Wycombe's 3rd biggest gate of the season it was Dave Carroll who rolled back the years when he went on a mazey run after just 6 minutes. Unfortunately for Wycombe Paul Emblen couldn't capatilise when the ball broke loose. The Gills first threatened after 19 minutes when Carl Asaba broke free on the right but his low cross was mis-hit by Mark Saunders. The 'corner fanfare' got its first airing after 32 minutes when Andy Baird shot on the turn but saw his effort forced away. From the resulting corner Keith Ryan saw his downward header fly a fraction wide. Five minutes before the break Sean Devine won a high challenge with the Gills 'keeper but Carroll's snap effort was not successful.
Half-time Wycombe 0 Gillingham 0
Wycombe ran out of steam as the second-half progressed. On 46 minutes Jamie Bates could have got one-up on some of his ex-Brentford team mates in the Gills side but he fired over after a deflected cross from the right. The visitors forced a series a throw-ons and corners on the right and with Taylor beginning to flap it was simply a case of holding out for a point. Wycombe did manage to break away on 63 minutes through Michael Simpson but with Devine screaming for the ball to his right, Simpson selfishly ballooned the ball over the bar and into a frustrated Valley End. The miss proved costly as five minutes later The Gills took the lead. Paul Smith sent in a corner from the right and Barry Ashby outjumped the Wycombe defence and his looping header caught Taylor off his line and beaten again with embarassing ease. Brownie was thrown on immediately but after half-volleying wide on 70 minutes, Wycombe were killed off after a dreadful mix-up in defence - Carl Asaba forcing the ball in after a cross from the right.
So the run of three straight wins come to an end but Gillingham always looked too strong for Wycombe. After the game Sanchez was bemoaning the fact that The Gills had had two extra days break compared to Wycombe, having played their previous league game on Thursday against Reading. Fair comment but how many Wycombe fans would have travelled to Macclesfield on Thursday evening compared to Saturday? Surely the Football League should insist clubs stick to common days for fixtures in this type of situation?
Final Score Wycombe 0 Gillingham 2
WYCOMBE TEAM:Taylor, Ryan, Vinnicombe, McCarthy, Bates, Lawrence, Carroll, Simpson, Emblen (sub 69 Brown), Devine (sub 85 Senda), Baird sub not used Beeton Att:6,688
MACCLESFIELD v WYCOMBE
Saturday 3rd April 1999 - Division Two
Wycombe's last ditch run to survival continued with victory and three vital points from the return to former non-League rivals Macclesfield on Saturday. Having fallen behind to a Paul Emblen headed own goal after just 11 minutes, Wycombe's luck finally changed four minutes before the break when Matt Lawrence saw a 25 yard 'daisy-cutter' creep past Ryan Price in the Macc goal, possibly having taken a slight deflection or bobble on the atrocious surface. Then in first half injury time Macclesfield's Efe Sodje was booked for foul out on the Wycombe left and Michael Simpson's in swinging free-kick was flicked past Price by the head of Andy Baird to give Wycombe the lead. It was all wrapped up within ten minutes of the start of the second-half. On 50 minutes Dave Carroll set up Emblen on the left side of goal but his placed shot was pushed into the path of Simpson. Simpson's shot was also blocked before Sean Devine stepped in to stick the ball in the empty net and spark the celebrations on the sunny away end. Four minutes later Sodje took out Baird in frustration in midfield and after playing the advantage, the ref showed the yellow and then red card to Macc Lad - game over. The home side rarely troubled Wycombe and Baird could have added a fourth with seven minutes left. Oh! yes.
This was dreamtime for the large contingent of Wycombe fans at Moss Rose but it all looked to have turned sour when Emblen placed a perfect header past a bemused Taylor after a corner from the left. Only Emblen knows what he was trying to do and as for Macclesfield's Steve Payne trying to claim the goal - you weren't even close. Emblen had an effort dissallowed for offside minutes later while a Carroll free-kick on 14 minutes was met by Jamie Bates but is downward header lacked power. On the half-hour mark Price made a double save from Devine and Baird - prompting the Macclesfield fans to taunt Devine with "Barnet Reject" (ho-ho).
Lawerence's long ranger came after a move down the left broke down and was cleared. The ball went through a melee of players and caught Price out at the post. The goal sparked new life into Wycombe and more reward came in injury time when Baird outjumped the Macc defence to notch his sixth goal of the season. Devine's goal capped a gritty performance against a Macclesfield side that had beaten Gillingham and Colchester in their previous two games at Moss Rose. Sodje's sending off signalled a mass breakout of sour-grapes from many of the locals - some claiming that Baird had taken a dive. Try taking a look at the video lads, it's X certificate. Wycombe could have rubbed more salt into the wounds of the Silkmen when a trio of Wycombe players contrived to miss a Chris Vinnicombe cross from the left after 68 minutes and then Baird miss-hit a shot from the left after Carroll had broke from midfield. Sanchez sent on youngster Martyn Lee in the third minute of injury time and he had time to trick his way into box before running out of space. His time will come.
Final Score Macclesfield 1 Wycombe 3
WYCOMBE TEAM:Taylor, Lawrence, Vinnicombe, McCarthy, Bates, Ryan, Carroll, Simpson, Emblen (sub 90 Beeton), Devine (sub 80 McSporran), Baird (sub 93 Lee) Att:3,183
BTW: Many reports have Steve Payne scoring Macc's first goal and Devine as scoring our second - don't believe a word! Emblen's header was one of the cleanest headers you're likely to see and Devine wasn't even near Simpson's cross. The Press, eh. Did they have sunstroke ????!!
NATIONWIDE DIVISION TWO including 3 Apr P W D L F A PTS 13 Luton 38 12 10 16 44 52 46 14 Blackpool 38 11 13 14 35 44 46 15 Notts Co 37 11 9 17 43 53 42 16 Colchester 38 9 15 14 41 55 42 17 Bristol R 38 9 14 15 48 46 41 18 York 38 10 9 19 46 67 39 19 Burnley 38 9 12 17 41 68 39 20 Oldham 38 10 8 20 38 54 38 `````````````````````````````````````` 21 Wycombe 38 9 10 19 41 49 37 22 Lincoln 37 10 6 21 34 61 36 23 Northampton 38 8 12 18 30 46 36 24 Macclesfield 37 8 9 20 30 48 33
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