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Sun 18th August 1996 - Shrewsbury 1 Wycombe 1 - Division Two
Tue 20th August 1996 - Reading 1 Wycombe 1 - Coca-Cola Cup
Sat 24th August 1996 - Wycombe 1 Gillingham 1 - Division Two
Tue 27th August 1996 - Wycombe 0 Bury 1 - Division Two
Sat 31st August 1996 - Blackpool 0 Wycombe 0 - Division Two
Saturday 31st August 1996
Football League Division Two
BLACKPOOL 0 WYCOMBE 0

Wycombe gained a hard earned point at a sunny Bloomfield Road on Saturday but again looked very tame in front of goal. QPR loan signing Michael Mahoney-Johnson was given his Wycombe debut but looked totally out of place up front trying to play between Desouza and Williams. The Seasiders dominated most of the game but didn't create a real opening until 3 minutes into the second period when Lee Philpott screwed a chance just wide of the right hand upright. Wycombe's best effort came on 56 minutes when a corner from the right by Carroll was headed goalwards by Terry Evans but the effort was brilliantly saved by Steve Banks in the 'pool goal. Desouza had a long range effort saved on 83 minutes while as the game headed towards the inevitable stalemate, Carroll saw a last minute free-kick from the edge of the box tipped over.
WYCOMBE TEAM: Parkin, Lawrence, Bell, McCarthy, Evans, Patterson (sub 73 Cousins), Carroll, Brown, Desouza, Williams (sub 58 Farrell), Mahoney-Johnson. subs not used:Crossley Att:4,856

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Tuesday 27th August 1996
Football League Division Two
WYCOMBE 0 BURY 1

Wycombe suffered another sad home defeat, this time at the hands of Bury, with a first half strike by Ronnie Jepson dividing the teams. Wycombe, fielding an unchanged side for the fourth consecutive match, started lively enough - Lawrence saw a long range effort curl just over the bar on 15 minutes and on 22 minutes Desouza laid the ball back to Williams on the edge of the box, whose effort was saved at full stretch by the 'keeper. Wycombe fell behind after 27 minutes following a free kick from just outside the Wycombe penalty area. Ronnie Jepson strode up to take it and much to his delight the ball found its way through the melee of players and into the net. A sometimes nervous looking Parkin saved well from close range after 30 minutes but Wycombe couldn't find their feet up front despite forcing two late first half corners.
Bury appeared happy to let Wycombe do all the leg work in the second half but the home side were as disjointed as the new kit - Carroll volleyed on 48 minutes but his chance went wide and Patterson tried his luck from long range 4 minutes later but also had no joy. Markman replaced Williams on 69 minutes as Smith played his last card of the night but when Mickey Bell stroked a shot elegantly into the Hillbottom Road Industrial Estate in the final minutes you knew it wasn't going to be Wycombe's night.
WYCOMBE TEAM: Parkin, Lawrence, Bell, McCarthy, Evans, Patterson, Carroll, Brown, Desouza, Williams (sub 69 Markman), Farrell. subs not used:Crossley and Cousins Att:3,563

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Saturday 24th August 1996
Football League Division Two
WYCOMBE 1 GILLINGHAM 1

The first home league game of the season ended in yet another 1-1 draw as Wycombe shared the points with newly promoted Gillingham. The match was soured with the 76th minute dismissal of Steve Brown for a second bookable offence. Referee, Paul Taylor, also earnt abuse from the terraces as he ruled out a Desouza goal for a foul on the Gills 'keeper on 55 minutes and the match threatened to boil over in the dying minutes as the officials nearly lost control.
The match started well for Wycombe when after only 8 minutes a left wing cross by David Farrell was met by Dave Carroll who opened his account for the season. Gillingham eventually found their feet in an otherwise lame first half and levelled the scoreline on 33 minutes when a well placed shot by Simon Ratcliffe from the left hand edge of the box beat Parkin in the Wycombe goal.
Desouza's disallowed goal ten minutes into the second half followed a high ball into the area from the right that deceived Jim Stanford. The ball rebounded back off the far post and Desouza forced the ball home only to be penalised for a foul on the ex-Fulham 'keeper. Patterson had a volley saved two minutes later but the mood changed on 70 minutes when an outrageous challenge on Steve Brown by Andy Hessenthaler brought the Gills Captain a deserved booking. Six minutes later Brown lunged in on Matt Bryant and promptly saw red following an earlier booking. When will he learn - 3 bookings and a sending off in 3 games? Gillignham's John Ford was added to the book on 81 minutes for another hard challenge in midfield and from the resulting free-kick Patterson saw Williams go close with a low drive. Wycombe finished the stronger side and Williams set up Bell on the far corner of the six yard box following a break down the right - Bell's downward header hitting the post and going to safety. Farrell broke down the opposite wing in the final minute and his hard cross was handled by John Humphrey in the area but the man in black (plus a few white bits) waved away the claims for a penalty.
WYCOMBE TEAM: Parkin, Lawrence, Bell, McCarthy, Evans, Patterson, Carroll, Brown, Desouza, Williams, Farrell. subs not used:Crossley, Markman and Cousins Att:4,582

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Tuesday 20th August 1996
Coca-Cola Cup First Round - First Leg
READING 1 WYCOMBE 1

A 65th minute break-away goal from John Williams earnt Wycombe a point in the First Leg Coca Cola cup tie at Elm Park. Wycombe, still looking extremely shakey at the back, fell behind 6 minutes earlier when a disputed corner from Reading was headed powerfully past Parkin by Jimmy Quinn with the aid of a wicked deflection.
Wycombe fielded an unchanged line-up from that which drew at Shrewsbury two days earlier and again sported their change shirts of white but this time coupled with the new home shorts of light blue - not exactly the ideal choice with the opposition playing in blue and white hoops! Could this have been the reason why the Wycombe players seemed so keen to continually pass the ball to their opponents? Meanwhile Reading were having no such problems with Martin Williams striking the ball into the area on 12 minutes and a first time effort from Stuart Lovell whistling over the bar with the Wycombe back four nowhere. Wycombe's best effort of the first half fell on 20 minutes when Steve Brown, booked again in the 9th minute for another reckless challenge, met a right wing cross by Lawrence but his volley lacked the necessary power and the chance was easily cleared by Reading 'keeper Bobby Mihaylov.
More shirt problems for Wycombe in the second half when Mickey Bell's collar fell off - what would Cantona have made of that! Meanwhile with Reading looking for a first leg lead and stepping up their pressure, Parkin was forced to make a good save from close range just a minute in the second half. On 54 minutes Wycombe broke away with Matt Lawrence playing a one-two with David Farrell before shooting into the side netting. Quinn's goal on 59 minutes came just when Wycombe looked to have weathered the storm but Williams spectatular effort shortly afterwards sets up an exciting prospect in the return game at Adams Park on Tuesday 2nd September.
WYCOMBE TEAM: Parkin, Lawrence, Bell, McCarthy, Evans, Patterson, Carroll, Brown, Desouza, Williams, Farrell. subs not used:Crossley, Markman and Cousins Att:6,210

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Sunday 18th August 1996
Football League Division Two
SHREWSBURY 1 WYCOMBE 1

It was the weather that took all the honours on the opening day of the season, as both sides failed to come to terms with unbearably hot conditions. Shrewsbury drew first blood, however, just three minutes into the game when Mark Taylor provided a right wing cross for Ian Stevens to blast home from close range. It was a case of "here we go again" for the travelling Wycombe army as the new comers in the Wycombe side looked a little shakey. Brian Parkin in the Wycombe goal flapped on 23 minutes but the danger went, while at the other end Shrewsbury's new Danish 'keeper, Benny Gall made a mess of a Farrell cross that McCarthy should have buried but scooped over the bar. Wycombe trailed 1-0 at half-time and still couldn't find the target in the second half when Williams fired over from close range. An incident in the 51st minute saw Steve Brown tangle with Peter Whiston during a Shrewsbury attack and both players were booked. Parkin made an excellent save from the resulting free kick but after Desouza had seen an effort cleared off the line Whiston lunged in again and was duley giving his marching orders. With the advantage now with Wycombe, it was left to Steve Brown to expertly place a 20 yard shot to the right of the 'keeper and give Wycombe a point. Wycombe had a chance to win the game on 82 minutes when Markman turned on a low left wing cross by Bell but the ball edged wide. All in all a fair result but in weather more suited for sitting on the beach, not a game that will remain in the memory for very long.
WYCOMBE TEAM: Parkin, Lawrence, Bell, McCarthy, Evans, Patterson, Carroll, Brown, Desouza, Williams (sub 75 Markman), Farrell. subs not used:Crossley and Cousins Att:3,440

All match reports © 1996 Chairboys on the Net
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