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February 1999 Reports
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Sat 6th Feb 1999 WYCOMBE v Fulham - Division Two
Sat 13th Feb 1999 Preston v WYCOMBE - Division Two
Sat 20th Feb 1999 WYCOMBE v Burnley - Division Two
Sat 27th Feb 1999 Bournemouth v WYCOMBE - Division Two
Saturday 27th February 1999 - Division Two

Wycombe fans had seen it all before as the abysmal away form continued at Dean Court on Saturday. After conceeding a goal from a set-piece against Fulham, Lawrie Sanchez said that would the last goal Wycombe would let in from that manner. At Dean Court both goals came from dead balls and while the team's overnight accomodation might have been Four Star, the marking for the goals was strictly non-rated. After this set-back Sanchez was quick to call the players in for training on Sunday afternoon as they prepare for the trip to Bristol Rovers on Tuesday evening (2nd March).
With Keith Scott suspended, Mark Stallard returned to the starting line-up but his glaring miss in the 24th minute proved to be a turning point. He shot over with the only the 'keeper to beat as the ball broke loose in the Bournemouth area. A minute later the home side had taken the lead as a corner was swung in from the right and Steve Robinson, without a Wycombe player within six yards of him, volleyed home from ten yards. It was 2-nil three minutes later as a free-kick was planted into the Wycombe box from the left and Robinson again had the luxury of space and time to smash the ball home. Sanchez tried to change things around after the break by throwing on McSporran and Carroll but when Carroll sliced wide after 55 minutes, the large contingent of Wycombe fans who braved the elements at Dean Court knew it wasn't going to be their day.
Final Score Bournemouth 2 Wycombe 0
WYCOMBE TEAM:Taylor, Lawrence, Vinnicombe, Mohan (sub 45 Carroll), Cousins, Ryan, Simpson, Brown, Simpson, Baird (sub 68 Emblen), Stallard (sub 45 McSporran) Kavanagh Att:6,693

Bottom half of the table - up to and including 27th Feb 1999
                   P  W  D  L  F  A PTS
13 Blackpool      32 10 11 11 32 35 41 
14 Wrexham        31 10  8 13 33 46 38 
15 Colchester     32  8 13 11 35 46 37 
16 Bristol R      30  8 12 10 40 34 36 
17 York           33  9  9 15 40 55 36 
18 Burnley        33  8 10 15 36 57 34 
19 Oldham         32  9  6 17 31 43 33 
20 Lincoln        32  9  6 17 31 52 33 
21 Notts Co       31  8  7 16 31 45 31 
22 Northampton    32  6 11 15 26 37 29 
23 Wycombe        32  6  9 17 29 42 27 
24 Macclesfield   31  5  9 17 21 40 24 

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Saturday 20th February 1999 - Division Two

Well it had to happen sometime and what team to have been more accomodating in gifting three points in the past than Burnley? Two goals in as many second-half minutes sealed a vital victory for Wycombe that gets the survival bandwagon rolling again. In four games at Adams Park, Burnley have now conceeded 13 and scored just twice and to make matters worse for the visitors, on Saturday they had two players sent-off.
Wycombe went into this game with one of the strongest squads for weeks. Only Paul Read (hamstring) and Mark Stallard (groin strain) were unavailble. Chris Vinnicombe lined up against his old club and played a vital part in Wycombe's first goal on 50 minutes. His low cross from the left was drilled home by Michael Simpson, as a spell of Wycombe pressure finally paid off. A minute later it was 2-0 after Jason Kavanagh put in a high ball from the right and Keith Scott headed in at the far post. Martin Taylor made a vital save on 58 minute when he blocked a powerful shot from Graham Branch as he came in from the left but Wycombe were good value for their win.
Attacking the Valley End in the first-half, Wycombe were on the attack within the 40 seconds when Andrew Baird was set free down the left but his low cross had no recipient in a blue shirt. On 2 minutes Vinnicombe saw his low cross-cum-shot whistle wide from the left as Burnley fell into a familiar pattern at Adams Park. Jason Kavanagh almost broke the deadlock after 11 minutes when he fired a loose ball wide after Baird had got a good head to a high ball into the Burnley box.
Lenny Johnrose could have no complaints on being sent-off after 24 minutes. His two footed lunge at Kavanagh, almost in front of the Wycombe dug-out, was the easiest decision of the afternoon for referee Mr Coddington. However, the incident seemed to have a negative effect on Wycombe and it wasn't until five minutes before the break that a mini-flurry of activity at the Burnley ended with Steve Brown's piledriver being deflected wide from a Simpson corner.
Wycombe's two quick goals at the start of the second-half put Sanchez's troops firmly in the driving seat and it could have been three if Matt Lawrence's fierce shot towards the top corner hadn't been brilliantly saved by Paul Crichton on 75 minutes. By this time McSporran was on and his pace was causing Burnley all sorts of problems. Scott and Mohan joined Lawrence in the book as the game fizzled out and when Ally Pickering decided to strangle Baird en-route to goal his second yellow card meant he arrived in the dressing room a few minutes ahead of his dejected team-mates.
Final Score Wycombe 2 Burnley 0
WYCOMBE TEAM:Taylor, Lawrence, Vinnicombe, Mohan, Cousins, Ryan, Simpson, Brown, Simpson (sub 70 McSporran), Baird, Scott, Kavanagh subs not used Cornforth and Emblen Att:5,195

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Division Two Table - bottom 12 up to and including 20th February

                   P  W  D  L  F  A PTS
13 Luton          29 10  8 11 38 39 38 
14 Bristol R      28  8 12  8 40 32 36 
15 York           32  9  9 14 40 52 36 
16 Colchester     31  8 12 11 34 45 36 
17 Wrexham        30  9  8 13 30 45 35 
18 Burnley        32  8 10 14 36 52 34 
19 Oldham         31  9  6 16 30 41 33 
20 Lincoln        30  8  6 16 30 47 30 
21 Northampton    30  6 11 13 25 34 29 
22 Wycombe        31  6  9 16 29 40 27 
23 Notts Co       29  6  7 16 28 44 25 
24 Macclesfield   30  5  9 16 21 39 24 

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Saturday 13th February 1999 - Division Two

Wycombe conceeded a late goal at Deepdale to lose 2-1 having seen Lawrie Sanchez been led away by two policemen after controversey clouded his first away game in charge for The Wanderers. Once famous Preston had taken an early lead through Southampton loan striker Steve Basham when Andrew Baird was blantantly tripped on route to goal after 17 minutes by Preston defender Ryan Kidd. Referee Mr David Laws of Whitley Bay awarded the penalty to Wycombe but incredibly didn't even book Kidd. John Cornforth converted the penalty to level the scores but Sanchez was incensed and after the official on the line had attracted the attention of Laws, Sanchez was escourted to the stands by the very capable hands of the Lancashire Constabulary - maybe they were still bitter about being beaten by 35 yarder from Hakan Hayrettin in 1993 and then losing in the play-off final later that season.
As expected Sanchez fielded an unchanged line-up for the visit to second placed Preston with Steve Brown and Paul McCarthy still suspended and Dave Carroll still recovering from a bad bout of flu. Preston's opener came after just 10 minutes when Keith Ryan headed lamely in front of goal straight in the path of Basham - he made no mistake but Wycombe didn't crumble. The equaliser seven minutes later was well deserved. On 24 minutes Baird nearly capitalised on a mix-up in a very shakey Preston defence before Martin Taylor saved well from Harrison. Keith Scott was rightly booked when he wiped out Cartwright on 40 minutes but two minutes later bad boy Kidd nearly looped a header over his own 'keeper. From the resulting corner Jason Cousins nearly forced the ball home as Wycombe showed more imagination from a set-piece.
Half-time 1-1
After the controversey of the first-half, the second also began in dramatic style when Keith Ryan and David Ayres clashed heads on the half-way line. Both players were flat-out for some time and although Ryan could carry on, Ayres was stretchered off. Mark Stallard replaced Cornforth during the interval and should have scored on 65 minutes when he hit the bar from close range. Referee Laws kept up his comic performance by booking Baird for following up on Preston 'keeper Lucas and he also booked Michael Simpson for complaining that Sean Gregan had just committed GBH on Baird. Wycombe were having the better chances as the three up front approach shocked the locals. It was when Wycombe seemed to settle for a point that the game was lost. Emblen replaced the tiring Baird and after a Preston corner from the left, Taylor flapped and as the ball was returned from the opposite wing the Wycombe defence were left claiming for offside as Steve Basham struck home at the far post. Even after this set-back Stallard and Emblen both had chances to level again before the comedian with the whistle ended proceedings at 4.59pm.
Final Score Preston 2 Wycombe 1
WYCOMBE TEAM:Taylor, Lawrence, Vinnicombe, Ryan, Mohan, Cousins, Kavanagh, Simpson, Baird (sub 77 Emblen), Scott, Cornforth (sub HT Stallard) Sub not used: Beeton Att:10,686
With the teams around Wycombe winning the table now looks like this
                   P  W  D  L  F  A PTS
13 Luton          28 10  8 10 38 38 38 
14 York           31  9  8 14 39 51 35 
15 Colchester     30  8 11 11 33 44 35 
16 Burnley        31  8 10 13 36 50 34 
17 Wrexham        29  9  7 13 29 44 34 
18 Bristol R      27  7 12  8 39 32 33 
19 Oldham         30  9  6 15 30 40 33 
20 Lincoln        29  7  6 16 29 47 27 
21 Northampton    29  5 11 13 24 34 26 
22 Notts Co       27  6  7 14 27 39 25 
23 Wycombe        30  5  9 16 27 40 24 
24 Macclesfield   29  5  9 15 21 37 24 

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Saturday 6th February 1999 - Division Two

Matt Lawrence - Wycombe to Fulham to Wycombe - Picture with kind permission of Paul Dennis - Tel 01622-735143Wycombe came out with flying colours against league leaders Fulham as new boss Lawrie Sanchez was thrown straight into the deep end. Sanchez took his place on the bench alongside caretaker boss Terry Evans and by the end of the game was becoming very animated as the points were shared in a 1-1 draw. A 9-0 defeat to Fulham's reserve team earlier in the week may not have had a bearing on the league game but it was still expected be men against boys. Wycombe were without the suspended Steve Brown and Paul McCarthy but Matt Lawrence (surplus to requirements at Fulham) was amongst the players returning who were out to impress the new boss.
In a hectic opening period Wycombe could have taken the lead as early as the sixth minute. Lawrence's flicked ball from the edge of the Fulham penalty area found Michael Simpson at the left corner of the six-yard box but his first time shot whistled just the wrong side of the crossbar. In front of the second biggest home gate of the season Wycombe took the lead on 25 minutes. A Jason Kavanagh cross was flapped at by Maik Taylor under pressure from Keith Scott and the instinctive Andrew Baird sweeped the ball in. Taylor in the Fulham will want to forget about Adams Park having dropped an almighty clanger when he was playing for Barnet in an FA Cup replay in 1996.
The goal brought Fulham to life. On 30 minutes Martin Taylor made an incredible double save from Paul Peschisolido after a low ball in from the Fulham right but they were level three minutes later. A dubious free-kick given away on the edge of the centre-circle was sent high to the left side of the Wycombe penalty area and Kit Symons towered in to loop a header over Taylor. Kavanagh had a half-chance to regain the lead for Wycombe a couple of minutes later when he shot from the right side but the half ended all square.
With both sides being frustrated by numerous calls for offside, chances were at a premium. Fulham's best effort came four minutes into the second-half when Dirk Lehmann hit a shot on the run straight at Martin Taylor. Baird broke away on 50 minutes but Maik Taylor blocked and Lawrence shot wide with the rebound. Wycombe showed some nice touches in midfield and despite Fulham bringing Barry Hayles for the out of touch Peschisolido, Wycombe were well worth their point. Lawrence, Scott and Cousins were all exceptional and there may be hope yet.
Final Score Wycombe 1 Fulham 1
And no mention of KK or MU - must be a record for a Fulham report this week!!
WYCOMBE TEAM:Taylor, Lawrence, Vinnicombe, Ryan, Mohan, Cousins, Kavanagh (sub 71 Stallard), Simpson, Baird, Scott, Cornforth (sub 84 Emblen) Sub not used: Wraight Att:7,538

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