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January 1999 Reports
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Sat 2nd Jan 1999 WYCOMBE v York City - Division Two
Tue 5th Jan 1999 WYCOMBE v Brentford - AutoWindscreens Second Round
Sat 9th Jan 1999 Luton Town v WYCOMBE - Division Two
Sat 16th Jan 1999 WYCOMBE v Millwall - Division Two
Sat 30th Jan 1999 Chesterfield v WYCOMBE - Division Two
Saturday 30th January 1999 - Division Two

Martyn Lee - Football League debut at Chesterfield - Picture with kind permission of Paul Dennis - Tel 01622-735143Martin Taylor performed heroics at Saltergate to keep the score down to just 2-0 as a makeshift Wycombe line-up were beaten with ease by John Duncan's uninspiring Chesterfield side. Caretaker Manager Terry Evans threw in youngster Martyn Lee for his Football League debut and he did very well in the circumstances but may have to concentrate on his diet to avoid being eaten alive by stronger sides. With six out through suspension there wasn't the greatest news before kick-off that Jermaine McSporran had to cry off with a knee injury and Dave Carroll hadn't been fit enough to travel. To make matters even worse for Wycombe fans there was proof that crazy decisions aren't just confined to WWFC Ltd when Chesterfield's equivalent's decided to keep the away terrace closed and force the terrace faithful to sit in a corner of an antiquated stand that was on par with the Loakes Park stand.. a year after it had been closed. Of course officials always have a good excuse. This time it was the fact that they were using the terrace as an 'overflow' for the vast numbers of home fans expected to claim vouchers for the forthcoming home game with Man City. Needless to say the home fans numbered less than 4,000 and the terrace remained closed and empty. With decisions like that, no wonder their average home gate is 500 less than Wycombe.
The game itself was always going to be a damage limitation exercise and after Scott saw a rare Wycombe attack end with a sorrowfully wide header on 12 minutes, Taylor began his party-piece in goal. On 18 minutes he blocked a snap shot from Steve Wilkinson but four minutes later he had no chance when Jonathan Howard slid in at the far post ahead of Wraight following a corner on the left. Eight minutes before the break Taylor made a point blank save from Mark Jules and from the resulting corner Chesterfield went close again from a overhead kick. There were ironic cheers on the hour mark when Wycombe actually contrived to have a shot - Paul Emblen seeing a 20 yarder being tipped over by Billy Mercer after Scott had laided the ball off. A couple of minutes later an Andy Baird shot from the edge of the box was held with ease by Mercer. The game was wrapped up in the 65th minute when yet another Chesterfield corner (they had 19 to Wycombe's 1) was played in from the left where Steve Wilkinson's shot was fortunate to take a deflection off one of his own players and deceive Taylor.

Final Score Chesterfield 2 Wycombe 0
WYCOMBE TEAM:Taylor, Wraight, Vinnicombe, Kavanagh, Mohan, Beeton, Lee, Brown, Baird (sub 65 Stallard), Scott (sub 87 Bullman), Emblen Sub not used: Rogers Att:4,248
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Saturday 16th January 1999 - Division Two

Stage one of the Board's gamble to sack Neil Smillie backfired as a very familiar Wycombe display left the fans shellshocked yet again following a single goal defeat to in-form Millwall. Caretaker boss Terry Evans may have done his best to fire the players up but there was little response. Evans changed the team around at bit from the the side that lost at Luton - John Cornforth replaced Paul Emblen in midfield and Chris Vinnicombe returned at the back instead of Jason Kavanagh. Steve Brown came back in after his suspension with Michael Simpson missing through a suspension of his own. The biggest surprise was Paul Read's inclusion instead of Jermaine McSporran but Read never looked up for the job.
Millwall's winner came on 79 minutes when they broke from deep in their own half past an embarrassingly slow Cornforth before substitute Neil Harris fooled Taylor off his line and Tim Cahill was left with the simple task of tapping home.
It was also another bad day on the disciplinary front with three more yellow cards (Ryan, McCarthy and Lawrence). In all fairness the game could have gone either way. Both sides had efforts ruled out for offside in the first half. Wycombe's best chance of the half fell to Steve Brown after Scott had laided the ball off with his head. Scotty had the pleasure of showing the referee a yellow card five minutes into the second-half after the official had dropped his sacred tool. Wycombe's best spell followed with Read firing over after Brown and Scott had combined. Moments later a two corner's from Wycombe ended with a Carroll shot just failing to clipped home by Brown. Millwall had a strong claim for a penalty turned down on 72 minutes for a push but the decision seemed to fire up Millwall and their supporters. The decisive goal came four minutes after Read had been replaced by McSporran. Wycombe supporters sensed there was no way back when a late first time effort by McSporran flew high over the Valley End.

Final Score Wycombe 0 Millwall 1
WYCOMBE TEAM:Taylor, Lawrence, Vinnicombe, Ryan, Cousins, McCarthy, Brown, Cornforth (sub 85 Emblen), Reid (sub 75 McSporran), Scott, Carroll Sub not used: Kavanagh Att:5,510
The Millwall result makes the table grim reading for Wycombe fans.
Bottom half of Division Two table up to and including 16th January 1999
                   P  W  D  L  F  A PTS
13 Wigan          25  9  7  9 32 26 34 
14 Blackpool      27  8 10  9 29 32 34 
15 Bristol R      25  7 10  8 36 29 31 
16 Burnley        27  7  8 12 31 45 29 
17 Wrexham        26  7  7 12 25 38 28 
18 Oldham         26  7  6 13 27 38 27 
19 Colchester     26  6  9 11 25 38 27 
20 Northampton    25  5 10 10 24 30 25 
21 Notts Co       25  6  6 13 26 37 24 
22 Wycombe        27  5  8 14 25 35 23 
23 Macclesfield   25  4  9 12 19 31 21 
24 Lincoln        25  5  5 15 25 44 20 

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Saturday 9th January 1999 - Division Two

The situation went from bad to worse at Kenilworth Road on Saturday as Wycombe had two players sent-off in another completely indisciplined performance that ended in a 3-1 defeat. With Oldham winning at Notts County, Wycombe drop to three from bottom in the table. Team news at Luton saw Wycombe without Chris Vinnicombe and Steve Brown - both serving one match suspensions for their mass of bookings while Mark Westhead continued in goal after Martin Taylor failed to recover from his hamstring injury. Andy Baird returned to the squad after an operation on a vein in his leg but all the Wycombe subs had the day off.
Luton took control of the game in the 15th minute after Paul Emblen fouled McClaren on route to goal. The ball was laid off to 19 year old Mathew Spring who saw his 20 yarder beat the Wycombe wall and end in the corner of Westhead's net. The red-card antics all kicked off five minutes before the break when Emblen was bundled down by Phil Gray in the Wycombe penalty area. Emblen and Gray tangled on the floor and Paul McCarthy came in with a hefty shoulder on Gray to break it up. Moments later McCarthy and Gray were being shown the red-card by referee Messias, another referee may have shown yellow. The decision seemed to fire up Wyocmbe momentarily but three minutes after the break Wycombe were down to nine men when Ryan brought down Stuart Douglas as he approached goal and the referee applied the rules to the letter - Ryan became Messias' 14th red card of the season! Cousins and Simspon also picked up the obligatory bookings before more controversy. On the hour Jermaine McSporran was clattered down by Luton 'keeper Kelvin Davies as he went for goal but right in front of the Wycombe fans the official only choose the yellow card. Luton killed the game off seven minutes later. It was a comedy of errors that gave Luton their second goal on 67 minutes - Sean Evers tucking the ball away after Carroll had mis-kicked in his own area. Eight minutes later Douglas fired home after a through ball from Evers and that was game-over. McSporran hit the post for Wycombe in the 80th minute before a foul on Scott gave Wycombe a penalty. Carroll put away the 88th minute spot-kick but it was another gloomy day out for Wycombe and their fans. The Board of Directors felt the same way and later that evening made the decision to relieve Neil Smillie of his duties.

Final Score Luton 3 Wycombe 1
WYCOMBE TEAM:Westhead, Lawrence, Kavanagh, Ryan, Cousins, McCarthy, Simpson, Emblen, McSporran, Scott, Carroll Subs: Baird, Wraight, Cornforth Att:5,063
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AutoWindscreens Shield WYCOMBE v BRENTFORD
Tuesday 5th January 1999 - AutoWindscreens Shield Second Round

Wycombe slumped to a 4-1 home defeat at the hands of a lively Brentford side at Adams Park. Wycombe were 4-0 down by the 51st minute as goals from Leo Fortune-West, Andy Scott (2) and Robert Quinn but the Bees into a commanding position. Keith Ryan pulled a consolation goal back for Wycombe on 58 minutes - touching in a left wing ball from Michael Simspon but it was all over bar the moaning by this stage. Simpson, Brown, Cornforth and Emblen all found their way into the referee's book as Wycombe were given the run around by the visitors.
Wycombe were without Martin Taylor (hamstring injury), Jason Cousins (flu) and Keith Scott (flu) for this tie but this was little excuse for being outclassed for most of the game. Wycombe played the fans favoured 4-4-2 formation but this proved a disaster. After seeing Steve Brown go close with a curling left-footed free-kick that was tipped onto the bar by Kevin Dearden, the shortcomings in the Wycombe defence were shown up. In the 12th minute a comical affair in front of the Wycombe goal saw Fortune-West mis-kick from a couple of yards as Wycombe cleared off the line twice. The Bees took the lead three minutes later when a floating free-kick from the right was met with a thumping header from Fortune-West. Dave Carroll saw a shot palmed over by Dearden on 20 minutes but there was little to cheer about for the upbeat crowd on a strangely warm evening at Adams Park. Wycombe hit the self destruct button in a spell 6 minutes either side of half-time when they conceeded three goals. On 39 minutes Ryan played the ball straight into the path of Andy Scott and he scored with ease from the edge of the box. Five minutes after the break a free-kick out on the Brentford left was sent into the Wycombe area and Robert Quinn clipped the ball in off the bar as Wycombe were left ball watching. A minute later it was 4-0 as Andy Scott sprinted through on the left before sliding the ball past Westhead. It was all too much for some Wycombe fans as the obligatory finger pointing started again. One thing is for certain, injuries or not, Wycombe can not afford many performances like those seen against York and Brentford without ending up in Division Three.

Final Score Wycombe 1 Brentford 4 Wycombe 1
WYCOMBE TEAM:Westhead, Lawrence, Kavanagh, Emblen, Ryan, Mohan, Simpson (sub 67 Cornforth), Brown, McSporran, Read (sub 67 McGavin), Carroll sub not used Wraight Att:2,010
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Saturday 2nd January 1999 - Division Two

On a day when Wycombe should have been playing Premier League Derby County in the FA Cup, the Wycombe fans were reminded yet again why the team are struggling at the wrong end of the table. Wycombe went into this game knowing that victory would lift them out of the bottom four for the first time this season but a 2-1 reverse was not the way to welcome in the New Year. The performance was far too lethargic and only the likes of the perennial battlers Steve Brown and Keith Ryan can come out with any credit. The decisive action all came in the second-half. On 56 minutes Wycombe should have taken the lead when Keith Scott did everything right when he forced his way through to the left bye-line. He squared perfectly for Jermaine McSporran but the new kid on the block fluffed his chance embarrasingly wide of the gaping target. Five minutes later City took the lead following a mix-up between Paul McCarthy and Martin Taylor. Both players seemed to wait for each other to clear a harmless through ball into the Wycombe area but their hesitation let in goal machine Richard Cresswell to break the deadlock. To make matters worse Taylor aggravated an injury picked up in the first half and struggled for the remainder of the game. Earlier McCarthy had hauled back Cresswell on route to goal and was lucky to only see a yellow card. McCarthy's nightmare continued in 66th minute when he was left chasing shadows on the City right. Luckily for Wycombe, Cresswell's cross was mis-hit by York No.10 Rodney Rowe at the far post. Emblen replaced Carroll shortly afterwards and Wycombe equalised on 71 minutes. McSporran was tugged back as he sprinted in from the right and Simpson's free-kick was bravely headed in by Keith Ryan on the edge of the six-yard box to give Wycombe hope. The goal should have sparked better things from Wycombe but five minutes later it was back to square-one when Scott Jordan swung in a free-kick from the City right and Barry Jones headed home at the far post, ahead of the challenge from Jason Cousins. As Wycombe fans contemplated another four months of survival struggle City should have wrapped the game up as Wycombe failed to deliver again when it mattered most.
Final Score Wycombe 1 York 2
WYCOMBE TEAM:Taylor, Lawrence, Vinnicombe, Ryan, Cousins, McCarthy, Simpson (sub 85 Read), Brown, McSporran, Scott, Carroll (sub 69 Emblen) Sub not used: Kavanagh Att:4,612
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All match reports © 1999 Chairboys on the Net - Not to be reproduced without our permission.
Unless stated Wycombe Wanderers pictures are with kind permission of Paul Dennis (LRPS)
For copies or further information he can be contacted on (+44)(0)1622-73514

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