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Sat 3rd May 1997 - WYCOMBE 2 Bristol City 0 - Division Two
Saturday 3rd May 1997
Football League Division Two
WYCOMBE 2 BRISTOL CITY 0
Wycombe had a relatively easy victory in the last game of the 1996/97 season against play-off side Bristol City. Spectactular first half goals from Dave Carroll and Steve McGavin set up a relaxing party atmosphere as the days of Alan Smith were left long behind. Only a harsh 67th minute Jason Cousins dismissal soured the day for the Wanderers. The players and staff took a deserved lap of honour after the final whistle as, for once, the sun shone down on Adams Park.
With safety guaranteed for Wycombe and City already in the play-offs the atmosphere preceeding this game was highly jovial. The City fans in the away sections were awash with red and white while there was a sprinkling of yellow and blue amongst the Wycombe fans as the first sales of the quartered 2nd strip went on sale. As expected Mickey Bell picked up all the awards for player of the season before the game but speculation is high that he has played his last game for the Club. Keith Scott, meanwhile, continued his marvelous battling form in front of goal and must be high on Gregory's wanted list in the summer. The return of Scott on loan from Norwich has been a significant factor in ensuring the Wanderers safety and his effinity with the fans is second to none.
Wycombe, attacking the 'away' end in the first half had their first sight of goal after 7 minutes when Bell squared to Brown but his shot went high of the City crossbar. A minute earlier City had their first chance when Gary Owers pulled a chance wide Parkin's right hand post. Keith Scott came closest to breaking the deadlock on 16 minutes when he connected with a deep left wing ball from Bell, but Keith Welch in the City goal managed to palm the ball over as Scott's downheader bounced up. Mark Stallard was also gifted a golden opportunity on 22 minutes but he delayed as he found himself clear on goal and Cousins was called offside as he tried to salvage the move. Wycombe evetually took the lead on 24 minutes following another extraordinary goal from Dave CARROLL - the mesia picking up play on the right side of midfield before looking up, weaving forward and then floating a curling ball that nestled perfectly in the opposite top corner of the City net - superb! City rarely threatened ex-Bristol Rovers 'keeper Brian Parkin, Martin Kuhl coming the closest to an equaliser 3 minutes before the break but Parkin waved the hopeful chance from outside the box wide. Wycombe's second goal came in first half injury time after a thrown-in on the left deep in the City half. Steve McGAVIN gained possession and in a near mirror image of Carroll's strike placed his shot in the top right corner of Welch's net - double superb!!.
Half-time Wycombe 2 City 0
Paul Read replaced McGavin shortly into the second-half as Wycombe, for once, looked remarkably comfortable at the back. Scott went close again on 62 minutes when he turned neatly on the left corner of the City penalty area but the game was slightly spoilt 5 minutes later when Jason Cousins was shown the red card for a second bookable offence. The decision from Mr Cain came after a tussle with City sub Gregory Goodridge who had only been on the pitch for a couple of minutes. The City player seemed to make a meal of it and Cousin's brother-in-law Scott kindly offered his opinion to the officials and City players and was promptly booked. As the atmosphere heated up, Scott went on a blistering run down the left that ended with a hard and low cross that Paul Read came within a fraction of sliding home. Meanwhile at the other end City fans were giving Parkin a hard time with chants of "Stand up if you hate Parkin" - the Valley End responded with "Sit down if you love Rovers" - this is what football is all about. Goodridge, booed by the Wycombe fans every time he got the near ball, very nearly got the last laugh on the stroke of full-time as he waltzed in from the left and placed a shot in the top corner....of the stand. Cue the donkey chants and much sniggering from the Wycombe fans.
So Wycombe finish in 18th place - three places clear of the relegation zone - quite easy in the end really.
Full-time Wycombe 2 City 0
WYCOMBE TEAM: Parkin, Cousins, Bell, Kavanagh, McCarthy, Forsyth, Carroll, Scott (sub 89 Simpson), Stallard, McGavin (sub 54 Read), Brown (sub 63 Evans) Read) Att:7,240
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