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Crawley Town 3 Wycombe Wanderers - click here for your Rough Guide to The Chairboys
Wycombe Wanderers 2
Tuesday 24th July 2001
Pre-Season Friendly
Gavin Holligan scored twice for Wycombe at Crawley - picture Paul LewisTriallist Gavin Holligan scored twice as Wycombe went down 3-2 at Crawley Town in the Wanderers' second pre-season friendly. The 20 year old striker who was released by West Ham at the end of last season fired Wycombe into a 2-0 lead but the home side hit back to defeat an inexperienced Wanderers line-up.
Another triallist Michael Gilkes also played but the former Reading midfielder failed to impress. Youth Teamer Ian Simpemba made his First Team debut, playing initially in the centre of defence before pushing forward to midfield. Darren Currie was introduced for the final 30 minutes and again showed that he could be the player to watch this season.
Holligan, took just three minutes to make an impact at Crawley's tidy Broadfield Stadium, picking up on a through ball before tucking the ball home from a narrow angle on the left. The ex-Hammers striker was playing alongside Leeyon Phelan up front and it was Phelan who nearly made the score 2-0 in the 10th minute when he saw a close range header blocked by the feet of Crawley 'keeper Andy Little.
Both sides looked suspect on the break and on 17 minutes Mark Rogers had to be alert to head off his own goal-line to prevent Warren Waugh's effort levelling the scores. However, ten minutes later Wycombe doubled their lead when Holligan slotted the ball home from the right side of the Crawley penalty area after more poor defending.
The home side were given a lifeline back into the game in the 30th minute when Wycombe gave the ball away in midfield - Waugh taking advantage to steer the ball around the advancing Mark Osborn and to score despite the desperate attempt of Roger Johnson to keep the ball out.
A neat through ball from Paul Emblen to Phelan on the stroke of half-time forced home 'keeper Little to rush of his line and handle outside of his area. The officials turned a blind eye to the red card offence before Emblen struck the bar from the resulting free-kick.
Half-time Crawley 1 Wycombe 2
Chris Vinnicombe was withdrawn at half-time after picking up a knock and his replacement, Steve Brown, came closest to extending Wycombe's lead on 60 minutes with a rasping low shot that went just inches wide of the right-hand upright.
Crawley's triple substitution a minute later eventually swung the game in their favour while new signing Darren Currie was also introduced for Wycombe. The ex-Barnet man took a while to settle and before he got seriously involved, Wycombe had fallen behind.
First in the 64th minute Keith Sharman headed back across the face of the Wycombe goal for Clinton Moore to score and six minutes later Moore crossed for Nigel Brake to convert.
Moore also saw a shot spectacularly tipped over by Osborn before a strong finish by Wycombe. With less than ten minutes remaining there were loud appeals for a penalty when a Crawley player practically caught the ball following a Wycombe cross from the right. Those claims fell on deaf ears as did another claim from the resulting corner.
Currie showed the Wycombe fans in attendance that he can play a bit down the left flank when his injury time cross from the bye-line ended with Phelan heading just wide at the far post.
Wanderers now move onto Dublin for games against Shelbourne (Friday 27th July) and Bohemian (Sunday 29th July).
Final Score Crawley Town 3 Wycombe 2
Wycombe: Osborn, Townsend, Rogers, Johnson, Vinnicombe (sub HT Brown), Simpemba (sub 72 Senda), Castledine, Emblen (sub 61 Currie), Gilkes, Holligan, Phelan
subs not used: Simpson, Bulman, Cousins, McCarthy, Carroll, Williams
Crawley: Little, Holmes (sub 61 Wordsworth), Payne, Sharman (sub 87 Doherty), Ugbah, Brake, Sargent (sub 61 Moore), Anderson, Bagnall (sub 54 Huggins), Waugh (sub 61 Westgate), Dack (sub 89 Sargent returned)
sub not used: Gannon
Referee: Steve Tomlinson Attendance: 804 (approx 100 Wycombe)
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