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Huddersfield Town 4
Tuesday 12th March 2002
Football League Division Two
Lawrie Sanchez described football as a cruel game after seeing his side beaten with two stoppage time goals at Adams Park on Tuesday evening. Wanderers had fought back from two goals down to draw level with just five minutes remaining but were then hit with two sucker punches.
Wycombe were unchanged from the side that had beaten Stoke City the previous Saturday but after having the better of the opening exchanges, saw on loan Chelsea striker Leon Knight give the visitors the lead in the 28th minute. Nine minutes later it it was 2-0 nine when Kevin Gray headed home from Delroy Facey's ball in from the right.
Wanderers regrouped after the break and hit back on 51 minutes when Danny Senda's looping cross from the right eventually found its way to Steve Brown who drilled the ball home, albeit with a slight deflection on the way. The equaliser came direct from a Darren Currie corner delivered from the left that squeezed through a huddle of players and into the far corner.
However, the fight-back proved fruitless as the visitors stole the points when Knight struck home from a suspiciously looking offside position. Then in the second minute of stoppage time Kenny Irons curled a free-kick over the Wycombe wall and past Martin Taylor after Chris Vinnicombe had been adjudged to have fouled John Thorrington.
Wycombe will count themselves unlucky to have lost to such late goals but it was a nightmare period of defending shortly before the break that proved costly in the end. Wanderers had begun the game in their well known style of attacking from the first whistle. Within 30 seconds Jermaine McSporran got clear down the right flank and may have scored on a better day. Wycombe's other clear opening in the early stages of the game came when Vinnicombe sent over a free-kick from the left that Ryan got his head to before Sean Devine and then Michael Simpson couldn't take advantage of the loose ball.
However, The Terriers always looked dangerous on the break with Knight the main thorn in Wycombe's side. The diminutive striker caused all sorts of problems for Danny Senda on the Wycombe right and it wasn't helped by the able assitance from Thorrington. It was Thorrington who helped the ball through to Knight for the first goal on 28 minutes, his pass from the right side of the penalty area finding the Chelsea youngster who saw Taylor save the initial shot but he made no mistake with the rebound.
Wycombe simply went to pieces after conceeding. Two minutes later it could have been 2-0 after the visitors cut in from their right flank and only Senda's clearance at the far post prevented Delroy Facey from scoring.
The visitors did make it 2-0 on 37 minutes when another raid down the right saw the Wycombe defence all at sea again and after several attempts to clear it was Gray who headed past Taylor after Facey had delivered the final ball.
A sliced clearance by Mark Rogers on the stroke of half-time gave Facey a ckear sight of goal but the crossbasr came to Wycombe's rescue after the shot dipped over Taylor. Seconds later Danny Schofield skipped past Senda and really should have scored despite the relatively narrow angle from the visitors left.
Half-time Wycombe 0 Huddersfield 2
With nothing to lose, Wycombe came out all guns blazing in the second-half. Just three minutes in Rogers' high ball in from the right was met with a powerful header by Brown but the effort flashed just wide of the near post. However, Brown was on target in the 51st minute and it gave Wycombe hope of better things to come as the obligatory rain at Adams Park started to fall.
Devine was just inches away from nestling a powerful left footed drive into the top corner on 56 minutes after he had manoeuvred in from the left side of midfield.
The game then developed into an end-to-end affair with the visitors having a penalty claim waved away on 67 minutes while two minutes later at the other end, Simpson's free-kick from the left saw Keith Ryan mis-kick in front of goal as he tried to swivel with his back to goal.
Stuart Roberts was introduced for the Brown on 78 minutes as Wycombe made a final push for an equaliser. Simpson's cross from the left saw Martyn Margetson punch wide at the far post as Wanderers forced a number of corners. Dannie Bulman saw a piledriver blocked on 85 minutes before two further corners on the left. Currie's first effort was headed away at the near post but the second threaded its way through and went straight in at the far post. Currie celebrated in style from his corner flag position and claims over the PA that it was Rogers' goal were laughed off by Wycombe fans nearer to the goal.
With two minutes of normal time remaining Devine almost snatched a dramatic winner as he cut in again from the left following Currie's quick throw-in. A minute later Taylor saved from Thorrington as the game looked to be heading for a draw. Then tragedy struck as Knight scored from what looked like an offside position. Irons' free-kick in the 92nd minute made a mockery of a final score-line that could quite easily have gone Wycombe's way.
Final Score Wycombe 2 Huddersfield 4
Wycombe: - Taylor, Vinnicombe, Rogers, Senda, Ryan, Currie, Bulman, Brown (sub 78 Roberts), Simpson, Devine, McSporran - subs not used Townsend, Lee, Leach, Holligan
Yellow Cards: Vinnicombe (foul 15), Devine (dissent 54)
Huddersfield: Margetson, Jenkins, Clarke, Gray, Evans (sub 81 Heary), Thorrington, Irons, Holland, Schofield, Facey, Knight - subs not used Wijnhard, Hay, Moses, Senior
Yellow Cards: Evans (foul 29), Knight (foul 76)
Referee: R Beeby (Northants) Att: 5546 (Huddersfield 401)
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