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Stoke City 0
Saturday 9th March 2002
Football League Division Two
A Jermaine McSporran goal seven minutes from time was enough to reward Wycombe with a throughly deserved victory over promotion chasing Stoke City at Adams Park on Saturday. Wycombe had never scored or even take a point off of Stoke City in three previous attempts at Adams Park and McSporran's goal ended a goal drought that had lasted seven and half hours.
Jocky is under there somewhere Before the game Wycombe were once again hit with injury problems. On loan centre-half David Tuttle was out with a groin strain and Paul Emblen is understood to have failed a late fitness test. Those changes saw Keith Ryan fill in again in defence while McSporran was given his first start for three games. It was decision that paid off and with a bit more luck, Jocky could have had a hat-trick.
Wanderers winning goal came after a superb piece of skill by Darren Currie in midfield. The ex-Barnet man then found Steve Brown out on the left wing who crossed low for McSporran to steer home from within the six yard box. The goal was seen by many as justice for a cynical foul by Stoke City Neil Cutler on Dannie Bulman in the 69th minute. Cutler can count himself lucky not to have seen red in game that saw referee Knight show eight yellow cards.
For Wycombe the hopes of reaching the play-offs may have gone but this result was just the tonic to lift the recent gloom and end the longest goal drought since Sanchez's arrival three years ago.
The game was played in wind-tunnel like conditions. Wanderers were assisted by the gale as they kicked towards the Hillbottom Road end during the first-half and on 12 minutes forced three corners in quick succession. From the first, Ryan almost converted Simpson's delivery from the right while a few minutes later only Brown's bizarre deflection prevented Ryan's shot from hitting the target.
Stoke, so strong on previous visits to Adams Park, were very disappointing. Arnar Gunnlaugsson's samp shot on 26 minutes was their first serious effort at goal but Martin Taylor had no problems in collecting. Clive Clarke's low cross from the left on 29 minutes also caused panic in the Wycombe defence and Danny Senda was in the right place to clear Deon Burton's close range shot at the far post from the resulting corner.
McSporran first showed on 31 minutes when he went close with a half-volley from the left side and three minutes before the break Simpson had more time than he thought after a lobbed through ball. McSporran then went close at the far post as Wycombe finished the half well on top.
Half-time 0-0
Wycombe continued to the pepper the Stoke goal during the second period. On 55 minutes Bulman swung the ball out to Brown on the left and the move culminated with Vinnicombe's cross being flicked into the 'keepers arms by McSporran.
A stinging shot by Brown on 57 minutes was well held by Cutler but the Stoke 'keeper was grateful two minutes later when McSporran failed to get good contact on Devine's cross from the right. Brynjar Gunnarson was booked for a foul on McSporran on 67 minutes and 'Jocky' can think himself fortunate that the officials didn't see his instinctive lash-out at the City player.
You lucky, lucky b******Two minutes later Cutler was the lucky player when he took out Bulman out en-route to goal. Devine stuck the loose ball into the net from a narrow angle but the whistle had already gone. Most were expecting a red card to be shown, including Stoke boss Gudjon Thordarson who immediately had his reserve 'keeper warming up. Cutler survived and it really looked like Wycombe would never score.
McSporran went close again from the left on 73 minutes and Simpson's flick almost brought a result on 80 minutes after Currie had played the ball through. At the other Currie was glad to see Martin Taylor in top form when his back header was picked up by Burton only for Taylor to perform his usual heriocs. However, a minute later McSporran's goal gave Wycombe their deserved reward and the margin could have been extended with further efforts from the same player.
Final Score Wycombe 1 Stoke City 0
Wycombe: Taylor, Vinnicombe, Ryan, Senda, Rogers, Simpson, Currie, Bulman, Brown, Devine (sub 87 Roberts), McSporran - subs not used Townsend, Lee, Leach, Holligan
Yellow Cards: Brown (foul 32), Simpson (foul 57), Vinnicombe (foul 91)
Stoke City: Cutler, Thomas, Flynn, Gunnarsson, Clarke, Gudjonsson, O'Connor, Gunnlaugsson (sub 72 Cooke [sub 78 Goodfellow]), Vandeurzen, Burton, Iwelumo (sub 72 Thordarson) - subs not used Rowson, Viander
Yellow Cards: Gudjonsson (foul 24), Thomas (foul 37), Vandeurzen (foul 45), Gunnarsson (foul 67), Cutler (foul 69)
Referee: B Knight (Kent) Att: 7,344 (Stoke 1464)
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