|WANDERERS 2005/6 FIXTURES
The annual dissection of the fixture list took place just after 10am on Thursday (23rd June) with Wanderers being dealt a home game as an opener for the third season running. Conference play-off winners Carlisle United travel to Wycombe on Saturday 6th August with memories immediately evoked of Wanderers first ever Football League fixture at the start of the 1993/94 season up at Brunton Park. Wanderers drew 2-2 that day and then went on to famously gain promotion via a play-off final at Wembley.
John Gorman, who spent six years as a player with Carlisle back in the early 1970's commented to the press, "It's a tough start but every game is going to be tough. People have made us second favourites in this league but that doesn't mean a thing. Every point has got to be played for. No one gives you respect. We found out last season that playing Cambridge was just as tough as playing Yeovil." Wanderers are just behind Northampton Town in the view of the bookies as the side who will take the title come next May and Carlisle United boss Paul Simpson also reckons it will be tough start for his side. He said "If you look around League Two, and look for teams that are really throwing cash in to their squad, then Wycombe are the ones who catch your eye. They have been very active in signing players so it will be good to get a test like that under our belts."
Carlisle United - Quick Guide - new for season 2005/6
Wanderers' season continues the following Tuesday (9th August) with the third longest trip of the season with the journey north to take on Rochdale. Then on Saturday 13th August it's off to the Kassam Stadium for the shortest trip of the campaign to play Oxford United where new signing Tommy Mooney is set up to face his former Club.
Clubs have ten days after the fixture list has been published to request changes. This is usually asking for some Tuesday games to be moved to Wednesday or Saturday's to Friday's. Complications are also created by England and Wales World Cup qualifying games. This means the home game with Northampton Town on Saturday 3rd September that clashes with the Wales v England at the Millenium Stadium and the away game at Grimsby Town on Saturday 8th October, which is on the same day as the England v Austria game at Old Trafford, will be subject to change. (* see below)
Elsewhere, there is not much joy in the fixture list for the 'groundhopping' element amongst the Wycombe support. For the first time since joining the Football League in the 1993/94 season Wanderers will not be visiting any grounds that they have not played at prior to the 2005/6 League programme. However, the home game with Barnet on Saturday 17th September and the return at Underhill on Saturday 21st January will be the first ever Football League meetings between the two sides.
A summary of the holiday fixtures has Wanderers at home to Cheltenham Town on Monday 29th August. While with Christmas Day and New Years Day falling on a Sunday the festive programme has Wanderers scheduled to travel to Torquay United on Boxing Day (Monday 26th December) and then entertaining Leyton Orient on Wednesday 28th December. The fixture with the O's had originally been pencilled in for holiday Tuesday (27th December) but Clubs have been allowed to move the fixture to the following day with an evening kick-off. The trip to Torquay, on a day where there is no public transport, will be Wanderers sixth longest of the season. Games are then scheduled for Saturday 31st December away to Bristol Rovers and at home to Macclesfield Town on holiday Monday 2nd January. The remaining holiday fixtures will see a Easter Monday (12th April) home game with Lincoln City. The final game of the season is away to Peterborough United on Saturday 6th May. The season ends a week prior to the 'Championship' due to the World Cup Finals in Germany.
(*) Since this article was published the Northampton game has been moved to Friday 2nd September, while the away meeting at Grimsby Town will be Friday 7th October. Both games will kick-off at 7.45pm. The change to the Grimsby game now means that three out of the six longest journies of the season for Wycombe are taking place midweek.
See BBC Sport Online for full Wycombe Wanderers fixture list 2005/6
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