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Bristol Rovers 1
Wycombe Wanderers 2
Tuesday 8th August 2006
Football League Two
Wanderers secured a 2-1 victory at Bristol Rovers after new boss Paul Lambert switched tactics at the half-time break. Lambert played with a five man midfield in a goalless first-half but then pushed up Kevin Betsy alongside lone striker Tommy Mooney for the second period.
The switch took just five minutes to pay-off as Betsy finished off a sublime four-man move to put Wycombe ahead on 50 minutes before a Mooney wonder strike doubled Wanderers lead nine minutes later. Rovers hit back through James Hunt on 72 minutes but Wanderers comfortably held out to make it four points out of six for the new manager as they consigned Rovers to their second defeat in four days.
The victory came after Wanderers were forced into switching to Rovers' yellow shirts and socks after referee Darren Deadman ruled that the white kit that Wycombe brought with them clashed with the home side's blue and white quarters. Meanwhile, team news saw Stephan Oakes return to the side that had drawn the opening day game at home to Wrexham. He proved his point by laying on both goals. The first on 50 minutes saw Oakes make a 40 yard cross field pass to Mooney, who then switched the ball to Matt Bloomfield. The midfielder burst into the Rovers box and skilfully evaded the challenge of Steve Elliott before cutting the ball back to Betsy, who dummied 'keeper Steve Phillips before slotting home from six yards.
The second goal nine minutes later was even better. Oakes broke up a Rovers attack by winning a challenge in his own half, before squeezing the ball down the line for Chris Palmer. Palmer advanced to the edge of the Rovers box before slipping the ball to Mooney. The Wanderers Captain switched the ball to his right foot before spotting Phillips off his line and curling the ball home from 20 yards.
Rovers did briefly threaten a comeback when James Hunt fired high into the Wycombe net after being set up by former Wycombe loanee Richard Walker. But Wycombe held out to maintain their unbeaten start to the season.
Final Score - Bristol Rovers 1 Wycombe 2
Commenting on Tommy Mooney's goal he added: "You could watch a game in any league in the world and you would not see a goal better than that. It was top class.".
At the end of the match central defenders Mike Williamson and Will Antwi stayed on the pitch arguing over who was at fault for the Rovers goal. Lambert commented: "They know when you are 2-0 up you see the game through. You donít want to do anything fancy and Iím happy if they are having a debate on the goal. I like to see that as long as it doesnít overspill. You win games together and you lose games together and they are two big players."
Commenting on the late change in playing strip, Lambert added: "That won't happen again. It was not something l was pleased about. I don't know what happened. I only knew an hour before the game that we had to wear their colours and I wasn't best pleased. Our kit is part of our identity." Football League spokesman John Nagle later confirmed that Wycombe can expect a nominal £50 fine for breaking regulation 30.7 of not having their names on their shirts.
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