|November 1998 Reports|
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Northampton 1 Wycombe 1 - Division Two - Saturday 7th Nov 1998 >>>
Wycombe 1 Man City 0 - Division Two - Tue 10th Nov 1998 >>>
Wigan 0 Wycombe 0 - Division Two - Sat 21st Nov 1998 >>>
Wycombe 0 Stoke City 1 - Division Two - Sat 28th Nov 1998 >>>
WYCOMBE v STOKE CITY
Saturday 28th November 1998 - Division Two
League leaders Stoke were made to battle hard at Adams Park and were fortunate to take all three points. The only goal of the game came in the 80th minute when a low and powerful shot from Graham Kavanagh came through a sea of players to beat Taylor. Earlier Wycombe had survived a spell of Stoke pressure to dominate the second-half with Jermaine McSporran making his full Wycombe debut. The set-back against the leaders keeps Wycombe one off the bottom of the table with the games over the holiday period being vital in the now annual fight for survival.
McSporran's inclusion in the starting line-up was the only to change to the team that drew at Wigan the previous Saturday - Andy Baird being the unlucky player left out. McSporran looked full of life on his debut but lacked support from a Wycombe midfield that came a poor second best to City. Significantly Steve Brown had a poor game, by his standards, after picking up his obligatory booking early on. Within four minutes of the kick-off City had the ball in the net after a crazy goalmouth scramble that initially saw Taylor save one-handed from Larus Sigurdson before the ball was blatantly punched over the line in frustration. The mass of Stoke fans at the opposite end took an hilarious full minute to realise the official had spotted the handball. Wycombe survived the early scares and saw a Vinnicombe effort blocked on 14 minutes after McSporran had won a corner on the right - Mohan's follow-up header was saved. On 25 minutes former Stoke non-hero Keith Scott was held on the left edge of the box and from the subsequent free-kick Michael Simpson saw Curl Muggleton dive full length to palm the ball wide.
The second-half saw Wycombe attack the Valley End but it was an afternoon of frustration for the Wycombe faithful in a 6,000 plus crowd. Wycombe forced several corners through the determination of McSporran but time and time again they were wasted. One corner on the right from Simpson, however, did get through on 56 minutes but Matt Lawrence's header was deflected over by the highly organised Stoke defence. Stoke's winner came after Wycombe born Kevin Keen threaded the ball through from the right side of midfield and as Scott failed to clear efficiently, Kavanagh struck home. Wycombe made a token effort to reply with Paul Emblen seeing a spectatular overhead go close and four minutes from time the same player connected with a Simpson free-kick but Stoke had bodies in the way again.
Wycombe won't come up against many better defences this season but the worrying factor is the lack of goals. Wycombe have now gone nearly four hours without scoring a league goal and no other club in Division Two have scored fewer goals this season. Wycombe fans can only hope that the likes of McSporran, Baird and Scott begin to gel while the return of McGavin, Ryan and Stallard is patiently awaited.
Full-Time Wycombe 0 Stoke City 1
WYCOMBE TEAM:Taylor, Lawrence, Vinnicombe (sub 87 Bulman), Cousins, McCarthy, Mohan, Simpson, Brown, McSporran, Scott, Emblen subs not used Carroll and Beeton Att:6,023
WIGAN ATHLETIC v WYCOMBE
Saturday 21st November 1998 - Division Two
Wycombe could have taken all three points on possibly their last ever visit to Springfield Park. Michael Simpson failed to convert a first-half penalty and the new boy wonder, Jermaine McSporran, saw a low shot nearly creep in after he had come on during the second-half. Wigan, who will be moving to a new stadium next season, dominated the first half but ran out of ideas as Wycombe threatened to grab their first ever win at Sprinfield Park. Keith Scott also missed a chance in the dying minutes after another sensational run by McSporran. On this showing McSporran will be hoping to make the starting line-up for next week's clash with league leaders Stoke City. The result at Wigan sees Wycombe drop back a place in the table but with just one defeat in eigth, it's Wycombe who are the form team of the struggling pack.
Wycombe's glorious chance to take the lead at Springfield Park came after Andrew Baird was tripped by Carl Bradshaw on the edge of the area deep into first-half stoppage time. It was a controversial decision and Wigan 'keeper Roy Carroll entered into some gamesmanship by fiddling with the new yellow ball prior to Simpson's effort. Simpson crashed the effort against the bar and the chance had gone. Earlier in the half, Wigan had seen efforts from Bradshaw and Paul Rodgers go close but it was mainly dire stuff. On 34 minutes there was a near disaster in the Wycombe area as Cousins and Taylor clashed trying to clear the ball. Taylor recovered well to push away David Lowe's shot but Cousins needed treatment - prior to the game he had been ill at the team's overnight hotel. In a hectic final ten minutes of the first-half Dave Carroll was introduced after Paul Emblen picked up a knock and it was Carroll who threaded the ball through for Baird leading to the penalty incident.
Wycombe looked a different side in the second-half as Wigan faded. On 52 minutes Scott held the ball up well before supplying Dave Carroll but his cross field ball couldn't find a Wycombe player. McSporran's introduction on the hour mark sparked another spell of Wycombe pressure. Within a couple of minutes his pace had taken him through to goal but his shot was saved. McSporran's speed proved too hot to handle for Wigan's 34 year old defender Colin Greenall as he clattered down the youngster in full view of the referee. He picked up a deserved yellow card and Steve Brown also added a booking to his collection for declaring his views on the assault. On 71 minutes McSporran was back again as he weaved through beating two defenders but Roy Carroll led a charmed life in the Wigan goal as he saved the low shot with his trailing leg. Jason Cousins got himself booked for good measure before Wycombe had another great opportunity to take the points. Again it was McSporran who was involved before he sent the ball across to Scott but Roy Carroll did enough to pressure Scotty into putting the ball over the bar with just two minutes left.
Full-Time Wigan 0 Wycombe 0
WYCOMBE TEAM:Taylor, Lawrence, Vinnicombe, Cousins, McCarthy, Mohan, Simpson, Brown, Baird (sub 61 McSporran), Scott, Emblen (sub 34 Carroll) sub not used Wraight Att:3,349
WYCOMBE v CHESTERFIELD
Saturday 14th November 1998 - FA Cup First Round
Details via this link
WYCOMBE v MANCHESTER CITY
Tuesday 10th November 1998 - Division Two
Noel Gallagher, Liam Gallagher, Goldie! Your boys took one hell of a beating! Well not quite but Wycombe claimed the three points and inched another rung up the table in a memorable night at Adams Park. The entertainment on the pitch wasn't up to the standard of the Reading game but with a near capacity gate and the Oasis boys outside the Woodlands Bar adding to the atmosphere, there was plenty to shout about. Wycombe won the game thanks to a penalty smacked home by Michael Simpson in the 34th minute after Andrew Baird had been felled in the box. A combination of poor finishing plus Martin Taylor being on his best form kept City out with Wycombe finishing in confident mood. Jermaine McSporran made his home debut when he replaced Baird in the second-half and his lightning pace thrilled the crowd.
Traffic problems in the High Wycombe area coupled with the large crowd caused the kick-off to be delayed fifteen minutes until 8.00pm. It made for a rather strange atmosphere, with supporters still arriving well into the game. Wycombe had a slow start on the pitch too. On 3 minutes Jason Cousins, returning after suspension, took out ex-Rotherham and Bristol City forward Shaun Goater as he powered towards the Wycombe goal. Taylor managed to push away the free-kick and the ball was eventually scrambled clear for a corner. Wycombe relyed on break-aways for the chance to catch City out. On 16 minutes Paul Emblen attempted an overhead kick from a left wing cross while after 25 minutes Steve Brown saw a dipping half-volley fly just over the City bar. Wycombe's goal came after another quick break down the left side. Simpson hit the penalty with venom and Wycombe were on their away as the atmosphere lifted. It was complete determination that won Wycombe the game from there on plus the fact that the City forwards has a strange obsession with shooting into the industrial estate. McSporran came on for Baird for the last fifteen minutes and very nearly scored with his first touch as he nipped in with a header at the near post. The injection of fresh legs up front for Wycombe by Smillie was enough to keep City at bay. Dave Carroll was introduced for his 500th first team appearance for Wycombe in the closing moments and the final whistle a few minutes later was greeted with a massive cheer by the home fans - City fans had seen it all before.
Full-Time Wycombe 1 Man City 0
WYCOMBE TEAM:Taylor, Lawrence, Vinnicombe, Cousins, McCarthy, Mohan, Simpson, Brown (sub 87 Carroll), Baird (sub 73 McSporran), Scott, Emblen sub not used Beeton Official Att:8,129 Actual Att:10,000+
NORTHAMPTON v WYCOMBE
Saturday 7th November 1998 - Division Two
Wycombe clawed back a point at Sixfields after falling behind to a first minute penalty. The point sees Wycombe off the bottom of the table for the first time this season by virtue of a better goal difference than Lincoln City. New signing Jermaine McSporran made his Football League debut for Wycombe in the second-half and the pacey youngster showed enough to suggest that he will feature in Wycombe's fight for survival.
Northampton's dream start came after local hero David Seal fell over Martin Taylor's arms as he ran away from the left side of goal. Wycombe protested but Carlo Corazzin slammed home the penalty just left of centre. That decision was a sign of more bizzare things to come from referee Mr Bennett. Two minutes later he missed a blatant handball at the other end while other decisions seemed to be decided at random. After the early set-back Wycombe struggled to fine their own men on a surprisingly bumpey surface. On 13 minutes Taylor tipped over an effort by Seal and he blocked well from the resulting corner as Wycombe's defence was at 6's and 7's. The local boo-boys showed their imense originalty by still claiming that Steve Brown is a 'Cobbers reject' but he nearly had the last laugh when he headed just over from Simpson's cross after 16 minutes. Wycombe started to come more into the game as the half progressed. A break from Emblen came to nothing after 25 minutes and Scott saw a lame shot deflected wide on 35. It was the unlikely face of Nicky Mohan who struck eight minute before the break to level the scores as his low shot beat Andy Woodman in the Cobblers goal. The goal came after Gary Wraight, playing his best game to date in a Wycombe shirt, won a corner on the right. Simpson's corner was half-cleared, Vinnicombe returned the ball in and Scott's lay-off header fell nicely for Mohan to make amends for his sending-off last week. Mohan and 'Brownie' seemed to enjoy the celebrations in front of the noisey Wycombe contingent. The equaliser set-up a tight remainder with Wycombe having the better chances as the temperature dropped rapidly. One minute into the second-half Scott put in a sensible low cross from the left but Baird couldn't connect and just after the hour mark Nicky Mohan nearly went into dreamland when he saw a glorious opportunity to score wasted following a low ball in from the right. McSporran's debut was greeted with loud cheers by the Wycombe faithful who outsung the home fans for the majority of the game. But it was another youngster who nearly stole the headlines when Gary Wraight's pile driver with nine minutes left nearly crept in. The points were there for the taking for either side but it was Wycombe who can be happy that the climb up the table has begun.
Full-Time Northampton 1 Wycombe 1
WYCOMBE TEAM:Taylor, Wraight, Vinnicombe, Lawrence, McCarthy, Mohan, Simpson, Brown, Baird (sub 68 McSporran), Scott, Emblen subs not used Carroll and Beeton Att:6,248
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