|October 1998 Reports|
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Sat 3rd Oct 1998 - Wycombe 1 Notts County 1 - Division Two
Sat 10th Oct 1998 - Gillingham 3 Wycombe 0 - Division Two
Sat 17th Sep 1998 - Wycombe 3 Macclesfield 0 - Division Two
Tues 20th Oct 1998 - Wycombe 3 Wrexham 0 - Division Two
Sat 24th Oct 1998 - Oldham 0 Wycombe 0 - Division Two
Sat 31st Oct 1998 - Wycombe 2 Reading 3 - Division Two
WYCOMBE v READING
Saturday 31st October 1998 - Division Two
After falling to two early sucker punches from Reading, Wycombe just failed to haul back the deficit and take a deserved point against their Royal neighbours. Wycombe were two-nil down within the opening nine minutes - both goals coming from doubtful free-kicks but both due to amateurish defending from The Wanderers. Wycombe grabbed a goal back before the break through Matt Lawrence and with the large Reading contingent silenced, Wycombe battled forward for an equaliser. However, the risks taken at the back cost Wycombe the game as peroxide wide boy Martin Williams headed home to restore Reading's two goal lead. A grand finale was set up by Jason Cousins as he powered in a superb header with ten minutes left but Wycombe ran out of time.
Conditions were appalling for the second week running as the heavy and persistant rain made slide tackling the order of the day. Unfortunately it was those sort of challenges that were to prove costly for Wycombe with a referee who gave no allowances for the conditions. Alan Beeton, returning to the starting line-up for the first time since the 3-0 defeat at Gillingham, conceeded out on the Reading right after two minutes and Darren Caskey's free-kick was headed in by Grant Brebner. Seven minutes later a near carbon copy incident lead to Reading's second goal. This time the ball was partially headed clear but Williams return saw Brebner head home again ahead of Beeton's challenge. Despite the set-backs Wycombe dominated up to half-time. Keith Scott added to his ever growing list of missed sitters after he contrived to shot over from a couple of yards following Matt Lawrence's cross. Two minutes later he missed a more difficult chance - sliding in but not getting enough on another right wing ball. Wycombe's first goal came from their first corner on 32 minutes minutes. Simpson swung the ball in from the left and Lawrence's downward header crept through the hands and between the legs of Reading 'keeper Scott Howie. The goal gave Wycombe hope and Steve Brown nearly capitilised on a Reading lapse when he challenged Howie for a 50/50 ball just before the break. Unfortunately referee Wilkes didn't appove of the challenge.
A rare effort by Reading on 52 minutes nearly caught Wycombe out on the break - Paul Brayson's specultive effort being slapped around the post by Martin Taylor. Wycombe should have been level after 67 minutes. Scotty found himself through on goal but after scoring from a similar position against Wrexham, this time he was denied by Howie although Andy Bernal appeared to have sympathy by nearly turning the rebound into his own net. The clichè 'that miss proved costly' came into its own four minutes later when Bernal's cross from the right was headed home by an unmarked Williams. Two goals down again was always going to be difficult but the introduction of Dannie Bulman for the hugely disappointing Read sparked Wycombe again. With ten minutes remaining Jason Cousins rose brilliantly on the edge of the six-yard box to power in a curling free-kick from Steve Brown. It set up an exciting finish but the clock wasn't on Wycombe's side and the early mistakes proved costly. Nicky Mohan's frustration got the better of him in the dying moments when his marginally mis-timed challenge on Brebner saw a second yellow card.
Full-Time Wycombe 2 Reading 3
WYCOMBE TEAM:Taylor, Lawrence, Vinnicombe, Beeton (sub 73 Bulman), Cousins, Mohan, Simpson, Brown, Read (sub 87 Robson), Scott, Emblen sub not used Carroll Att:6,373 (yet again it looked a lot more - was there really room for another 3,700?)
OLDHAM v WYCOMBE
Saturday 24th October 1998 - Division Two
Wycombe came away from Boundary Park with a precious point after battling through 90 minutes of abysmal Manchester style weather - the game finishing goalless. Wycombe's planned stop at a hotel the night previous had also been a wash-out due to the floods and alternative lodgings had to be found near Rochdale. The squad that arrived at Oldham was the bare-bones of the Wycombe squad with just fifteen fit players travelling and the suspended Michael Simpson and Paul Emblen left at home. That made Neil Smillie's team selection easy with loan player Mark Robson making his first start in a Wycombe shirt and Paul Read brought in to play alongside Keith Scott up front.
Robson's game improved as the game went on but Read struggled in the difficult conditions. Wycombe nearly got off to flyer when John Cornforth saw a lofted effort tipped over after just 5 minutes but chances were rare. Oldham saw former Bolton forward John McGinlay go close on 31 minutes when McCarthy and Taylor got in a mess. McGinlay was one of four new faces for Oldham whose own personal crisis has seen them go eight games without a win. Scotty very nearly struck gold five minutes before the break but he finished poorly after good work from Brown and Lawrence. The Wycombe fans were amused at half-time by the news that Colchester, who had been winning 3-1 against Bournemouth, had seen their game abandoned at Layer Road. With that tragic news still on their minds, most Wycombe fans had settled for a point and it was only going to be a mistake that would cost Wycombe the game. It didn't help that Martin Taylor had one of those games where every cross seemed to need a second attempt to catch. An evil deflected cross nearly brought an Oldham goal on 73 minutes and two minutes later Taylor struggled at a free-kick following a Cousins foul. Taylor survived, though, to go three games without conceeding. Dave Carroll returned for the last twenty minutes to make his 499th first team appearance for Wycombe while Dannie Bulman replaced Read near the end as Wycombe held-on.
Full-Time Oldham 0 Wycombe 0
WYCOMBE TEAM:Taylor, Lawrence, Vinnicombe, McCarthy, Cousins, Mohan, Robson (sub 65 Carroll), Cornforth, Brown, Read (sub 85 Bulman), Scott sub not used Beeton Att;4,337
WYCOMBE v WREXHAM
Tuesday 20th October 1998 - Division Two
Wycombe stormed to victory against Wrexham at Adams Park on Tuesday evening with another three-nil success on the back of Saturday's cruise against Macclesfield. Results elsewhere still mean Wycombe are bottom of the table but the gap is closing fast and victory at fellow strugglers Oldham next Saturday will start the climb up.
Wycombe powered into Wrexham right from the off. After just 7 minutes a high free-kick from the left wing saw Keith Scott head home at the far post to give Wycombe the lead - just like the good old days. Wycombe survived a scare on eleven minutes when a goalmouth scramble ended with Taylor gratefully clutching the ball but dodgy travellers Wrexham rarely threatened. Andy Baird was replaced by Paul Read just before the half-hour mark as his recent injuries caught up with him. Shortly afterwards Steve Brown saw a looping shot dip narrowly over the bar while Read and Scott went close as the chances finally began to materialise. Wycombe grabbed a vital two goal lead four minutes before the break when Steve Brown caught the Wrexham defence napping and nipped in to tuck the ball past Mark Cartwright.
Wycombe had strong claims for a penalty turned down two minutes into the second-half when Scotty battled through on the left side and appeared to be tripped just when he was lining up a shot. On 58 minutes Read missed a sitter after Brown had pulled back from a narrow angle on the left and two minutes later Wycombe nearly paid the price for complacency when Taylor had to dig out another close range miracle save. Read missed again from a more difficult position than his earlier effort when he flashed a chance wide from Lawrence's right wing cross but the game was wrapped up on 76 minutes. Keith Scott may have his critics but those with the longer memories will know that Scotty can blow hot and cold - even during one game. This was another typical Scotty goal as he bundled his way through towards goal, breaking away from the defender, before calmly slotting past Cartwright at The Valley End. Scotty took the applause and celebrations as only he knew how.
So game set and match to Wycombe and all that was left, was to give the team a standing ovation at the final whistle. Unfortunately Lincoln beat Manchester City so we're still at the bottom of the table but with nine points and a cluster of clubs on eleven, Wycombe now have every chance to start the clamber up the table.
Full-Time Wycombe 3 Wrexham 0
WYCOMBE TEAM:Taylor, Lawrence, Vinnicombe (sub 89 Kavanagh), McCarthy, Cousins, Mohan, Simpson, Brown, Baird (sub 24 Read), Scott, Cornforth (sub 89 Robson) Att:3,361
WYCOMBE v MACCLESFIELD TOWN
Saturday 17th October 1998 - Division Two
It finally happened - three points and three goals in the process, as a sad Macclesfield side were beaten with ease by a passionate Wycombe display. This was by no means a classic but when you're down the bottom of the table it's points you need, not performances. Andy Baird's persistence gave Wycombe the lead early on and from then on there was only one winner as Martin Taylor kept a clean sheet for the first time this season in a League game. Michael Simpson also continued his return to form with a goal and the Man of the Match award.
With Smillie continuing with the eleven fit players left from the game with Gillingham, it was Wycombe's continuing injury crisis that led to the first goal. After just seven minutes Stallard seemed to pull up when chasing a loose ball and after touch-line treatment left the pitch on a stretcher. He was replaced by Andy Baird and within five minutes Baird had won a 50/50 ball with Macclesfield 'keeper Ryan Price and as the ball squirted out, Baird stuck the ball in the empty net. The second goal came on 26 minutes when Michael Simpson curled a beautiful free-kick over the Macclesfield ball and past Price. "Can we play you every week" came the chant as Wycombe celebrated a two goal cushion for the first time in seven months. Ironically, Baird's day ended a few minutes later when the deadleg he gained as a result of scoring saw him replaced by John Cornforth.
Wycombe needed one more goal to prevent any late nerves and it nearly came ten minutes into the second-half when Scotty just failed to turn in a Brown cross from the left bye-line. However, Keith Scott got his name on the score-sheet after 68 minutes when he scored a classic 'Scotty' goal - running on to a neat pass from Cornforth, before flicking the ball past Price to seal the points. To cap Macclesfield's unhappy day, defender Stephen Payne was sent off for cutting down Chris Vinnicombe on the left wing with nine minutes left. The final whistle was greeted with a relieved cheer from the home fans who gave good support throughout.
Full-Time Wycombe 3 Macclesfield Town 0
WYCOMBE TEAM:Taylor, Lawrence, Vinnicombe, McCarthy, Cousins, Mohan (sub 71 Robson), Simpson, Brown, Stallard (sub 7 Baird[sub 31 Cornforth]), Scott, Emblen Att:4,012
GILLINGHAM v WYCOMBE
Saturday 10th October 1998 - Division Two
Wycombe's bad run at Priestfield continued with another defeat in Saturday's noon kick off. It's now eleven games with no wins and with two home games next week, the pressure mounts on Smillie. Paul McCarthy was included in the squad after a good performance in the reserves in the week but Mark Stallard, who scored in same game, still could not make the side. Smillie stuck with the same eleven that were robbed of three points against Notts County last week but they fell behind after 32 minutes. Matt Lawrence wanted too much time at the back and Mark Saunders gave Martin Taylor no chance with a shot from the edge of the 18 yard box. Moments earlier Baird had Wycombe's best chance of the half but it was the Gills who looked more dangerous with Carl Asaba and Bob Taylor up front. It was Taylor who gave the home side a 2-0 lead on the stroke of half-time when he powered in a header from a deep corner and made it an uphill battle for the Wanderers.
Smillie made two changes during half-time - taking off Bulman from his deep role and bringing on Paul McCarthy. Keith Scott replaced Read up front as Lawrence was pushed further up front to try and feed Scott. The changes had little effect though as Lawrence failed to get involved. Gillingham could have made it 3-0 on 65 minutes when Asaba raced through after Mohan's mistake but Cousins made a last ditch tackle. Two minutes later Brown showed his immense stupidity by throwing the ball at Bob Taylor - he some how escaped a booking but Taylor claimed the ultimate revenge by scoring directly from the free-kick.
The remainder of the game was irrelevant as far the final result was concerned but there was still time for two red cards. Darren Carr received his marching orders on 72 minutes after another lunatic challenge on Andrew Baird - ten minutes earlier he had picked up a yellow card for a similar challenge. Wycombe also saw red when Paul Emblen was sent-off for a flying challenge on Asaba with two minutes left but by then Wycombe were already dead and buried.
Full-Time Gillingham 3 Wycombe 0
WYCOMBE TEAM:Taylor, Lawrence, Beeton (sub 77 Vinnicombe), Bulman (sub 45 McCarthy), Cousins, Mohan, Simpson, Brown, Read (sub 45 Scott), Baird, Emblen Att:4,575
WYCOMBE v NOTTS COUNTY
Saturday 3rd October 1998 - Division Two
Wycombe fans were near suicidal on Saturday after another last minute goal denied vital points and more significantly, the first League victory of the season. A new look Wycombe team looked to be heading for all three points after Michael Simpson had turned in the rebound from a missed Paul Read penalty on 29 minutes. Ex-County player Simpson was recalled to the starting line-up for the first time this season and joined new signing Matt Lawrence - returning to Wycombe after a spell at Fulham. There was no room in the line-up for Mark Stallard or Dave Carroll as Smillie played Read, Baird and Emblen up front. Bulman, Simpson and Brown were left with the midfield responsibilities with newcomer Lawrence playing at right-back.
Wycombe came through a messy first-half leading 1-0 and kicking towards the Valley End pressed for the vital second goal. Andrew Baird was in the thick of it on several occasions but had to contend with being kicked in the face twice and being knocked over in the box on another two occasions as referee Mr Crick (rhymes with) took a trip to another planet. The bitter blow for Wycombe came as the clock showed 90 minutes. The ball was delivered from the right and as the ten man Wycombe defence did their best to scramble it clear, Gary Strodder stuck his big head in to ruin the day for Wycombe.
Lawrence had a comfortable return in Wycombe colours and it was his cross from out on the right after 20 minutes that forced Steve Finnan to clatter down Steve Brown as he lined up a shot from 8 yards. Paul Read's penalty to the 'keepers left wasn't strong enough but Darren Ward could only push the ball into the path of both Bulman and Simpson, the latter getting the vital touch. The lead was very nearly thrown away within two minutes after Beeton tried to let the ball run out of play on the County right but ended up conceeding a needless corner. From the corner a comedy of errors saw Jason Cousins turn the ball onto his own post before it was eventually cleared.
Baird's exceptional speed up front caused County no end of problems and he had two strong claims for a penalty turned down within two minutes near the start of the second-half. The second on 53 minutes saw Baird body-checked by Chris Fairclough and at the very least should have seen an indirect free-kick. Wycombe continued to look for the vital second goal. Mohan saw a flick header loop over after a Simpson free-kick on 59 minutes, then two minutes later another free-kick from Simpson found Lawrence on the right but his powerful cross skidded across the face of the goal. Baird and Emblen (now sporting dyed blonde hair) both had half chances to wrap the game up but it looked as if Wycombe had still done enough to win. County's undeserved equaliser came after County substitute Mark Robson crossed from the right, the ball was flicked on by Matthews and Strodder lunged in to steal a point.
WYCOMBE TEAM:Taylor, Lawrence, Beeton, Bulman, Cousins, Mohan, Simpson, Brown, Read, Baird, Emblen subs not used Rolling, Cornforth and Scott Att:4,164
Full-Time Wycombe 1 Notts County 1
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