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The Gas Heads defeat against Port Vale on Monday had guaranteed Wycombe's Second Division status for next season, but before the game Lawrie Sanchez was still looking for two wins from the final two games in order to equal last season's point haul. Sanchez said "It's a big game for Bristol Rovers - we are now safe but we will be giving it our best shot as you have to be professional in these situations. We want to get to 61 points and try and finish as high as we can."
There was no denying Wycombe's passion to win this game and despite being without Steve Brown (suspended) and Dave Carroll (injured) Wycombe always looked the more composed side. There were also starts for Martyn Lee and Ben Townsend while Jason Cousins returned in the centre of defence with Paul McCarthy rested to protect him from a potential three match ban if he picked up a yellow card. Chris Marsh was moved up into the right side of midfield with Danny Senda and Guy Whittingham providing the strikeforce.
Backed by nearly 8,000 fans, it was the home side who had the better of the early exchanges with Nathan Ellington and former Wycombe defender Mark Foran going close. Senda had Wycombe's best chance of the half when he drove a ball into the body of Culkin from close range but as the game went on Rovers began to run out of ideas.
Senda's opening strike on 73 minutes was bizarre to say the least. He had lost his left boot following a challenge seconds earlier but then saw his right footed chip from 25 yards deflect slightly off Roy Essandoh's head and loop over Culkin. The goal went down like a lead balloon. Apart from the 300 travelling fans from Wycombe, coupled with what was left of Bristol City and Swindon fans, the realisation of relegation suddenly struck home. Six minutes later Dannie Bulman fired home a wonder strike from a similar distance to Senda's effort and it looked like Goodnight Erene.
Kevin Gall's curling effort a minute after Bulman's strike gave the home side hope but as time evaporated Martin Taylor became an endangered species as he begun being pelted with coins and other objects from the Rovers home end. To add insult to injury, Taylor was booked for time-wasting. During stoppage time an amazing scramble following a Rovers corner saw the ball come back off Taylor's right hand post, come back across the face of the goal before being cleared. In the fourth minute of stoppage time, with most of the players near the tunnel, referee David Crick blew his whistle once and then signalled for a hasty exit. The two benches picked up their belongings and rushed to join them.
There's some people on the pitch, they think it's all over...
...anyway, you get the picture.
Final Score Bristol Rovers 1 Wycombe 2
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