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Bristol Rovers 1
Tuesday 12th September 2000
Nationwide Football League Division Two
Andy Rammell - red card on his full Wycombe debutWycombe's unbeaten start to the season came to an end at Adams Park on Tuesday evening, a first half goal from Rovers defender Stephen Foster enough to stop a new club record being set.
However, the game was marred by a controversial 56th minute incident that saw new signing Andy Rammell sent off for catching Rovers 'keeper Nick Culkin with his trailing foot. The game was held up for seven minutes while the Manchester United loan player received treatment and he eventually left the field on a stretcher with his neck in a brace. Thankfully the news after the game was that Culkin had been knocked out by the blow but hoped to travel back to Bristol with his team-mates, albeit with heavy concussion.
Rammell had replaced Andy Baird in the starting line-up for Wycombe after Baird failed to recover from the groin strain picked up in the previous Friday's game with Oxford United. It was a game that started brightly for Wycombe as they continued to play some attractive passing football. Michael Simpson squeezed a shot just wide of the target in the fourth minute before Mo Harkin's 13th minute ball to the right found Jermaine McSporran whose low delivery was swept just high of the target by Steve Brown.
Rovers responded with two corners in quick succession but on both occasions Martin Taylor was on hand to clear Lewis Hogg's long efforts to the far post.
A break by Wycombe in the 17th minute saw Bulman and Vinnicombe exchange, the latter crossing to McSporran but the Wycombe player was shut out just prior to unloading his shot.
McSporran also got free down the left in the 24th minute when he did well to keep the ball in play but once again 'Jocky' shot wide of the near post when his pace took him into the Rovers penalty area.
Rovers took the lead in the 34th minute after Vinnicombe had conceeded a corner at the far post from a deep cross from the visitors left. Hogg delivered the corner deep again and after Brown had blocked the initial shot from Foster the same player was their to drive the rebound past Taylor at The Valley End.
Wycombe could have been level within two minutes. Harkin threaded the ball through again from midfield to find Rammell just left of centre. However, the ex-Saddler delayed his shot to long and Culkin was able to able to block and Harkin's follow up as also cleared.
A minute later Simpson was flattened by Simon Bryant four yards outside of the Rovers penalty area and from the resulting free-kick Jamie Bates forced Culkin to palm the ball over as it was heading for his top left hand corner.
The first booking of the evening came in the 39th minute when McSporran kicked the ball away in frustration of being caught offside again - a point that hadn't gone unnoticed by the travelling Rovers fans who had derived an appropriate chant to taunt 'Jocky'. Harkin was also booked just before the break for a fractionally late challenge on Marcus Bignot
Half-time Wycombe 0 Rovers 1
Wycombe had two more golden opportunities to equalise within five minutes of the re-start. First Harkin ran in from the left before sending the ball into the side netting then McSporran mis-kicked in front of goal from Rammell's knock down.
The talking point of the evening came in the 56th minute when a ball was played through into the Rovers area from the left side. Culkin came out bravely, head first, as Rammell chased the loose ball and as the two players met, Rammell's trailing left foot caught Culkin full in the face.
The Rovers' 'keeper was flat out after the challenge and you have to ask the question whether this influenced the referee's decision to send Rammell off. Rammell looked completely stunned by the decision.
Culkin was treated with speed by Wycombe Sports Therapist Dave Jones and Club Doctor Gina Allen and it was seven minutes before he was finally carried off with neck in brace. Culkin's replacement was ex-Wycombe 'keeper Brian Parkin. Parkin, now is his second spell with Rovers, is their goalkeeping coach and received the obligatory stick off the Wycombe fans.
However, Parkin had the last laugh as he got down well to his right to push around an 80th minute deflected shot from McSporran.
Before then the game threatened to boil over as the referee started spraying around yellow cards like there was no tomorrow. Wycombe's total of five yellow cards in the game will see an automatic 2,500 fine from the Football League.
In a massive thirteen minutes of stoppage time it was Senda who nearly silenced the travelling contingent when his hopeful lob from wide on the left nearly dropped in at the far post.
A disappointing result but Wycombe will know that they will play sides a lot worse than Rovers this season and with a full compliment of players should have no problems in maintaining their current form.
Full time Wycombe 0 Bristol Rovers 1
Wycombe: Taylor, Rogers, Vinnicombe, Bates, McCarthy, Brown (sub 90 Castledine), Bulman, Simpson, Harkin (sub 64 Senda), Rammell, McSporran
subs not used: Brady, Cousins, Lee
Yellow Cards: McSporran (39), Harkin (42), Senda (67), Bulman (68), McCarthy (73)
Red Card: Rammell (56)
Bristol: Culkin (sub 64 Parkin), Bignot, Jones, Foster, Wilson, Astafjevs, Bryant, Hogg, Thomson, Evans, Ellington (sub 90 Walters)
subs not used: Chalis, Pethic, Ellis
Yellow Cards: Hogg (52), Evans (72)
Referee: Chris Foy Attendance:4,718 (596 Rovers)
Chairboys Stat File
12th Sep 2000

Division Two
Played 7
Won 3
Drew 3
Lost 1
Goals For 7
Goals Against 4
Position 6th

Top Scorers (League)
Steve Brown 3
Andy Baird 2
Dannie Bulman 1
Jermaine McSporran 1
Recent Games
Fri 8th Sep 2000
Division Two
Wycombe 3
Oxford 1

Tues 5th Sep 2000
Worthington Cup
First Round - First Leg
Wycombe 3
Barnet 1

Sat 2nd Sep 2000
Division Two
Brentford 0
Wycombe 0
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