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However, it looked like Wycombe had thrown away two more points when a rash challenge by Alan Beeton on Chris Billy gifted the visitors an 80th minute penalty. Paul Reid smashed the spot-kick home and it looked like it would be a disappointing end to the game for Wycombe's injury hit side. There was literally fifteen seconds left on the clock when Michael Simpson's corner from the right was headed home at the near post by Bates to spark more crazy celebrations on the rain soaked surface.
The result was an absolute credit to Lawrie Sanchez's side who had been decimated with injuries and suspensions. There were four changes to the side that drew 1-1 at Swindon. Out went Chris Vinnicombe, Paul McCarthy and Danny Senda all with injuries, while Jermaine McSporran served his one match ban for five yellow cards. Steve Brown was still missing as he completed his three match ban. All this coupled with the already overloaded sickroom at Adams Park saw Lawrie Sanchez with just 15 fit outfield players to choose from. The victory lifts Wycombe to sixth place in the table.
The Wycombe line-up saw triallist Niall Thompson make his debut in a Wycombe shirt and he worked well along side Andy Rammell. There was also a return to the side for Alan Beeton who hadn't made a single League appearance this season while Stewart Castledine made a rare start in midfield. One of the biggest cheers of the day was left for Dave Carroll who replaced Castledine towards the end. Carroll has not even played a reserve game for more than six months yet was paramount in the move that led to corner from which Wycombe won the game.
Not surprisingly it was the visitors who had the better of the opening exchanges before Castledine set-up Bates on 16 minutes but the big man's half-volley went a yard wide of Paddy Kenny's left-hand post. Two minutes later Bury dangerman Adrian Littlejohn cut in from the right after Beeton had slipped but The Shakers top scorer curled his effort well wide of the far post. Nicky Daws also saw a 20 yard shot deflected wide as the visitors continued to dominate the opening stages.
There was a flurry of action on the half-hour mark when first Chris Swailes slipped to let in Rammell. Wycombe's top marksman saw his crossed turned away for a corner on the right from which Michael Simpson's delivery was crashed against the near post by the head of Jason Cousins.
Within seconds Martin Taylor was called for his first serious action of the afternoon when he palmed away Paul Reid's thumping drive as Bury broke in from the left.
Both Rammell and Thompson used their strength to great effect to get in shots with their backs to goal while on 33 minutes a lovely move involving Martyn Lee, Simpson and Rammell was only ended when Steve Redmond cynically tripped the ex-Walsall striker.
Bury finished the half the stronger side with Paul Barnes bringing another one-handed save from Taylor, while Daws and Littlejohn saw shots go wide.
Wycombe switched briefly to a three-man attack in the second-half and could have scored inside the opening two minutes - Castledine knocking down for Rammell but Kenny beat away the snap-shot.
However, with the rain getting worse it was Bury who should have opened the scoring on 60 minutes when Paul Barnes' cross from the right fell to an unmarked Littlejohn only for the Shakers striker to drive his shot into the ground and wide of Taylor's right-hand post.
The visitors were left contemplating that miss three minutes later as Wycombe took the lead. Rammell was fouled by Daws and it was Bates who made a mockery of the Bury wall by piercing the ball through and into bottom right corner of the net - 1-0 Wycombe.
Bury still looked dangerous on the break and the 69th minute Sam Collins headed against the Wycombe cross-bar after a free-kick was delivered from the right. Then after Thompson had wasted a chance to seal the game for Wycombe, Bury were given their lifeline. Beeton slid in from behind on Billy and despite taking the ball the Bury player made the most of it and Reid made no mistake from the resulting spot-kick. It was another bitter blow for Wycombe but the heads didn't drop and after Carroll won a corner from Thompson's through ball, it was Bates who took his goal tally for the season to four and didn't he enjoy it!
Full-time Wycombe 2 Bury 1
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