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Triallist Roy Essandoh started the game for Wycombe after turning out for the reserves on Wednesday. The 25 year old, who has spent the last two years playing his football in Finland, partnered Keith Ryan upfront but after seeing a lot of the ball in the opening stages he was eventually snuffed out by The Vale defence and later replaced. 'Rhino' himself had Wycombe's best chances of the game - going close in the 7th minute from Chris Vinnicombe's cross and bringing the best out of Vale 'keeper Mark Goodlad ten minutes later - forcing the 22 year old to tip over following another cross from 'Vinni'. It was Vale's Alex Smith that was the thorn in Wycombe's side. His trickery down the left flank provided crosses for Steven Brooker and then Tony Naylor which with better finishing would have seen Wycombe trailing.
The gloved Michael Simpson crashed a 30 yard drive just over on 31 minutes after Dannie Bulman had won the ball in midfield but it was rare foray towards the Vale goal on a bitterly cold afternoon.
'Rhino' was replaced at half-time by the other newcomer to Adams Park, 20 year old Manchester United reserve striker George Clegg. Like Essandoh, Clegg was making his Football League debut and although neither player set the world alight, they will both be keen to make an impression on the higher profile stage they are being offered.
A clever free-kick by Wycombe on 51 minutes almost brought a welcome goal following an over the top challenge from Dave Brammer on Martyn Lee. Lee got up to work the deadball via Simpson to Jason Cousins, whose piledriver from 25 yards deflected wide of the target.
Vale eventually took advantage of Wycombe's problems in the 58th minute when Steven Brooker exchanged passes with Dave Brammer from midfield, Brooker running past Jamie Bates and despite Martin Taylor pushing the shot onto the post the Vale player followed up to score from close range.
It was no surprise that the new faces in the Wycombe side failed to gel with their new team-mates and it was only when some familiar names were introduced towards the end that Wycombe looked like snatching a point. Stewart Castledine was unlucky in the 80th when his shot on the turn was deflected wide but he could have done better in stoppage time when he headed Lee's corner onto the roof of the Vale net. Mo Harkin also went close but it was the finishing power that was lacking again.
There, done it, all the way through the match report without mentioning the fact that we're playing at Leicester next Saturday. DOH!
Final Score Wycombe 0 Port Vale 1
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