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Wycombe Wanderers 0
Saturday 14th Oct 2000
Nationwide Football League Division Two
Steve Brown - saw red at Reading - picture Paul DennisSecond half strikes from Martin Butler and Adrian Viveash were enough to overcome a battling performance from Wycombe at The Madejski Stadium. Free-scoring Reading had blasted in 24 goals - 19 of those at home prior to this game but Wycombe proved to be no push-overs. Wycombe plight was made even tougher as they played the final 27 minutes with ten-man following the controversial sending-off of Steve Brown for allegedly elbowing Butler as Wycombe lined up to defend a free-kick conceded by Brown. By then the score was already 1-0 after Butler had tucked the ball past Martin Taylor after Reading created an opening down the right. The Royals sealed the game in the 73rd minute when Viveash beat Taylor from a narrow angle. Wycombe drop to fifth place after the reverse at Reading but will take confidence from the fact that they weren't totally overrun by their Royal neighbours, with only the quality of finishing separating the two sides.
Brown's dismissal was the talking point after game along with some pretty slack refereeing from match official Walton. He let go several first half challenges from both sides with The Royals' Keith Jones particularly lucky to escape punishment for challenges on Harkin, Vinnicombe and Simpson.
The game saw Wycombe welcome back Mark Rogers and Mo Harkin after their international duties but striker Andy Baird was sidelined with suspected damage to his ankle ligaments. Midfielder Dannie Bulman also missed the game after failing to recover from a bruised toe in the game with Notts County. His absence meant the first start of the season for Stewart Castledine. There was good news in that Keith Ryan returned on the subs bench after coming through the midweek reserve game with Norwich at Carrow Road.
The game was one of few clear cut chances for either side. Darren Caskey headed wide of Martin Taylor's post in the 4th minute and Viveash saw a 12th minute shot land on the top of the Wycombe net. At the other end Paul McCarthy glanced a header wide from Brown's left wing cross after Wycombe had broke and forced the first corner of the match in the 13th minute.
Taylor tipped around a low shot from Lee Hodges in the 23rd minute while Wycombe countered with a break down the right that ended with Harkin's shot be held with ease by Phil Whitehead in The Royals goal. Wycombe's best chance of the half came in the 32nd minute when McSporran burst in from the right. The Reading defence got back in numbers to block but McSporran was quick to pick up the loose ball just left of goal but his shot was shut-out again.
Orders from the bench from Sanchez and Gibson saw McSporran drop deeper for the remainder of the half, with Harkin played a more attacking role. However, there was little more football before the break as Keith Jones ran rabid in midfield, taking out Harkin, Simpson and Vinnicombe without punishment. Steve Brown was also mugged by Jamie McIntyre in the 43rd minute with Jamie Bates extracting his own punishment on the Reading player, again all going unpunished by the officials.
Half-time 0-0
Andy Rammell's knock down five minutes into the second half set-up Harkin down the left but his shot from around 20 yards was deflected wide for a corner on the left. Curiously Harkin was replaced by Danny Senda before the corner was taken and when the ball was centred, a goalmouth scramble ended with Jamie Bates unable to control and shoot at the far post.
The winning goal on 60 minutes stemmed from a throw-in on the Reading right. Butler held the ball up on the edge of the box and when it broke back to him he cooly curled the ball past Taylor.
Three minutes later Steve Brown hit the self-destruct button. Brown fouled Darren Caskey a few yards outside of the Wycombe penalty and he promptly received a yellow card for persistent foul play. Then as the Wycombe wall lined-up Brown tangled with Butler, the Reading man ended on the deck and Brown was shown a straight red card - a decision that will mean a three match ban starting with the home game with Bristol City on 28th October.
Wycombe searched for an equaliser when McSporran was allowed some rare space down the left on 70 minutes but his shot was blocked. Two minutes later Wycombe had claims for handball waved away but although the linesman signaled an infringement it was more than likely for a push by Simpson and was ignored by the referee anyway.
Reading sealed their victory in the 73rd minute when a free-kick from the left wasn't dealt with by the Wycombe defence and when the ball was returned back into the left side of the six-yard box, Taylor hesitated and Viveash took the opportunity to convert from a narrow angle. The goal saw Reading become the first side to score two League goals against Wycombe this season.
With Wycombe's low strike rate this season coming back from two goals down was never likely to happen. Michael Simpson squeezed a shot just wide in the 79th minute but Butler should have made it 3-0 on 82 minutes when he missed an open goal after The Royals broke in from the right.
Wycombe finished strongly with Rammell having a goal ruled out for offside against Ryan with three minutes left of normal time and in the final minute Rammell headed a chance onto the top of the crossbar.
A disappointing result but as predicted Wycombe didn't lay down and die and it will be those battling qualities that will see Wycombe win similar games later in the season.
Final Score Reading 2 Wycombe 0
Wycombe: Taylor, Rogers, Vinnicombe, McCarthy, Bates, Castledine (sub 68 Ryan), Simpson, Brown, Harkin (sub 51 Senda), McSporran, Rammell
subs not used: Cousins, Lee, Brady
Yellow Card: Brown (63 foul), Vinnicombe (67 foul), Senda (86 foul),
McCarthy (90 foul) 
Red Card: Brown (64 foul)
Reading: Whitehead, Jones, Viveash, Caskey, Butler, Hodges (sub 79 N Smith), Parkinson, Gurney (sub HT Robinson), McIntyre (sub 87 Igoe), Newman, Williams
subs not used: Howie, Mackie
Yellow Cards: Newman (80 foul) 
Referee: P Walton Attendance:15,433
(Wycombe 2,200 approx)
Chairboys Stat File
14th Oct 2000

Division Two
Drew 3
Goals For
Goals Against

Top Scorers (League)
Steve Brown 3
Andy Baird 3
Jermaine McSporran 2
Andy Rammell 2

Jamie Bates 1

Dannie Bulman 1

Paul McCarthy 1
Recent Games
Fri 6th Oct 2000
Division Two
Wycombe 3
Notts County 1

Sat 30th Sep 2000
Port Vale 0
Wycombe 1

Tue 26th Sep 2000
Worthington Cup
Birmingham City 1
Wycombe 0
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