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Earlier Reading had wasted numerous chances. In the third minute Caskey's corner from the right was palmed away by Martin Taylor only for McIntyre to see the ball rebound away for a goal-kick at the far post. However, it was Martin Butler who was guilty of missing a hatful of chances for the visitors. The first came on 12 minutes when he applied a faint touch to Graeme Murty's low delivery from the right - the ball skidding just wide of the far post.
The Chairboys, missing the suspended Michael Simpson and Paul McCarthy, took a while to settle. Keith Ryan played alongside loanee George Clegg upfront, while Stewart Castledine played just behind the duo. It was the combination of Clegg and Castledine that set-up Wycombe's first chance of the evening on 26 minutes - Clegg's cross from the right being met by the head of the Castledine at the near post but the ball ending just high of the target.
There was more embarassment for Butler in the 29th minute. McIntyre's deep cross from the left was pulled back on the opposite bye-line by Caskey but Butler managed to miss from around six yards. A minute later Clegg, who showed some nice touches, could have scored when he had his back to goal from Lee's left wing cross. Then moments later Brown played through to Clegg just left of centre but the Mancunian's clever chip was not quite accurate enough to beat Whitehead.
Lee's goal on 39 minutes was delightful and it unsettled the visitors who saw Ricky Newman booked shortly before the break and then had a penalty claim waved away after McIntyre had fallen over as he knocked the ball past Taylor. Royals assistant Martin Allen joined the travelling contingent in venting anger at the match officials as the teams departed down the tunnel for the half-time break.
Half-time Wycombe 1 Reading 0
As the rain and wind closed in on Adams Park, the visitors continued to lay seige on the Wycombe goal, although Martin Taylor was never really tested. Seven minutes after the re-start Butler broke in from the right but after he'd delayed too long in shooting, Jason Cousins was well placed to hack the ball away. 17 year old Roger Johnson replaced Stewart Castledine on 54 minutes and it gave Wycombe a much needed extra body at the back. The Youth Teamer was making his home debut for Wycombe and he looks a real prospect for the future as he enjoyed the challenge against Reading's costly forward line.
The game threatened to boil over on occasions. Brown's foul on Lee Hodges brought out a yellow card from ex-FIFA referee Paul Taylor and Hodges picked up the same punishment after he retaliated on Dannie Bulman five minutes later. Phil Parkinson's challenge on Clegg left the youngster grounded and Steve Brown fuming but with no foul given, Parkinson can be given the benefit of the doubt. From the drop ball re-start 'Brownie' passed the ball back to Whitehead, although if the Reading 'keeper had let the ball slip through his hands and into the net then all hell would have let loose, led no doubt by the crazed Martin Allen.
Despite all the pressure from Reading it was Wycombe who had by far the better chances to add to the scoring. Steve Brown should have scored on 62 minutes when he was sent through by Lee and after Butler had missed a couple of more, Clegg will have been disappointed not to have connected with a low cross from Brown that would have had the Valley End in hysteria. Whitehead saved well from Brown moments later but The Royals finally equalised after Adrian Viveash was replaced by Igoe. The substitute had barely been on the field for a minute when he managed to steer the ball home after McIntyre's cross from the left eluded the Wycombe defence.
So, not quite the result many people were expecting and Wycombe will now go into the big game on Saturday with their heads held high and if they can rise again on the day, you never know what might happen.
Full-time Wycombe 1 Reading 1
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