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Blackpool 2
Saturday 14th September 2002
Football League Division Two
Sean Devine
Sean Devine - came closest to grabbing an equaliser for Wycombe
Wanderers return to Adams Park for the first time in nearly three weeks ended in disappointment as they went down 2-1 to Blackpool. Fielding an unchanged line-up to the one that beat Swindon in the week, Wycombe fell behind in the 15th minute when John Hills converted a penalty after a foul by Frank Talia. However, Wycombe drew level five minutes later when Sean Devine's cross from the left bye-line was headed home with ease by Craig Faulconbridge at the far post. It was the first goal Blackpool had conceeded for five games but it was Wycombe's defence that always looked suspect. This was emphasised in the 28th minute when Martin Bullock's delivery from the right found John Hills completely unmarked on the opposite edge of the Wycombe penalty area and he slotted the ball past Talia to confirm Blackpool's superiority on the day. Wycombe rarely looked like getting back into the game and a solitary header by Devine from a Darren Currie cross early in the second-half was the closest Wycombe came to equalising.
Martin Bullock was a constant thorn in Wycombe's side. As early as the 7th minute he literally walked through the Wanderers' defence, starting from the right wing but finally pulling his shot wide from the opposite edge of the penalty area.
Talia is shown the yellow cardOn 13 minutes Hills delivered a high cross from the left that John Murphy headed back into the danger zone only to see Paul Dalglish head the ball against the Valley End crossbar before being cleared for a corner. It was from the resulting corner that Wycombe fell behind as defensive chaos ensued with Talia and McCarthy contriving to foul John Murphy and referee Keith Hills having no hestitation in pointing to the spot. Talia, who was booked for his protests, got a hand to the resulting kick but the ball crept in to give the visitors a deserved lead.
Talia did well to push wide Hills' effort from the left on 17 minutes before Wycombe got themselves back into the game - Devine's inviting cross from the left leaving Faulconbridge with the simple chance of heading home.
However, it was The Seasiders who continued to threaten. On 25 minutes Murphy sprayed the ball to the right wing but Dalglish sliced the chance high of the target. A minute later Talia was quick off his line to grab another Dalglish effort as a through ball beat the Wanderers offside trap.
The Seasiders' pressure finally paid off in the 28th minute when Bullock exposed Wanderers again down the right wing before picking out Hills who clinically converted the chance to restore Blackpool's lead.
Wanderers chances were few and far between but Stuart Roberts will probably wish the ground had opened up on 38 minutes when he appeared to be caught in two minds on how to deal with Michael Simpson's cross from the right and ended up making a poor header.
Half-time Wycombe 1 Blackpool 2
Kicking towards the Valley End the second-half was a big let down from Wycombe's point of view. Dalglish had missed two more chances for The Seasiders before Wycombe responded. Devine's stumble in the box on 52 minutes brought half-hearted claims for a penalty but significantly there were little protests from those close by. The best chance for Wycombe came 12 minutes into the second period when Currie's pinpoint pass found Roberts on the right wing but Devine's header was saved by visiting 'keeper Phil Barnes.
Ironically all three of the players involved in that move were later substituted and only a hopeful header by Richard Harris in the dying moments gave Wycombe fans the glimmering hope of an equaliser. Indeed, Blackpool could have extended the winning margin on 70 minutes when Wycombe survived a massive claim for a penalty after John Murphy's cross from the right broke loose and Keith Southern's shot was blocked by a stray Wycombe arm.
All in all a very disappointing display from Wycombe and a result that leaves Wanderers in 15th place in the table after 8 games.
Final Score Wycombe 1 Blackpool 2
Wycombe: Talia, Rogers, Vinnicombe, McCarthy, Thomson, Simpson, Currie (sub 78 Ryan), Bulman, Roberts (sub 68 Cook), Faulconbridge, Devine (sub 64 Harris) subs not used: Brown, Johnson
Yellow Cards:Talia (14 dissent), Cook (81 foul)
Blackpool: Barnes, Grayson, Jaszczun, Peter Clarke, O'Kane, Wellens, Southern, Bullock, Hills, Dalglish (sub 69 Taylor), Murphy subs not used Reid, Theoklitos, Collins, Walker
Yellow Cards: Bullock (67 not retreating)
Referee: Keith Hill (Royston) Attendance: 5815 (Blackpool 530)
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