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Brentford 4
Saturday 16th November 2002
FA Cup First Round
Action vs Brentford
A frustrating day all around for Wanderers against Brentford.
Wanderers had a defensive nightmare as they crashed out of the FA Cup to Brentford at Adams Park. Wycombe conceded twice in the opening eight minutes but after drawing level before the half-hour mark then leaked two further sloppy goals to bow out at the First Round stage and miss out on vital revenue.
Lawrie Sanchez opted for a bold three up front policy. Andy Rammell, Richard Harris and Craig Faulconbridge were the men assigned to break down the Bees put it was at the other end where shambolic defending saw Wycombe leak two early goals. In the first minute Kevin O'Connor turned the ball in at the far post following a poorly defended cross from the left. Then on eight minutes a corner from the right was worked into the Wanderers box and Matt Somer was allowed to smash the ball home despite a vallant attempt to block by Frank Talia.
Andy Rammell pulled a goal back for Wycombe on 12 minutes when he finished well after Paul McCarthy's initial shot from the left was parried. A good spell of Wycombe pressure then led to the equaliser when Michael Simpson's corner from the left was converted in style by Steve Brown.
However, just when Wycombe looked to be getting on top Rowan Vine struck home a minute before the break after a ball in from the right channel was only half-cleared. The game was effectively over for Wycombe in the 52nd minute when Vine scored again - this time a simple tap in after Wycombe were ripped apart down the Brentford right.
Goal mouth action at The Valley End
Talking points for many fans prior to the game was not only the 4-3-3 formation but also the absence of Sean Devine from the entire squad. Devine was available again after his three match ban and was expected to have at least a place on the bench. Unconfirmed rumours of Devine being transfered listed added to the debate amongst the Wycombe fans.
But there was more debating when Wycombe capitulated in defence and gifted Brentford a two goal start. Rammell's goal on 12 minutes halved the deficit but even then Mark McCammon could have restored Brentford's two goal lead on 15 minutes. He clipped the ball past Talia after beating the Wycombe offside trap but thankfully Danny Senda was on the goal line to do a clearing task.
Craig Faulcolbridge and Dannie Bulman celebrate with Steve Brown after Wycombe's equaliserWycombe's best spell of the game followed as they forced numerous corners culminating in Brown's rifle into the roof of the net from Simpson's corner on 26 minutes. Craig Faulconbridge could then have given Wycombe the lead but he headed over after good work by Harris on the left side. The ex-Wrexham player also went close three minutes before the break after Simpson's corner from the right was initially mis-controlled to Rammell.
Vine restored Brentford's lead a minute later but there was still time for Wycombe to create one more chance before the break when Harris's long throw from the left resulted in a goal mouth scramble and eventually Brown's shot being deflected wide.
Vine's second goal on 52 minutes was a real killer blow for Wycombe and brought desperate measures from the bench. In addition to the triple substitution, what appeared to be a not fully fit Paul McCarthy was prompted to go forward at every opportunity. An early response was vital and you couldn't fault the Wycombe players for effort. Keith Ryan vollyed wide on 65 minutes after Currie's curling cross from the left was partially cleared. Harris saw a shot on the turn pushed away for a corner on the right after 77 minutes while Lewis Cook sliced an effort wide three minutes later.
Andy Thomson cleared off the line on 80 minutes after Wycombe were exposed again down the Brentford right and just two minutes later the ex-Bristol Rovers man was denied at the other end with a great one handed block from the Bees keeper. However, by then the writing was on the wall leaving Wycombe with a sad exit from the famous competition and one which, along with the mystery absence of Sean Devine, is sure to prompt a whole new series of post match inquests.
Final Score Wycombe 2 Brentford 4
Wycombe: Talia, Senda, Vinnicombe, McCarthy, Thomson, Simpson, Bulman (sub 55 Cook), Brown (sub 55 Ryan), Faulconbridge (sub 55 Currie), Rammell, Harris - subs not used: Taylor, Rogers
Yellow Cards: Harris (foul 16), Thomson (foul 60)
Brentford: Paul Smith, Dobson, Somner, Marshall, Sonko, Vine (sub 89 Tabb), Hunt, Fullarton, Evans, McCammon, O'Connor - subs not used: Frampton, Julian, Hutchinson, Jay Smith,
Yellow Cards: O'Connor (foul 40)
Ref: Trevor Parkes (Birmingham) Att: 5,673 (1,464 away end)
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