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Wycombe Wanderers 0
Saturday 12th October 2002
Football League Division Two
Andy Rammell
Andy Rammell - went close for Wycombe at Ninian Park
A Graham Kavanagh goal 11 minutes from time was enough to see Wanderers lose to promotion chasers Cardiff City at Ninian Park in front of a crowd of more than 13,000. Wanderers die-hards will believe that Wycombe could have come away with a point but in the end the Welsh side had too much quality all around and only the woodwork and Martin Taylor kept Wycombe in the game before the break. But Wycombe will play sides a lot worse than The Bluebirds this season and if the forwards find form it could be a different story.
Lawrie Sanchez made just one change from the side that had beaten Colchester the previous week - Stuart Roberts replacing the injured Dannie Bulman in midfield. However, it was Welshman Roberts who was to also end up injured after a 39th minute challenge that saw Wanderers win a corner. The ex-Swansea City player was replaced by Sean Devine shortly afterwards as Wycombe went to ambitious three up front formation.
The positive approach nearly paid off with Andy Rammell and Sean Devine going close on a couple of occasions during the second-half. However, just as Wycombe looked to have frustrated the Welsh side it was the ever dangerous Kavanagh who curled in a shot from inside the penalty after being given a second bite of the cherry by the Wycombe defence.
Wanderers relied mainly on breakaways for their chances. The first came as early as the 2nd minute when Michael Simpson picked up play just left of centre and fed Craig Faulconbridge. The ex-Wrexham striker, now without a goal in six games, then saw his shot on the run blocked.
At the other end City always looked likely to score. A 7th minute flick header by Andy Campbell played in Robert Earnshaw but Taylor saved to his right to set the tone for the afternoon.
Five minutes later a City move down the left saw Kavanagh deliver from the bye-line only for Peter Thorne to see his far post header glance off the upright. The pressure continued in the 14th minute but Danny Senda managed to clear only for Steve Brown to concede a free-kick in dangerous position just to the right edge of the Wycombe penalty area. With people most expecting a direct effort from Kavanagh it was a clever chip that found Thorne on the opposite side of goal with the crossbar coming to Wycombe's rescue this time as Thorne's header was sent back across the face of goal.
A Wycombe break on 17 minutes Keith Ryan saw a shot charged down by the City defence after Rammell had crossed from the right wing while moments later Rammell saw an effort blocked following a nifty exchange by Senda and Simpson in midfield.
The closest Wycombe came to silencing the locals during the first half came in the 21st minute when Chris Vinnicombe's deep cross from the left saw Rammell connect with his header from around eight yards but City 'keeper Martyn Margetson, making his first appearance of the season, made a brilliant one handed save to his right.
At the other end Taylor saved a snap shot from Willie Boland but it was Wycombe who had the better chances as the first-half was concluded. Roberts snatched a shot on 29 minutes while after the Welshman had been injured winning a corner, Ryan headed over from Brown's delivery. Then on the stroke of 45 minutes Faulconbridge almost chipped in from the right channel but the ball bounced just wide of the far post.
Half-time 0-0
Sean Devine's introduction shortly before the break enabled him link up well with Rammell during the second period but not before Thorne had seen a close range header saved with relative ease by Taylor. Another Rammell's chance came on 66 minutes when he found space on the left but the final shot never had enough pace to beat Margetson. Two minutes Wanderers best chance of the game came when Rammell put in Devine from a similar position but again the City 'keeper saved and the rebound was cleared.
It proved to be Wanderers last serious efforts at goal. Shortly afterwards City boss Lennie Lawrence made changes to his line-up and Wycombe struggled to cope. Thorne saw another header saved on 74 minutes but as Sanchez attempted to signal instructions from the touchline City managed to keep the ball in play on their right wing before play was switched across field. Andy Thomson did well to block Kavanagh's first attempt at goal but as the ball broke free, Kavanagh cleverly curled the ball past Taylor and inside the far post and the locals could celebrate.
Richard Harris and Darren Currie were sent on as late saviours but despite a couple of long throws from Harris out on the left wing City never looked like surrendering the three points that they had fought so hard for.
Final Score Cardiff City 1 Wycombe 0
Wycombe: Taylor, Senda, Vinnicombe, Thomson, McCarthy, Ryan, Roberts (sub 43 Devine), Brown (sub 81 Currie), Simpson, Rammell, Faulconbridge (sub 81 Harris) subs not used Rogers, Johnson
Yellow Cards: Brown (foul 32), McCarthy (foul 89)
Cardiff: Margetson, Weston, Prior, Gavidon, Croft (sub 71 Barker), Legg, Boland, Whalley (sub 69 Campbell), Kavanagh, Earnshaw, Thorne subs not used: Fortune-West, Maxwell, Walton
Yellow Cards: Legg (ungentlemanly conduct 62)
Referee: T Parkes (W Midlands) Attendance: 13,130 (approx 300 Wycombe)
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