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Mansfield Town 3
Saturday 17th August 2002
Football League Division Two
A late headed goal by Paul McCarthy salvaged a draw against Mansfield in a game that Wanderers could have won with ease. The visitors took the lead in the 5th minute when Wayne Corden chipped Martin Taylor. However, Wycombe were level within seconds of the restart when Sean Devine was sent clear down the left before finishing in style past Kevin Pilkinghton in the Stags goal. Wycombe took the lead in first half stoppage time when Craig Faulconbridge headed home a Darren Currie cross but after numerous chances to extend the lead it was Iyseden Christie who nipped in to head past Taylor on 74 minutes. Corden looked to have given Mansfield all three points with a 25 yard strike on 86 minutes before 'Macca' arrived at the far post to convert a Richard Harris long throw from the right wing.
The return of Faulconbridge after his minor injury was the only change to the Wycombe side that drew with Northampton the previous Tuesday. Stuart Roberts was the absentee after he was forced to sit the game out following a knock on his ankle against The Cobblers.
In painfully hot conditions the visitors grabbed the lead while Mark Rogers was off the field following an injury picked up whilst conceeding a free-kick. Liam Lawrence squared the free-kick from the right and Corden was left unmarked to catch out Taylor who is clearly still struggly to regain full match fitness. Fans had no time to anaylise the rights and wrongs of the goal before Wycombe were level. Simpson pushed the ball out to Devine on the left via a Faulconbridge flick and Devine showed he's returning to his old self with a clinical finish.
Wanderers continued to dominate the firt half, forcing nine corners but with little to show from it. Currie saw a long range free-kick tipped over on 15 minutes and Devine went close with a first time effort on 42 minutes following a poor clearance by the three man Stags defence.
It was three minutes into stoppage time when Wycombe took the lead, Currie's delivery from the left being meet by the head of Faulconbridge in a packed Mansfield penalty area.
Half-time Wycombe 2 Mansfield 1
Wycombe still enjoyed the majority of play in the second-half and a combination between Michael Simpson, Faulconbridge and Devine would have ended with a goal on a better day after 61 minutes. However, there were still danger signs for Wycombe when 150,000 signing from Wolves, Colin Larkin, drove the ball into the side-netting from the break.
Youth Teamer Lewis Cook was introduced for his Football League debut on 63 minutes and he would have enjoyed his brief spell in the limelight. The 18 year old saw a shot saved within a few minutes of coming and Wycombe were only denied extending their lead by two fine saves from Pilkington.
Wanderers defensive concerns were exposed again on 74 minutes when Christie stopped in to head past Taylor at the near post following a cross from the left by Corden. Wycombe could have been level two minutes when Faulconbridge shot weakly at Pilkington with a half-volley and matters went from bad to worse when Corden struck his screamer in the 86th minute.
With ninety minutes on the clock it was left for Richard Harris to launch a massive throw from the right wing and for McCarthy to show his worth once again with another crucial goal at the death.
Final Score Wycombe 3 Mansfield 3
Wycombe: Taylor, Senda, Vinnicombe, McCarthy, Rogers, Simpson, Brown (sub 63 Cook), Currie, Roberts, Bulman, Faulconbridge, Devine (sub 80 Harris) subs not used: Talia, Thomson, Johnson
Yellow Cards: Currie (dissent 45), Simpson (foul 84)
Mansfield: Pilkington, Reddington, Moore, Jervis, Disley, Williamson, MacKenzie (sub 73 Sellars), Lawrence, Corden, Andy White (sub 70 Christie), Larkin (sub 88 Bacon) suns not used: Jason White, Clarke
Yellow Cards: Lawrence (foul 15), Jervis (foul 27)
Referee: P Prosser (Gloucester) Attendance: 5,057 (510 Mansfield)
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