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Wycombe Wanderers 2
Wednesday 11th September 2002
Worthington Cup First Round
Paul McCarthy
Paul McCarthy - nodded in the winner at Swindon
Wanderers clawed their way through to the Second Round of the Worthington Cup with 2-1 extra-time victory over Swindon Town at the County Ground on Wednesday evening. The game had ended goalless after ninety minutes but substitute Richard Harris flicked in a header just 40 seconds into extra-time to give Wycombe the advantage. Adam Willis levelled the scores in the 100th minute of the tie before Paul McCarthy popped up with another crucial cup goal with twelve minutes of extra-time remaining.
The victory came after Lawrie Sanchez was forced to make changes with both Andy Rammell and Danny Senda beginning their three games bans for their red cards against QPR. Mark Rogers deputised for Senda at right back but Sanchez reverted to two up front with Stuart Roberts introduced wide on the right side of midfield. Andy Thomson was also used in defence in favour of Roger Johnson.
It was the Wanderers defence that looked shaky again for the opening 15 minutes or so. Robinson fired a shot just high of Frank Talia's crossbar after 8 minutes, while Eric Sabin made a lame claim for a penalty two minutes later after a challenge by Andy Thomson on the left bye-line.
Wanderers' first chances came when Chris Vinnicombe crossed from the left on 15 minutes but Craig Faulconbridge headed wide as he dived in at the near post. Faulconbridge was also unlucky moments later when Sean Devine's low angled drive from the left just failed to meet the vital touch at the far post - Town defender Matt Heywood doing enough to put off the ex-Wrexham striker. But Wycombe were nearly caught on the break when Sabin's run down the right flank and subsequent cross saw Wanderers defence at sea but thankfully no Swindon player on hand to convert.
Wycombe had the ball in the net on 20 minutes when Michael Simpson's shot from all of 25 yards deflected off Faulconbridge and into the net over the Swindon 'keeper. However, the goal was ruled out for offside on Faulconbridge.
Wanderers best chance of the half fell to Stuart Roberts but the Welshman skied his shot high of the target when presented with a glorious opportunity from 15 yards following a Darren Currie pull-back from the left bye-line.
Sabin caused problems again in the 32nd minute when he split Wycombe's defence but Paul McCarthy came to the rescue with a brave challenge and the Swindon player was booked for his part in the tackle. It was one of nine bookings on the night in what was never a dirty game.
Wycombe remained slightly on top for the opening stages of the second-half but never managed to test Bart Griemink in the Swindon goal. A nice exchange between Devine and Currie down the left side on 59 minutes ended with a weak shot by Devine. On 64 minutes Faulconbridge looked certain to score from Simpson's deflected cross from the right but his out stretched leg pushed the ball wide of the far post.
At the other end the home side began to create more chances. On 66 minutes Stefani Miglioranzi shot into the side netting while moments later Talia recovered to protect his goal after a mis-kick from a pass back.
Sanchez reverted to a front three on 69 minutes with the arrival of Richard Harris for Roberts and three minutes later Wycombe's width was virtually eliminated when Steve Brown replaced Currie.
It signalled an erractic spell in the game where Wycombe survived loud penalty claims when Jimmy Davis collapsed under the challenge of Vinnicombe deep on the Swindon right. However, it was Wycombe who came closest to snatching a winner in normal time when a short throw by Harris from the left found Simpson who unleashed a cracking 25 yard strike that left Griemink rooted to his spot and only the crossbar to thank for keeping the shot out.
Talia saved from a Willis header as play switched to the other end while three long throws by Harris from the left brought no joy for Wycombe.
90 minutes 0-0
Extra time was just 40 seconds old when a shot from the left side of the Swindon penalty area caused mass confusion in the Swindon defence. Devine attempted to head home the lose ball at the far post and Harris was there to provide the final header past Griemink from around 6 yards.
Having gained the lead Sanchez replaced Devine with Keith Ryan and the formation changed to a front two with 'Rhino' running from the back like he was a teenager.
It looked like Wycombe were in control but on 100 minutes Talia couldn't hold Andy Gurney's low long range free-kick and Willis clattered in to convert the loose ball from three yards. The game eventually swung Wycombe's way just after the start of the second period of extra-time. On 107 minutes Talia made a brilliant save at the near post from Duke's flick and then from Wycombe's very next attack McCarthy grabbed the winning goal - directing in a header from the left side of the six yard box after Rogers had flicked on a Harris cross from the right.
Brown could have added a third with five minutes remaining but he sliced another Harris cross from the right well high of the target and into the back row of the empty seats behind the goal. Wycombe comfortably held out until the end of the two hours to go into the Second Round, the draw for which will be made on Saturday 21st September at 2.30pm on Sky Sports 1.
Final Score Swindon 1 Wycombe 2
Wycombe: Talia, Rogers, Vinnicombe, McCarthy, Thomson, Simpson, Currie (sub 72 Brown), Bulman, Roberts (sub 69 Harris), Faulconbridge, Devine (sub 94 Ryan) subs not used: Johnson, Williams
Yellow Cards: Simpson (foul 41), Rogers (foul 72), Harris (foul 78), Brown (foul 95), Thomson (foul 115)
Swindon: Griemink, Gurney, Willis (sub 103 Reeves), Heywood, Duke, Hewlett, Miglioranzi (sub 91 Edds), Robinson, Davis (sub 86 Dykes), Parkin, Sabin subs not used: Farr, Young
Yellow Cards: Robinson (foul 25), Duke (foul 28), Sabin (foul 32), Hewlett (foul 63)
Referee: P Armstrong (Thatcham) Attendance: 2,993 (400 Wycombe)
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