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Wycombe Wanderers 0
Saturday 6th March 2004
Football League Division Two
Darren Currie's free-kick is tipped over by Neil Moss in the Bournemouth goal Wanderers went down 1-0 at Dean Court in a game that followed a familiar pattern. A goal down after 20 minutes when Warren Cummings volleyed home an effort from 20 yards, Wanderers struggled to create many significant chances to level as the counter-attacking style, with Nathan Tyson playing as the single out and out striker for the majority of the game, failed to unlock a stubborn Cherries defence.
However, this game was never going to be easy. The home side went into the fixture on the back of five consecutive home victories and they looked determined not to let the lead slip once they were ahead. Wanderers' best chances to level came when Danny Senda thumped a 25 yarder against the cross-bar four minutes into the second-half, while on 57 minutes Darren Currie saw a free-kick from the left tipped over. Mark Philo, making his full Football League debut, also had a couple of runs late on, as Wanderers finally pushed more up front but once again the clock ran down to leave the players and the sizeable Wanderers' following dejected once again.
Team news for Wycombe saw Michael Simpson miss out again having been hit all week with a virus and unable to train. Matt Bloomfield deputised in the 1-1 draw at Bristol City in the week but he picked up a deadleg and Ian Simpemba took his place in midfield. Jermaine McSporran was a late casualty from the starting line-up after he missed training on the Friday due to a slight back strain. 'Jocky' was left on the bench with the change ensuring Philo was given his first Football League start.
Wanderers were on the back foot from the start and almost fell behind on ten minutes when a Stephen Purches saw a 20 yard first time effort clip the top of Steve Williams' crossbar following a corner from the left. Wanderers responded briefly when a run from Currie from the right side of midfield ended with his shot deflected wide for a corner on the left but The Cherries countered with Gareth O'Connor seeing his shot from the right palmed away by Williams. The Cherries pressure finally told on 20 minutes when Purches chipped a ball across from the right wing for Cummings to volley past Williams and it was the home side who controlled play up to the break.
Mark Philo on his full Football League debut at BournemouthWanderers gave a bit more of go of it directly after the interval with Senda and Currie being denied by the crossbar and goalkeeper respectively. McSporran replaced Currie just before the hour mark and more bodies were thrown forward when Craig Faulconbridge came on for Steve Brown. Philo was also pushed into a more forward role and he earned praise from Manager Tony Adams after the game. However, despite all the effort and determination it wasn't enough to take anything from this match. Wanderers have now gone ten games without a win and the gap to safety has now risen to 11 points with 11 games remaining.
Final Score - Bournemouth 1 Wycombe 0
Speaking in the press conference after the game Cherries boss Sean O'Driscoll said his side had to fight for the victory, saying "Credit to Wycombe, they made us work for it. I thought we started really brightly, created one or two chances, got the goal. We could have scored one or two more. Then Tony changed things, they had got nothing to lose. It makes it really difficult to play against them. They are at a stage in their season where, I wouldn't have said they have resigned themselves to getting relegated, but it will take an awful lot now and that causes us problems. It gives them a little bit of an advantage because there is no pressure now, all the pressure is on us. If we didn't win then people would get disappointed."
Meanwhile, Tony Adams told BBC Three Counties Radio "I think we battled well and we gave everything. I think they actually played better than they did against Bristol City, so the lads are all kicking themselves in the dressing room, thinking how they have come away with nothing." Adams has also thought that Bournemouth had shown his team tremendous respect, adding "We were bottom of the table and he's put on two centre-halves right at the death to try and lock things up. So that gives you some indication on how we were pressing to get the equaliser." But he couldn't hide his disappointment of losing another game by a narrow margin "We are kind of gutted that we didn't come away with anything. It is frustrating because we need everything at this stage of the season but at the moment the results are not going ou way but the performances and the effort are fantastic. I'm very proud of them and thanks to the fans for coming up."
Wycombe: Williams, Senda, Johnson, Nethercott, Vinnicombe, Currie (sub 57 McSporran), Brown (sub 72 Faulconbridge), Simpemba, Philo, Tyson, Bulman - subs not used Mapes, Dixon, Hole
Bookings: Brown (foul 26), Bulman (foul 79)
Bournemouth: Moss, Buxton, Purches, Carl Fletcher, Maher, Cummings, Hayter (sub 89 Holmes), Jorgensen, Browning, Feeney (sub 88 Broadhurst), Steve Fletcher - subs not used: Elliott, O'Connor, Stock
Bookings: C Fletcher (foul 25), S Fletcher (foul 43), Maher (foul 80)
Scorers: Cummings (20)
Referee: Chris Foy Attendance: 7,311 (away section 1,000)
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