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Brentford 2
Saturday 15th November 2003
Football League Division Two
Wanderers put the pressure on Brentford In Tony Adams' first match in full control of the team, Wanderers were dealt a cruel blow when an injury-time goal from Bees' substitute Jay Tabb saw the visitors snatch an undeserved victory.
As expected Adams made no changes to the line-up that had beaten Swindon in the cup the previous Saturday and he saw Wanderers dominate the opening exchanges with Danny Senda and Andy Thomson both going close with headers from Darren Currie corners.
However, the visitors survived the lively start from the Wanderers and spoiled the building atmosphere inside Adams Park on 29 minutes when Eddie Hutchinson's header following a Stephen Hunt corner from the left was adjudged to have crossed the line by the linesman even though it seemed Chris Vinnicombe had hooked off the ball away in time.
Steve Brown replaced Keith Ryan at the break and Wanderers looked more effective. Michael Simpson and Dannie Bulman went close before a through ball by Brown on 65 minutes found Jermaine McSporran on the right of midfield and with the crowd urging him on he drilled the ball into the back of the Valley End net to set up an exciting finale.
Darren Currie on the ball against BrentfordVictory was on the cards now for Wycombe and an incredible piece of skill by Currie on the right bye-line on 69 minutes almost saw Simpson clip the ball home. Currie went close himself on 75 minutes before Stuart Roberts and an overhead kick from McSporran teased the Wanderers fans praying for a victory to earn three precious points.
With three minutes of stoppage time shown, it was literally in the final seconds that Hunt's corner from the left found Tabb unmarked at the far post who headed home to send the travelling fans into ecstasy.
The result came as a bitter blow to Wanderers in a game where they enjoyed the majority of possession and created the better chances. In the opening five minutes Wanderers had forced two corners but each time Currie's delivery from the right was headed just wide by Senda and then Thomson. However, the danger signs were there for Wycombe on 11 minutes when Hutchinson stooped in to head home the ball into the net following a cross from the right. That effort was ruled out for offside and Wanderers responded by building up a move from the back that culminated in Currie being shut out by the Bees defence as he dribbled in from the left side of the penalty area.
Stuart Roberts on the ball against BrentfordTony Rougier hit a low shot from the right on 20 minutes that Frank Talia held before Wanderers' keeper made an incredible reflex save on 28 minutes to keep out a Ben May downward header before Thomson cleared. However, from the resulting corner Hutchinson's header was deemed to have crossed the line and Wanderers were left chasing yet another game.
Wanderers completely dominated the second period and when McSporran smashed home the equaliser it was just reward for an intense spell of pressure on the Brentford goal. That pressure continued but just as both sides seemed to have settled for a point, a lapse at the back from another set-piece let in Brentford to claim their first Football League success at Adams Park for seven years.
Speaking to the press after the game Tony Adams was pleased with the way his team had responded to his half-time talk, saying "I can't knock the guys for their second half performance - I thought they were outstanding with the effort they gave. I said a few things at half-time and they responded, so I thanked them for that. I'm proud of them." However, Wanderers' boss was not happy with the way the late winner was conceded, adding, "Their second goal was disappointing and frustrating for us because we've worked really hard at it all week in training, especially after defending so well at set plays last week against Swindon but you have to pick up the pieces and go again. I think if I didn't get the reaction I got at half-time and I didn't get that desire second half, I'd be sitting here a very worried man but it was an outstanding second half performance, we just didn't get the result today. Hopefully, we won't leave it until half-time next week."
Meanwhile, Brentford boss Wally Downes, speaking of Wycombe, said "They scored, and huffed and puffed a little bit, but I didn't think that the goalkeeper had that many saves to make. They had a little bit of territorial advantage but I thought we defended resolutely. They had four or five set-pieces in the last ten minutes, and we defended them stoutly and we had our opportunity. It's something that we work on quite hard, and everyone was in the right position and we scored from it"
Final Score - Wycombe 1 Brentford 2
Wycombe: Talia, Senda, Vinnicombe, Johnson, Thomson, Currie, Simpson, Bulman, Roberts, McSporran, Ryan (sub HT Brown) - subs not used; Mapes, Williams, Branston, Simpemba
Bookings: Brown (persistent foul play 90)
Scorers: McSporran (65)
Brentford: Paul Smith, Dobson (sub HT Frampton), Sonko, Kitamirike, Somner, Rougier (sub 71 Hughes), Hutchinson, O'Connor, Hunt, May, Tommy Wright (sub 83 Tabb) - subs not used Jay Smith, Julian
Bookings: O'Connor (foul 40)
Scorers: Hutchinson (29), Tabb(92)
Referee: Mr Keith Hill Attendance: 6,445 (1,078 away end)
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