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Wycombe Wanderers 1
Tuesday 2nd March 2004
Football League Division Two
After final whistle at Ashton Gate Wanderers snatched a draw at Ashton Gate when Jermaine McSporran stooped in to head home a Dannie Bulman cross from the right with 18 minutes left on the clock. The home fans had been frustrated for most of the evening by a combination of Wanderers defending and City's poor finishing but Danny Wilson's side eventually took the lead on the hour mark when Mark Goodfellow fired home from the right and they must have thought that was going to be enough.
Team news for Wycombe at Ashton Gate saw Roger Johnson return to the centre of defence after his one match ban and Ian Simpemba dropping to the bench. The only other change was Matt Bloomfield replacing Michael Simpson in midfield after 'Simo' cried off with a virus. Nathan Tyson and Stuart Nethercott played the final games of their current loan spells although they are both expected to agree on the further one month extension allowed. Steve Williams continued between the sticks as Wycombe's only fit professional goalkeeper at the Club with Frank Talia out for several weeks after pulling a calf muscle in training. Tony Adams attempted to sign Scott Bevan on a permanent deal in time for the trip to Bristol but the former Southampton trainee said he wanted more time to think over the offer and it's also been reported that he's having talks with Division Two bound Wimbledon.
The game itself was delayed by 15 minutes due to a power problem affecting the turnstiles but when the action started, as expected, it was 'backs to wall' stuff for the Wanderers. City were camped in Wycombe's half for the majority of the game but the goal somehow remained intack for the opening hour despite some hair-raising moments and panic clearances.
Within the opening two minutes Aaron Brown had shot over from 20 yards while on five minutes Lee Peacock directed a head into the path of Lee Miller on the edge of the Wycombe box but Williams gathered the effort with ease. Wanderers were relying very much on the counter-attack from Williams' long clearances but it made little impression on the promotion chasers.
On 19 minutes a mis-understanding between Williams and Stuart Nethercott led to a City on the right. The resulting corner led a goalmouth scramble but Wanderers survived and shortly afterwards had their only real chance of the half. Steve Brown picked up play in midfield and swept a pass out to McSporran down the left channel. 'Jocky' raced into the penalty before seeing his shot cleared away for a corner on the left. Currie delivered a deep ball to the far side of the six yard box where it was headed back in the danger zone for Brown to see his diving header cleared away from the goalline.
Ian Simpemba replaced Matt Bloomfield towards the end of the half after the former Ipswich Town defender failed to recover from an awkward self inflicted twist to his leg in the opening twenty minutes of the game. Meanwhile, City finished the half on top as they forced three corners in quick succession as the Wanderers defence continued to look decidely shakey but never the less still got back in enough numbers to avert the danger.
Half-time Bristol City 0 Wycombe 0
Peacock headed a glorious chance wide from Luke Wilkshire's ball from the right nine minutes after the restart before Wilkshire was replaced by Brian Tinnion. It was Tinnion who was involved in City's goal when he headed back Tommy Doherty's corner from the left into the path of Goodfellow who thrashed the ball past Williams with the help of slight deflection.
It would of been easy for Wycombe to crumble at this point but the heads of the players didn't drop and their reward came on 72 minutes after Tyson had been tripped by Tommy Doherty around 20 yards from goal. Bulman's free-kick was smashed into the City wall but Bulman picked up play again in the right corner and beat his defender with a neat piece of skill before delivering a cross that McSporran got to first. 'Jocky' admitted after the game that the ball had flew in off his shoulder but the goal counted and Wycombe were level. The closing stages were frantic with City going forward but in the process leaving gaps at the back. Wanderers finished on top, forcing two corners in stoppage time but the clock ran out.
The draw leaves Wycombe still clinging on to Second Division survival as results elsewhere reduce the gap to safety to nine points with both Chesterfield and Brentford being drawn back into the dogfight.
Final Score - Bristol City 1 Wycombe 1
Speaking in the press conference after the game Wanderers' Manager Tony Adams said he was delighted with the way his side had fought back from a goal down and added "We showed a lot of resilience and spirit after going a goal behind because Bristol could have gone on expecting three or four. It is pleasing when the players give you so much effort." Meanwhile, City boss Danny Wilson commented "I thought it was a good performance by the boys by and large and our chances and shots at goal far outweighed Wycombe's, although they can take a lot of credit for how they battled."
Wycombe: Williams, Senda, Vinnicombe, Johnson, Nethercott, Bloomfield (sub 39 Simpemba), Brown, Bulman, Currie (sub 62 Philo), McSporran, Tyson - subs not used: Faulconbridge, Dixon, Mapes
Bookings: Brown (foul 90)
Scorers: McSporran (72)
Bristol City: Phillips, Carey, Bell, Coles, Hill (sub 23 Fortune), Goodfellow, Doherty, Wilkshire (sub 57 Tinnion), Brown, Peacock, Miller (sub 79 Lita) - subs not used: Roberts, Woodman
Bookings: none
Scorers: Goodfellow (60)
Referee: Tony Bates Attendance: 12,291 (away end 215)
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