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Cambridge United 0
Tuesday 14th October 2003
LDV Vans Trophy - First Round
LDV Vans Trophy Wanderers struggled their way into the Second Round of the LDV Vans Trophy with a narrow victory over Cambridge United in front of just 977 supporters at Adams Park. A headed goal from Guy Branston after 20 minutes was enough to see off The U's and end Wanderers run of 13 games without a win.
As expected caretaker Manager John Gorman was forced to make one change to the side that lost at Luton the previous Saturday - flu victim Gavin Holligan being replaced by Andy Bell. However, there was one other change as Roger Johnson came into a back five with Steve Brown relegated to the bench.
Meanwhile, the visitors, who were area finalists in 2003 and beaten finalists in 2002, were forced into a number of changes due to injuries. Indeed 39 year old Manager John Taylor was forced to name himself in the starting line-up for the first time in 18 months.
Kicking towards the U's 170 strong away following in the first half, Wanderers could have taken the lead within the opening 30 seconds when Danny Senda delivered from the right but Keith Ryan's shot on the turn was high of the target. 'Rhino' stabbed another good chance over on 12 minutes as once again Wanderers finishing let them down.
The U's responded on 13 minutes with Branston being forced to clear the danger close to the goal line as once again the Wanderers defence showed signs of falling apart. A minute later Player/Manager Taylor poked an effort on the run over Frank Talia's crossbar from around 12 yards after Wanderers defence had been breached from the right.
Wanderers got their goal when Chris Vinnicombe's cross from the left was headed into the dangerzone by Roger Johnson and Branston was left unmarked to power a straightforward header past Shaun Marshall in the U's goal to register his first goal in a Wanderers' shirt.
For all their efforts in trying to force an equaliser, The U's never really troubled Talia before the break and Darren Currie's free kick from the left on 44 minutes almost saw Senda's low shot creep inside the left-hand upright.
Half-time Wycombe 1 Cambridge 0
Brown was introduced at half-time for Johnson and he went to have Wanderers best chance to increase the lead when he headed over in the 69th minute from a Currie free-kick from right. However, before then the visitors spurned a number of chances to get back into the game. A minute after the break Shane Tudor sliced a shot wide of an open goal after getting past Talia. It proved to be the story of The U's evening as they sent chances closer to their fans than Talia, while referee Penn was not interested with their half-hearted claims for penalties.
From Wanderers point of view the chances also kept coming. Brown's cross from the left on 50 minutes saw Ryan head straight at the 'keeper, while on the hour mark Brown fored over as the ball broke loose following a move down the left.
Bell was checked by Stevland Angus as he approached goal on 62 minutes but after the U's player was shown the yellow card, Wanderers couldn't take advantage of the free-kick. Angus was later lucky to stay on the pitch for a similar challenge on Bell down the right flank.
After surving the visitors best spell of the game midway through the second-half, Wanderers finished with a bit of a flurry following the introduction of Lewis Cook. On 78 minutes the former Youth Teamer raced through from midfield before shooting high of the target from just inside the left side of the U's penalty area. Two minute later Currie dazzled the sparse crowd with a fine piece of individual skill before curling his shot wide of the far post.
Certainly not the greatest of games but the relief of actually winning game was clear on the faces of the players at the final whistle. Meanwhile John Gorman commented in the post match press conference "Things will improve. Building’s what it’s all about at the minute. We want to get out of the bottom. The most important thing is that we’ve now got a win and we have to take that into our next two home league games, which are very important, and that’s the priority at this time."
Final Score - Wycombe 1 Cambridge United 0
Wycombe: Talia, Senda, Thomson, Vinnicombe, Branston, Johnson (sub HT Brown), Currie, Bulman (sub 72 Cook), Simpson, Bell, Ryan - subs not used: Williams, Mapes, Dixon
Bookings: none
Scorer: Branston (20)
Cambridge: Marshall, Tann, Duncan, Angus, Murray, Guttridge, Walker, Bridges (sub 64 Nacca), Tudor, Taylor, Opara (sub 53 Turner) - subs not used: Brennan, Fleming, Bimson
Bookings: Murray (foul 16), Angus (62)
Referee: Mr Andy Penn Attendance: 977 (174 away end)
For the record this was Wanderers lowest home attendance for a 'First Team' fixture (excluding County Cup games) since moving to Adams Park in 1990.
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