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Wycombe Wanderers 2
Saturday 24th January 2004
Football League Division Two
Tony AdamsFor 74 minutes of this game at Chesterfield it looked like Wanderers were heading for their first away win for ten months. Reading loanee Nathan Tyson had given Wycombe the lead on 8 minutes when he beat the offside trap to slot the ball past Carl Muggleton in the home goal after a flick through from midfield. Seven minutes into the second half Darren Currie's free-kick from the left to the near post caught out the Chesterfield defence and Stuart Nethercott headed home from close range.
It had Wanderers hardcore following dreaming of three points and the possible start of a revival in League fortunes. However, Wanderers' defence went into slumberland mode and on 74 minutes Chris Brandon was allowed to drift in at the near post to place the ball past Scott Bevan. From that moment on Wanderers' defending looked nervous and it was no surprise when Ian Evatt equalised on 82 minutes when he gave Bevan no chance with a well directed header following a cross from the left.
The home side could have added to Wanderers' misery in the dying moments but Mark Hudson's header was well held by Bevan, who looked assured throughout, following a ball in from the right and the game ended level.
The point will do little to enhance either sides chances of Division Two survival although with Stockport, Peterborough, Notts County and Brentford all losing the point of no return is still a little way off but for Wycombe this was very much a case of 'the one that got away'.
Tean news for the match saw Tony Adams shuffle his side again. With Keith Ryan out with a knee injury Ian Simpemba was moved into midfield and 18 year old Second year scholar Andy Reilly was given his second Football League start at left-back. In a five man midfield Michael Simpson returned with Stuart Roberts relegated to the bench while Jermaine McSporran, back after a one match ban, was favoured ahead of Craig Faulconbridge and played wide from midfield with Tyson Wanderers sole target man. Third Year Youth Teamer Jamie McClurg was included on the bench for the first time.
Wanderers could have been ahead in the 6th minute when Tyson latched onto a through ball from midfield. The pacey striker struck his shot low and hard from the left side of the penalty area but Muggleton managed to push the ball away. However, two minutes later Wycombe were ahead when Wanderers won a corner on the right when a wayward pass deflected off a Chesterfield player. Currie chipped in the corner which was headed clear but Simpemba managed to dink the ball back into the area where Tyson slotted the ball home and after a quick glance across to the linesman, celebrated his first goal in a Wycombe shirt (albeit an unsponsored one due to some oversight).
The goal seemed to give Wanderers confidence and in the 19th minute Currie will know he should have done better with an attempted volley following a cross from the right by McSporran. Currie was also unlucky in the 25th minute when his in swinging corner from the left was headed off the line at the far post by Mark Hudson.
The home side had a brief rally at the end of the first-half with Glynn Hurst firing over from the edge of the box on 31 minutes with just Bevan to beat. Then with four minutes of the half remaining Nethercott tripped the ever threatening Marvin Robinson just a yard outside the Wanderers penalty but the Millwall man redeemed himself by heading away Alan O'Hare's curling free-kick.
Half-time Chesterfield 0 Wycombe 1
Currie went close again with an amazing flighted 20 yard effort from the right channel two minutes after the restart. Muggleton could only watch as the ball went over his head and clipped the top of his crossbar. But the Chesterfield 'keeper was beaten on 52 minutes when Currie's free-kick from the left ended past him off the head and Nethercott and Wanderers looked home and dry as the Chesterfield fans started getting on their team's back.
Just a hint of what was to come arrived on 58 minutes when substitute David Reeves' cross from the right found an unmarked Hurst who sent his header against the crossbar. Wanderers started to defend even deeper and paid the penalty with the goal conceeded in the 74th and 82nd minute. By this stage Wanderers were hanging on and were probably glad to here the final whistle.
Meanwhile, Tony Adams said he was disappointed as well as frustrated that his side couldn't hang on to the lead when he spoke to the media in the post match press conference. He commented " A confident team that is going for the title of the Second Division would close that game out 2-0. Unfortunately we are scrapping at the bottom and it's very difficult to close out. I sense the team was full of fear, they got deeper and deeper. I feel sorry for them at the moment." The Wycombe boss is also keen to get across the message to the fans that the rebuilding process remains a priority, adding "I think people will focus on the situation we are in, they will look at results, they will see 2-2 and I will desperately try and keep people's attention on the process. We are part of a process and it will take me a lot of time. On and off the field we need to do a lot of things."
Final Score - Chesterfield 2 Wycombe 2
Wycombe: Bevan, Senda, Reilly, Marshall, Nethercott, Simpson, Bulman, Simpemba, Currie (sub 87 Roberts), McSporran, Tyson - subs not used Williams, Faulconbridge, Bloomfield, McClurg
Bookings: Nethercott (foul 41), Bulman (foul 77)
Scorers: Tyson (8), Nethercott (52)
Chesterfield: Muggleton, Uhlenbeek, Blatherwick (susb HT Innes), Evatt, O'Hare, Allott, Hudson, Niven (sub 73 McMaster), Brandon, Robinson (sub 53 Reeves), Hurst - subs not used: Richmond, Dawson
Bookings: Uhelnbreek (foul 79)
Scorers: Brandon (74), Evatt (82)
Referee: Kevin Friend Attendance: 3,576 (away sections 200 approx)
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