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Wycombe Wanderers 1
Saturday 25th October 2003
Football League Division Two
Danny Senda, Dannie Bulman and goalscorer Darren Currie after Saturday's 1-1 draw at Hartlepool Wanderers came away with a point from thier first ever visit to Victoria Park but will know it could have been better. Fielding an unchanged line-up to the one that had beaten Bristol City in the week, Wanderers were a goal up inside the opening 3 minutes when Chris Vinnicombe's searching cross from the left found its way to the opposite corner of the penalty area where Darren Currie picked out his spot by sending the ball back into the far corner of the net.
It could have been 2-0 on 10 minutes but for an amazing double save from home 'keeper Jim Provett after Currie had chipped the ball in from the left for first Guy Branston and then Gavin Holligan to be denied in front of a relieved home terrace.
Frank Talia was first drawn into action in the 19th minute when John Brackstone's 25 yarder dipped towards goal from the left flank but Talia, who made his Football League debut playing Pools in 1992, tipped the ball over.
A couple of minutes later Jermaine McSporran left the home defence chasing shadows as he broke down the right but Jocky's angled shot didn't have enough on it beat Provett.
The home side eventually got back on terms with a fortunate goal from Pools stalwart Michael Barron who saw his 39th minute shot from the edge of the penalty smack against the foot of the post and rebound past Frank Talia and into the opposite corner of the goal. It was Barron's third ever League goal for Hartlepool in more than 250 appearances.
But Wanderers had a further chance of restoring the lead before the break when McSporran crossed from the right but Danny Bulman saw his shot blocked at the near post. Play then switched immediately to the other end where Talia had to slide out to the edge of his penalty area to collect from Darrell Clarke.
Half-time 1-1
The second-half began quietly but gradually saw the home side turn on the pressure. However, another robust defensive display from the Wanderers saw Talia's goal protected. A prime exampe coming in the 57th minute when a deep corner from the right saw Chris Westwood's header look to have beaten Talia but Steve Brown was there to clear off the line.
Meanwhile, Wycombe relied on break-aways for the opportunities and ended up with the better chances to have won the game. McSporran had the best opening on 60 minutes when he broke down the right flank but his shot from a 'one on one' situation was hit straight at the 'keeper and when Gavin Holligan volleyed in the rebound, Provett picked himself up to save again.
Any thoughts of Wycombe sitting back for a point were dispelled with the introduction of Keith Ryan and Stuart Roberts up front and after Wanderers had survived a big claim for hand-ball from the home fans on 71 minutes, it was the travelling fans who saw their team continue to press for a winner.
On 72 minutes Danny Senda raced forward just right of goal before pushing the ball left to Currie. Unfortunately Currie wasn't as accurate as his first half effort and sent the ball agonisingly wide of the far post. Two minutes later Roberts broke from a similar position to Senda but when shooting may have been an option, the Welshman chose to cross only for Currie's shot to blocked by two defenders guarding the line.
Paul Robinson sent a half-volley over Talia's bar with eight minutes left on the clock and their were a couple of hairy moments in the closing stages but in the end a draw was probably a fair result against a Hartlepool side who have still not lost at home in the League since September 2002. For Wanderers and caretaker boss John Gorman this was another encouraging display and one that will have done Gorman's chances of landing the Manager's job full-time, no harm.
Final Score - Hartlepool 1 Wycombe 1
Wycombe: Talia, Senda, Vinnicombe, Thomson, Currie, Bulman, McSporran, Holligan (sub 62 Ryan), Branston, Simpson, Brown (sub 68 Roberts) - subs not used: Williams, Mapes, Johnson
Bookings: Senda (foul 71), McSporran (foul 89)
Scorer: Currie (3)
Hartlepool: Provett, Barron, Westwood, Nelson, Brackstone, Clarke (P Robinson, 46), Humphreys, Strachan, Tinkler (sub 84 Sweeney), E Williams, Richardson (sub 84 Gabbiadini) - subs not used: A Williams, Craddock
Bookings: none
Scorer: Barron (39)
Referee: Mr Martin Atkinson Attendance: 5,153 (183 away end)
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