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Wycombe Wanderers 1
Saturday 11th October 2003
Nationwide Football League Division Two
Steve Brown Wanderers slumped to a 3-1 defeat at Kenilworth Road after taking a 48th minute lead through a Steve Brown penalty. Wanderers conceded three times in the final fifteen minutes and the defeat means that Wanderers have now equalled their worst ever run of League games without a win since joining the Football League - the previous record was set at the start of the 1998/99 season under Neil Smillie.
For the game at Kenilworth Road caretaker boss John Gorman stuck with the game starting XI that had drawn with Plymouth Argyle the previous Saturday but once again it was Wanderers lack of finishing power that ultimately cost them the game. Before the match Gorman said he was on the look out for a loan striker. However, time ran out before the midday Friday deadline and it was Gavin Holligan and Keith Ryan who featured in the front line with Darren Currie just behind them.
Wanderers could have taken the lead in the opening minute when a poor clearance by 17 year old Luton 'keeper Dean Brill went straight to Michael Simpson but Russell Perrett managed to get back and hook the ball off the line from Simo's 30 yard plus looping effort. On 8 minutes Holligan had a great chance to open the scoring when put through on goal by Simpson but he shot wide with just Brill to beat.
It proved to one of few chances for either side in a fairly uneventful first-half. Luton's best effort fell to Adrian Forbes in the 24th minute but Frank Talia pulled off a great save as the opening 45 minutes ended goal less.
Half-time 0-0
Wanderers goal came after Danny Senda was fouled by Courtney Pitt and Brown stuck away the resulting spot-kick. Thoughts were drifting to Wanderers first away win since March 2003 but after substitute Richard Harris had missed a good chance just moments after coming on as substitute, Wanderers went on to conceed three goals in the final fifteen minutes. First on 76 minutes Harris loss possession in midfield and when the ball was delivered into the Wycombe penalty area, Andy Thomson's clearance cannoned in off Gary McSheffrey's leg. It got worse on 84 minutes when Matthew Spring's corner from the left found Russell Perrett unmarked at the far post to head home. A 25 yarder from McSheffrey with two minutes left on the clock increased the gloom level for the travelling fans.
Speaking after the game to BBC Three Counties Radio, Wanderers caretaker Manager, John Gorman, said "We were reasonably in control. We got a break, we got the penalty. The first half was fairly even but we could have scored straight from kick-off with ball played by Simpson. You think that might be your day if that goes in. We got the penalty straight after half-time and we looked quite solid at that period. We should have, in all honesty, took a two goal lead. We had a great opportunity when the substitute was put through. If we had got that second, we could have killed it right off. But Luton to their credit put caution to the wind a little bit." Gorman said the team had worked hard in training during the week but was disappointed in the way the game ended, commenting "We capsized a bit in the last fifteen minutes which has possibly been happening before. That's the disappointing thing when we looked so solid to then go to pieces in the last ten to fifteen minutes." The stand-in boss also said that confidence is playing a large part in Wycombe's performances and is hoping that a run of three home games will turn the fortune around, adding "We need a win now because confidence is a big thing. Luton showed today that they weren't confident until they got a goal. I think if we get in front at home we can go on and do well."
Final Score - Luton 3 Wycombe 1
Wycombe: Talia, Senda, Thomson, Vinnicombe, Branston, Currie (sub 85 Mapes), Bulman, Simpson, Brown, Holligan (sub 67 Harris), Ryan (sub 80 Bell) - subs not used: Williams, Johnson
Bookings: Brown (foul 7), Ryan (foul 68), Branston (foul 72), Harris (foul 73)
Scorer: Brown (48,pen)
Luton: Brill, Boyce, Coyne, Perrett, Davis, Spring, Robinson (sub 74 Mansell), Pitt, Hughes,Forbes (sub 74 Showunmi), McSheffrey - subs not used: Hillier, Leary, Abbey
Bookings: Perrett (foul 56)
Scorers: McSheffrey 2 (76, 88), Perrett (84)
Referee: Mr Richard Beeby Attendance: 5,695 (414 away end)
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