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Wycombe Wanderers - click here for your Rough Guide to The Chairboys Wycombe Wanderers 0 Luton Town - Click here for Quick Guide to The Hatters
Luton Town 0
Saturday 14th February 2004
Football League Division Two
Action versus Luton Wanderers failed in their attempt to beat Luton Town for the first time at Adams Park but it wasn't through the want of trying. Wanderers dominated for large periods of the game and nearly grabbed a sensational late winner when Jermaine McSporran could only slide Nathan Tyson's cross from the left over the Valley End crossbar with three minutes remaining.
The result against Luton was Wanderers fourth consecutive draw and with out of form side Grimsby Town winning, Wycombe are now a massive eleven points adrift from escaping the drop zone. However, on this showing it looks like there is plenty of fight left in the team the performance certainly gave the home fans something to be encouraged about for the future.
Team news for Wycombe saw Keith Ryan ruled out again with his knee injury that will take at least a week longer to heal. Scott Marshall was out with a hamstring strain picked up in the previous week's clash with Brighton and Roger Johnson took his place. Chris Vinnicombe returned to the side in place of Youth Teamer Andy Reilly. 18 year old Reilly was picked for the Scotland Under 21 squad during the week but Tony Adams said he was resting the youngster for the benefit of the player.
In a simlar pattern to the Brighton game, the first-half passed by without major incident. Johnson was called upon to head away from under his own cross bar around the 20 minute mark while at the other end a McSporran shot from 25 yards was held at the second attempt by Hatters 'keeper Morten Hyldgaard.
The best chance for either side during the first-half came on 35 minutes when Nathan Tyson was sent clear down the right channel but Hyldgaard managed to push the angled shot away and then recovered enough to scoop the ball away as Wycombe attempted to convert the loose ball.
Wanderers kept up the pressure leading up the break culminating in Senda's cross from the right causing problems for the Hatters defence and on the stroke of 45 minutes Johnson flicking a header past the far post from Darren Currie's free-kick from the left.
Half-time 0-0
Chris Coy went close for the visitors with a chip from the right channel four minutes after the restart but it was Wycombe who went on to dominate the remainder of the game. On 52 minutes McSporran was tripped by Keith Keane on route to goal down the left. 17 year old Keane was making his full League debut for The Hatters after Ian Hillier pulled a hamstring in the warm-up. He did well to keep McSporran at bay for most of the game but was booked for this foul by 4th official Lee Cable who had replaced the injured Steve Bennett at the break.
Wanderers couldn't take advantage from the free-kick and were then grateful to see Scott Bevan tip over a Steve Howard header on 62 minutes to prevent Luton scoring on the counter-attack. However, Wycombe responded again with Michael Simpson shooting from 20 yards in the 67th minute with an effort that Hyldgaard spilled but Tyson couldn't quite reach the rebound. Two minutes later Tyson was upended by Sol Davis as he steamed down the left channel and again the referee proududed yellow.
With the home fans urging Wycombe on, there were six minutes remaining when McSporran was controversially booked when he was deemed to have dived following a tackle just on the edge of the penalty area down the right channel. McSporran was then on the end of Tyson's cross from the left in the dying moments but he got too good a connection and the ball flashed over the Valley End crossbar as Wycombe had to settle for a point.
Final Score - Wycombe 0 Luton Town 0
Speaking in the press conference after the game Wanderers' Manager Tony Adams said "I was really pleased for the guys and feel a little bit sorry that we didn't get the points because the performance defintely warranted that." Adams said there was more confidence spreading through the team, adding "I felt confident that we were not going to throw a goal away. That's a big change and it's not just me, the players are feeling it as well and that's the important thing."
Wycombe: Bevan, Senda, Vinnicombe, Johnson, Nethercott, Simpson, Brown, Bulman, Currie, McSporran, Tyson - subs not used: Williams, Bloomfield, Philo, Simpemba, Roberts
Bookings: Johnson (foul 20), Tyson (foul 31), McSporran (unsporting behaviour 84)
Luton: Hyldgaard, Keane, Boyce, Coyne, Davis, Nicholls, Robinson, Spring, Holmes (sub 74 Brkovic), Showunmi, Howard - subs not used Davies, Brill, Leary, O'Leary
Bookings: Keane (foul 52), Davis (foul 69)
Referee: Steve Bennett (1st half)
Lee Cable (2nd half)
Attendance: 6,407 (away end 1,838)
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