Wanderers drew the "must win" game with Notts County and can all but start planning for life in Division Three next season after results elsewhere stepped up the gap to safety to a massive 14 points and just ten games remaining. It could have worse too but for Nathan Tyson's equaliser on 78 minutes to level the scores at 1-1 before Wanderers survived a loud claim for a penalty with two minutes remaining.
Wycombe Wanderers 1
Notts County 1
Saturday 13th March 2004
Football League Division Two
Tony Adams put out line-up with attack in mind with Craig Faulconbridge was recalled to partner Tyson up front. Tyson was playing his first game since his permanent move from Reading was finalised on Thursday and he was involved early on as Wycombe pressed the County goal. Darren Currie smacked a 4th minute free-kick against the post following a foul on Tyson but County gradually came back into the game. They forced three corners in quick succession around the 14 minute mark with Tony Scully spurning a good chance from the third. Then in the 16th minute Paul Heffernan looked certain to score when he nipped in from the left but struck his shot against the right hand post. However, a minute later the visitors took the lead when a County free kick from inside their half was flicked on by the head of Simon Baldry and over Roger Johnson, leaving Heffernan in space to finish past Steve Williams from eight yards.
Wanderers did everything but score in response. On 19 minutes Currie's cross from the left saw on loan County 'keeper Pegguy Arphexad mis-handle but Wandererer couldn't force the ball home from the resulting goalmouth scramble. Arphexad did manage to claim a Faulconbridge header at the far post on 36 minutes following a Danny Senda cross from the right, while a couple of minutes later Jermaine McSporran's shot at goal led to another scramble that ended when Currie and David Pipe collided on the left side of the six yard box.
Half-time Wycombe 0 County 1
Faulconbridge did well again to meet a McSporran cross from the left on 65 minutes but Tyson couldn't get the vital touch towards goal. McSporran was replaced by Mark Philo shortly afterwards and the Wanderers Youth Teamer was given a great chance to level the scores on 73 minutes when Currie's low cross from the right found its way through the County defence but the youngster tried to place his shot and Arphexad managed to block. However, the French 'keeper will want to forget about his County debut when with just 12 minutes he gave Wycombe a lifeline. Stuart Nethercott pushed the ball to the right to Currie whose looped cross was stabbed home by Tyson from close range after Arphexad had flapped the ball down into his own six yard area. But there was no fairy tale finish as Wanderers ran out of steam and ideas and were grateful for the referee to wave away claims for a penalty in the dying minutes after Chris Vinnicombe and then Williams both appeared to have impeded a County attack from the right bye-line. The result kept up Wycombe's record of never having lost to County at Adams Park but with a run of one win and seven draws from the last 12 League games, Wanderers are not picking up enough points to have any chance of avoiding the drop this time around.
Final Score - Wycombe 1 Notts County 1
Speaking in the press conference after the game Tony Adams said he was disappointed with the result but told BBC Three Counties Radio "I'm pleased with the way with fought back and the spirit and we really took the game into them in the second half." And commenting on whether he was now looking at Division Three football, added "I'm looking at Second Division versus Colchester and until we can't mathematically can't do it, then we will keep going and even if we are relegated before the end of the season you can't play next season's football before you actually finish this season. So, I'm going to battle away in this division."
|Wycombe: Williams, Senda, Vinnicombe, Johnson, Nethercott, Simpson, Bulman, McSporran (sub 70 Philo), Currie, Faulconbridge, Tyson - subs not used: Mapes, Bloomfield, Simpemba, Dixon
Scorer: Tyson (78)
|Notts County: Arphexad, Pipe, Fenton, Barras, Richardson, Baldry, Caskey (sub 85 McHugh), Oakes, Bolland, Heffernan (sub 85 Scoffham), Scully - subs not used Baraclough, Deeney, Harrad
Bookings: Caskey (foul 27)
Scorer: Heffernan (17)
|Referee: Lee Probert
|Attendance: 5,125 (away end 485)
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