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Wycombe Wanderers 1
Saturday 10th April 2004
Football League Division Two
Wycombe players after final whistle at Plymouth Wanderers' slim hopes of Division Two survival virtually disappeared after they surrended a 1-0 lead against League leaders Plymouth. Nathan Tyson shot Wanderers ahead in the 5th minute when he broke clear down the left channel following a quick free-kick by Darren Currie. Williams made two excellent saves to keep Wanderers ahead before Tyson had another chance to double Wanderers' lead on 29 minutes. However, pressure from the home side finally told six minutes before the break when a corner from the right by Tony Capaldi wasn't dealt with by the Wanderers defence and Graham Coughlan forced the ball home at the far post. It was another corner, this time from the left, that led to the winning goal. Williams couldn't hold on to the ball and when it dropped into the six yard box, Mickey Evans managed to back heel the ball into the net. Williams dislocated a finger in the challenge that led to the goal and was replaced for the final ten minutes by Steve Brown.
Tony Adams stuck with the same starting XI that had beaten Port Vale the previous week while Mark Rogers returned on the bench with Youth Team 'keeper Tom Gott back in the treatment room. Tyson's goal was a great finish as he managed to lift the ball over the advancing 'keeper. It gave Wycombe a great start and hopes of an upset on a Maine Road '99 scale came to mind. At the other end Wiliams tipped over a shot by Evans on 17 minutes and then five minutes later blocked a free-kick and then a follow-up close range header from David Friio. Moments later Marino Keith's shot hit the foot of the post as the home fans continued to be frustrated.
Tsyon's chance to double Wycombe's lead on 28 minutes came from a similar position to earlier goal. However, this time his shot was lower and Argyle 'keeper Luke McCormick managed to intercept. Michael Simpson saw a 25 yarder held by McCormick on 33 minutes but it was mainly a backs to wall job for the Wanderers.
The equaliser was another disappointment from a defensive point of view with Wanderers struggling to deal with successive corners from the right by Capaldi, resulting in Coughlan's scrambled goal at the far post. From that point Wanderers fans knew it was going to be a tough remaining 50 minutes.
Half-time 1-1
Tyson, playing as virtually a lone striker up front, saw a snap shot from the left channel pushed away by McCormick eight minutes in the second-half before the home side stepped up the pressure in search of a winner.
Dannie Bulman replaced a limping Matt Bloomfield on 54 minutes and Wanderers went to a five man midfield when Brown replaced Craig Faulconbridge just after the hour mark. Meanwhile, Argyle eventually switched to three up front but still Wanderers defence held out - Roger Johnson clearing off the line twice when Williams was beaten. Former Argyle loan midfielder Darren Currie had Wanderers final effort at goal in 70th minute but McCormick was there to push the ball away.
The winner came following a Paul Wotton corner from the left. The ball was hooked back in from the right by substitute Nathan Lowndes and Williams couldn't get enough on his punch, giving Evans the chance to grab glory and stir up the home fans. Williams was inadvertently injured in the challenge that led to the goal and it looks likely he'll miss the rest of the season.
Wycombe threw bodies forward for an equaliser, including Johnson as a makeshift centre-forward. But it wasn't to be and it was a disappointing end for the travelling Wanderers fans but against a side who are clear leaders of the Division and look certain to gain automatic promotion, the performance was no disgrace.
Final Score - Plymouth Argyle 2 Wycombe 1
Speaking after the game Tony Adams said "It was brave performance. The boys gave me everything. It was a fantastic effort and I was very proud of them. We had a great chance to go 2-0 up with Nathan and it might have been different if we had scored then, but we had ridden our luck before that." Meanwhile, Argyle caretaker-manager Kevin Summerfield said his side could have been four or five up at the break, adding "We played really well. We absolutely battered them in the first half. The goalkeeper pulled off three or four absolutely world-class saves." He continued "They [Wycombe] were holding on and came back into the game, but our lads kept battling. We spent an hour doing set-pieces yesterday and scored off two. Thatís quality."
Wycombe: Williams (sub 84 Philo), Simpemba, Nethercott, Johnson, Vinnicombe, Senda, Simpson, Bloomfield (sub 54 Bulman), Currie, Tyson, Faulconbridge (sub 63 Brown) - subs not used Dixon, Rogers
Bookings: Nethercott (foul 66)
Scorer: Tyson (5)
Plymouth: McCormick, Connolly, Gilbert, Coughlan, Wotton, Norris, Friio (sub 71 Adams), Hodges, Capaldi (sub Lowndes), Evans, Keith (sub 89 Sturrock) - subs not used: Stonebridge, Phillips
Bookings: Hodges (foul 25), Evans (foul 89)
Scorers: Coughlan (39), Evans (80)
Referee: David Crick Attendance: 14,806 (308 away end)
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