In the performance of the season to date, Wanderers came from a goal down to beat 6th placed Port Vale at Adams Park. After the previous week's away victory at Oldham, Tony Adams had said he wanted to get back into the winning habit and made one change to the side that had been victorious at Boundary Park - Ian Simpemba coming in at right-back for Mark Rogers who had been injured in training following a clash of heads with Craig Faulconbridge. There was also news before the game that Stuart Nethercott has agreed a deal to keep him at Wycombe until the end of the season after his three month loan spell from Millwall drew to a close with this meeting with Vale.
Wycombe Wanderers 2
Port Vale 1
Saturday 3rd April 2004
Football League Division Two
However, Wanderers' task of registering their first back to back League victories since January 2003 was not made any easier after Steve McPhee had volleyed the visitors into a 7th minute lead following a cross from the right by Michael Cummins. But Wanderers rose to the occasion and after Craig Faulconbridge had seen a header hit the post on 39 minutes following a Chris Vinnicombe cross, deservedly got back into the game three minutes before the break - Darren Currie slotting away a penalty after Nathan Tyson had been hauled down on the right edge of the penalty area by Liam Burns.
By this stage Wanderers were playing some confident passing football and Currie and Tyson both went close to giving Wycombe the lead around the hour mark. First Currie saw a sweeping cross from the left skim off the face of the crossbar and then on 69 minutes Currie's cross from the left saw Tyson connect with a header at the near post but Jonathan Brain in the Vale goal held onto the ball. Tyson then forced another good save from Brain on 72 minutes while moments later Steve Williams made an excellent stop at the other end from Marc Bridge-Wilkinson. That save was made to look more important when Currie's free-kick from the left flank on 75 minutes sailed straight into the far corner of the net for an exquisite match winner.
Danny Senda, playing again in a right midfield role, went close to extending the lead on 77 minutes when he ran in from the right but his low curling shot was saved. With five minutes remaining Ian Simpemba headed forward for Senda to run on to and Matt Bloomfield went close when he connected with the resulting cross. In the final couple of minutes Williams was quick to block a Vale break as Wanderers finished the game well on top and with a determination not to let this lead slip.
Results elsewhere may not have have gone Wycombe's way but this was a result and performance to savour and showed again the tremendous spirit in the Wanderers' camp. The reactions both on and off the pitch after the final whistle confirmed those feelings.
Final Score - Wycombe 2 Port Vale 1
Speaking to BBC Three Counties Radio after the game Tony Adams said his team had deserved their win but commented on conceeding another early goal, "We need a goal against to fire us into life. The same happened today for ten minutes. We were all over the place again. To be fair, I've got to give credit to Port Vale. I thought they got an excellent goal."
However, the Wycombe boss praised his players for fighting back again from a goal down for the fifth time in the last seven games, saying "Credit to lads again. The effort is there. We responded well and got the goal back before half-time which is always a lift and said to them at half-time go and get the win that you deserve again."
|Wycombe: Williams, Simpemba, Vinnicombe, Nethercott, Johnson, Senda, Currie, Bloomfield, Simpson, Faulconbridge, Tyson - subs not used Philo, Gott, Brown, Bulman, Dixon
Bookings: Tyson (ungentlemanly conduct 90)
Scorers: Currie (42 pen, 75)
|Port Vale: Brain, James, Pilkington, Burns, Rowland (sub 89 Reid), Cummins, Brisco (sub 70 Armstrong), Lipa (sub 82 Birchall), Bridge-Wilkinson, McPhee, Paynter - subs not used Delaney, Eldershaw
Bookings: Burns (foul 41), Armstrong (foul 90)
Scorers: McPhee (7)
|Referee: Brian Curson
|Attendance: 4,739 (437 away end)
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