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Wycombe Wanderers 1
Friday 30th January 2004
Football League Division Two
Danny Senda and Andy Reilly acknowledge the Wycombe support at HillsboroughWanderers battled to a point as they made their first ever visit to Hillsborough on Friday evening for the live TV game with Sheffield Wednesday. However, it could have been three after Ian Simpemba had put an unchanged Wanderers line-up into the lead in only the second minute. Adam Proudlock, who was a member of the Wolves team that lost to Wycombe in the FA Cup almost three years ago to the day, eventually equalised for the home side on 61 minutes but Wanderers had chances before and after to have gone away with a famous victory.
Simpemba's goal, his first for the First Team, was a scrappy affair that had the Wanderers contingent at the opposite end of the ground straining to see what had happened. Darren Currie had swung in a free-kick from the left that Wednesday 'keeper David Lucas fumbled at the near post. Simpemba bravely dived in to force the ball over the line with his head but took a kick in the head for his troubles. Simpemba seemed to be knocked out cold from the incident and was eventually stretchered off to be replaced by Steve Brown. The former Wanderers Youth Teamer was taken to hospital for a scan but was thankfully reported all-clear and travelled back with the team after the game.
Simpemba's bravery put Wanderers in strong early on but it took a good block from Scott Bevan in the 9th minute to keep out a stabbed effort from Mark Robins. Bevan was in action on 14 minutes when he palmed away a 20 yard shot from Alan Quinn from the right side of midfield.
Wanderers looked most effective when Jermaine McSporran pushed forward to assist Nathan Tyson. On 17 minutes Jocky got free down the left wing but his low cross from the left didn't get the vital touch in the middle. McSporran also produced another good chance two minutes before the break when he cut back across from the left before pulling back a shot from the opposite flank that Lucas tipped wide of the left hand upright.
Half-time Wednesday 0 Wycombe 1
Tyson's low cross from the left a minute after the re-start was again left needing a touch from a Wycombe player but after Mark Wilson saw a long range effort bobble past Bevan's left hand post it was Wanderers who had a glorious opportunity to make it 2-0. The chance came on 59 minutes when some neat control by Currie on the right edge of the Wednesday penalty area set up McSporran but his shot on the turn was too close to Lucas and the home 'keeper was able to save.
Two minutes later the home side were level when substitute Terry Cooke swung in a cross from the right that Proudlock managed to control and turn on before rifling the ball past Bevan from the angle.
It was anyones game at this point but it was Wanderers who produced the better chances to claim all three points. On 76 minutes Currie fed Tyson from the left but once again Lucas managed to get a hand to the shot and push the ball away to his left. At the other Bevan caused a few nervous moments when he chose to punch rather than catch but it was Wycombe who finished on the attack with Tyson again being denied by Lucas who by then had more than made up for his earlier blunder.
Speaking to the media after the game Tony Adams commented "We've set our standards now and we deserved to take all three points and I'm a bit disappointed for my players. We ran out of steam a little bit in the second half and didn't win as many second balls but it is up there with our best performances this season, and if they can put that level of performance in we might get out of trouble." Meanwhile Wednesday boss Chris Turner commented "It was a bad start for us. I get very frustrated - players should know what to do from the kick-off but they allowed the emphasis to go with Wycombe. If they had done the correct things from kick-off the emphasis should have been with us. The ball in was a quality one. If you put the ball in the danger zone a mistake is possible." Wanderers now have 21 points from 29 games. The gap to safety is now nine points and although performances in recent weeks have suggested that the gap might shorten it will be a massive task to pull this one out of the fire but we'll still hanging in there.
Final Score - Sheffield Wednesday 1 Wycombe 1
Wycombe: Bevan, Senda, Reilly, Nethercott, Marshall, Currie, Bulman, Simpemba (sub 6 Brown), Simpson, Tyson, McSporran - subs not used: Williams, Faulconbridge, Holligan, Bloomfield
Bookings: Marshall (foul 36)
Scorers: Simpemba (2)
Sheffield Wednesday: Lucas, Geary, Paul Smith, Dean Smith, Barry-Murphy, Haslam, Ndumbu-Nsungu (sub 58 Cooke), Mark Wilson, Quinn, Proudlock, Robins - subs not used: Pressman, Bromby, Armstrong, Shaw
Bookings: Cooke (foul 79)
Scorers: Proudlock (61)
Referee: Colin Webster Attendance: 19,546 (away end 350 approx)
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