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Wycombe Wanderers 0
Saturday 10th January 2004
Football League Division Two
Any thoughts of a Wycombe revival were dealt a severe blow at Edgeley Park as Wanderers went down by two goals to nil to fellow strugglers Stockport County. After the previous week's victory over Grimsby, hopes were high in the Wycombe camp but an 8th minute penalty awarded for handball against Stuart Nethercott saw Rickie Lambert strike home the resulting spot kick low to Steve Williams right. Wanderers then had their best spell of the game with Simpson (twice), McSporran and Currie testing the opposition 'keeper. However, two minutes before the break, disaster struck when Williams's struck a clearance from the left side of his penalty area straight into the path of Simon Lynch and the ball rebounded back into the Wycombe net.
It was a blow Wycombe never recovered from and only excellent saves by Williams in the second-half prevented Stockport from extending their lead. It provided a sad send off for loanees Luke Moore and Steven Taylor who were both playing their final games of current deals with Wycombe but more critically a major set-back on Wanderers' struggle to avoid the drop.
Tony Adams made one change to the line-up that had beaten Grimsby so convincingly the previous week - Andy Bell coming in for the injured Nathan Tyson. Youth Team 'keeper Tom Gott was named on the bench after reports that Frank Talia had not travelled due to illness.
On a thread bare and awkward surface it was the home side who produced the first goal chance of the day when Andy Welsh's 5th minute cross from the left saw Lynch head over the far post. It was another delivery from the left that led to the opening goal - Nethercott being harshly adjudged to have handled a Rob Clare flick on from a Lambert corner. Lambert made no mistake from the spot but Wycombe responded with their best spell of the game.
On 18 minutes Moore's snappy cross from the left was met first time by Simpson running in on the near side of the penalty area but the shot was saved by the County 'keeper. Then on 29 minutes McSporran sent in a 20 yard effort from the right flank but the 'keeper was well placed to collect.
At the other end Williams had Ian Simpemba to thank for clearing up a missed clearance in the 33rd minute - the stand-in left back winning a well timed tackle and then clearing the loose ball. Moments later Nethercott was forced to head clear following a County corner from the right.
Darren Currie goes close with a free-kick
However, Wanderers reacted again and Currie's lay-off to Simpson on 37 minutes saw another snap shot saved by James Spencer in the County goal. Spencer was also on hand to push away a Currie free-kick on 42 minutes following a foul on McSporran.
The killer blow two minutes before the break left Wanderers reeling and it could have been worse in first half stoppage time but for a Williams save from John Hardiker. It left Wanderers with a mountain the climb.
Half-time Stockport 2 Wycombe 0
Wanderers needed an early goal after the break and they nearly got it on 53 minutes when some neat work by Moore on the right provided Bell with a low cross but the resulting shot was saved at the near post.
Sadly it proved to be Wanderers last serious threat on the home goal. Williams made a good saved from a close range header from Fraser McLachlan on 56 minutes before Tony Adams switched things by introducing three substitutes. However, it was County who finished by far the stronger side. A brilliant one handed save by Williams on 70 minutes managed to push McLachlan's shot onto the bar after Wycombe's defence had been exposed again. County substitute Aaron Wilbraham went close with a long range effort three minutes later as County cruised to a comfortable victory.
Understandably, Tony Adams was very disappointed with result, saying in his post match interview on BBC Three Counties Radio "I thought Stockport wanted it more than us and that's just not acceptable", before adding "We just didn't win enough one v one's today, it's as simple as that. When you come away from home you have got to stand up and be counted and we didn't have enough men to do that."
Steven Taylor says goodbye at StockportAdams commented on the departure of the two loan signings as well, saying "I wish them well on their way but it's important now we go forward with Wycombe and concentrate on Wycombe and building for the future. Steve Taylor I thought actually had his worse game for us today. He didn't play particularly well, they had a very good left winger and he found that very difficult. But he's been awesome for us and I wish him all the best." Meanwhile, Moore couldn't add to his four goal tally for the Wanderers, Adams commenting "I feel sorry for Luke that he couldn't have gone out with a win because that would have been nice. Anything he was going to create today he had to do on his own. But I wish them well but we get on with Wycombe now."
Final Score - Stockport 2 Wycombe 0
Wycombe: Williams, Taylor, Nethercott, Marshall, Simpemba, McSporran, Bulman, Simpson (sub 67 Brown), Currie (sub 67 Ryan), Moore, Bell (sub 61 Roberts)- subs not used: Gott, Faulconbridge
Bookings: Taylor (foul 69)
Stockport: Spencer, Hardiker, Griffin, Clare, Jackman, Gibb, Lambert, McLachlan, Welsh, Lynch, Barlow (sub 71 Wilbraham) - subs not used: Ellison, Ashley Williams, Morrison, Goodwin
Bookings: Lynch (dissent 76)
Scorers: Lambert (8 pen), Lynch (43)
Referee: Howard Webb Attendance: 4,406 (away section 300 approx.)
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