Wanderers won their opening League game of the season for the first time for nine years - a solitary goal from Charlie Mapes enough to beat Stockport County in oven like conditions at Adams Park.
Wycombe Wanderers 1
Stockport County 0
Saturday 9th August 2003
Football League Division Two
Mapes, who was one of four Wycombe players making their Football League debut, scored his goal after 16 minutes when he stroked home a cross from the left after good work from Darren Currie and Jermaine McSporran. What proved to be the winning goal followed a good save at the other end by another Wycombe debutant Steve Williams - the ex-Youth Teamer getting down to good effect to block Aaron Wilbraham's shot after the County player had been given too much space on the right flank. Poor finishing let the visitors down as the made efforts for an equaliser although Williams did well to palm away a close range effort on the stroke of half-time from Luke Beckett.
Half-time Wycombe 1 Stockport 0
A slightly extended half-time break saw Mark Rogers replaced by Luke Oliver in the centre of defence. It was later reported that Rogers had been sick during the interval while Roger Johnson said he'd been light headed due to the heat and had his blood pressure taken as a safety precaution. Johnson continued bravely on and partnered by Oliver, Wycombe were rarely troubled in conditions that bordered on being dangerous. Referee Trevor Parkes sensibly introduced a few drinks break during the game while supporters were offered free water from the kiosks around the ground.
On the football front Richard Harris saw a snap shot saved three minutes after the interval while on the hour mark Watford loanee Simon Patterson was replaced by Third Year scholar Billy Harding. The enthusiastic Harding was the fourth Wanderers player of the day making their Football League debut - Mapes, Patterson and Williams the other three.
Neither side really had any clear cut chances to add to the scoring although Chris Vinnicombe went close with a first time effort from 25 yards after a long throw from the right by Harris was cleared to the edge of the penalty area. It was also Wanderers who came nearest to adding a second when Mapes saw a dipping volley tipped over on the stoke of full-time.
A confidence boosting victory for the Wanderers after a close season where they have been tipped as the favourites to go down. A long way to go but you never know we might surprise a few people yet.
Final Score - Wycombe 1 Stockport 0
|Wycombe: Williams, Senda, Vinnicombe, Johnson, Rogers (sub HT Oliver), Currie (sub 82 Bulman), Simpson, Mapes, Harris, Patterson (sub 60 Harding), McSporran - subs not used: Roberts, Cook
Bookings: Harris (82 foul)
Scorer: Mapes (16)
|Stockport: Colgan, Goodwin, Clare, Robert Jones, Pemberton, Gibb (sub HT Barlow), Lambert, McLachlan, Ellison, Beckett, Wilbraham - subs not used Spencer, Challinor, Morrison, Hardiker
Bookings: Goodwin (24 dissent), Beckett (81 unsporting behaviour), Ellison (88 foul)
|Referee: Mr T Parkes
|Attendance: 4,826 (581 away end)
The official attendance of 4,826 was Wanderers lowest League gate since February 2001 when 4,524 turned out for a midweek game with Cambridge United. The previous low for a Saturday League game at Adams Park was 4,488 against Bury in November 2000.
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