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Wycombe Wanderers 0
Saturday 22nd November 2003
Football League Division Two
Scott Marshall Wanderers ground out a 0-0 draw at Wrexham and had Frank Talia to thank for saving a 50th minute penalty after Chris Vinnicombe had been harshly adjudged to have pushed Hector Sam. Talia dived to his left to push away Sam's placed shot to end up one of the few smiling Australian's in the country.
Wanderers' best chances came after the penalty with Stuart Roberts seeing a close range effort excellently saved on 56 minutes following a cross from the left bye-line from Jermaine McSporran, while on 74 minutes Steve Brown battled through from midfield being sending in a curling, dipping shot that smacked against the crossbar.
In what was the first match on the road for Tony Adams with Wycombe there were surprise changes in the starting line-up against 11th placed Wrexham. Ex-Arsenal defender Scott Marshall made his Wycombe debut after appearing in just previous reserve team game and was favoured for Roger Johnson. 30 year old Marshall is thought to have signed until the end of the season. Elsewhere there was a bolstering of the midfield following the absence of Michael Simpson with a one match ban. Ian Simpemba came in for his first Football League start while appearances for Steve Brown and Charlie Mapes meant there was no room for Dannie Bulman or Keith Ryan in a defence minded formation. Later in the game there was the welcome return of former Wrexham striker Craig Faulconbridge and Wanderers fans will be hoping he will provide part of the much needed strike force that is needed to lift Wanderers away from the relegation zone.
Wanderers' efforts at goal in this game were confined to a couple of bursts in either half. After 11 minutes Wycombe forced corners on either flank but as so often the case this season, they came to nothing. Then on 21 minutes a Darren Currie cross from the left eventually fell to Brown on the near edge of the penalty area but he shot high of the target with the goal at his mercy.
For the home side it was Chris Llwellyn and Carlos Edwards who stood out as the dangermen. On 25 minutes Llwellyn was denied by Talia at he near post after Currie had gave away possession on the Wrexham right. Then just after the half-hour mark Carlos Edwards got in a low cross from the right bye-line that Danny Senda to clear just inches away from his own goal-line.
Edwards was frustrated again by Talia ten minutes into the second-half when Wanderers' keeper saved an angled drive from the right. Wycombe almost scored from their next attack when Roberts' shot was pushed away by Andy Dibble in the home goal. However, the home side contined to test Wanderers' defence with Andy Thomson being forced to clear over his own crossbar on 57 minutes before Edwards' low ball from the right saw Jim Whitley slide the chance wide of the far post.
Wrexham probably thought at that point that they would never score and it was left to Wycombe to have the better of the ball in the dying minutes, Brown's effort that hit the crossbar being almost the reward for a resolute display that was a point in the right direction.
Speaking after the game Wanderers boss Tony Adams said "We were defensively very strong today and we created a few chances so I am very pleased.". However, Adams was also aware that the route to survival will not be easy, adding "I thought we performed well against Brentford and we didn't get anything. There's a lot of work to do."
Meanwhile, Wrexham boss Denis Smith was less happy as he spoke in his post match press conference, saying "You need two teams to create a classic game and thatís no disrespect to their tactics, as they have come here to do a job. But if you want an open game, then you need two teams who want to compete. Had we scored, then they would have had to come out and attack us. The longer we went without scoring, the happier they became."
Final Score - Wrexham 0 Wycombe 0
Wycombe: Talia, Senda, Vinnicombe, Marshall, Thomson, Currie, Brown, Simpemba, Mapes (sub 90 Bulman), Roberts (sub 80 Faulconbridge), McSporran - subs not used; Williams, Holligan, Johnson
Bookings: Marshall (foul 8)
Wrexham: Dibble, Pejic, Carey, Lawrence, Carlos Edwards, Whitley, Ferguson, Barrett (sub 65 Mark Jones), Paul Edwards, Sam (sub 65 Armstrong), Llewellyn - subs not used: Whitfield, Roberts, Crowell
Bookings: Carey (foul 5)
Referee: Mr Graham Salisbury Attendance: 3,208 (approx 250 away end)
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