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Matchday Friday 9th July 2004
Beaconsfield SYCOB 2
Wycombe Wanderers 1
Laurence Hall goes close against Beaconsfield A heavily experimental Wanderers side went down 2-1 to Beaconsfield SYCOB in the opening pre-season friendly of the 2004/5 season. Tony Adams included seven triallists in the starting line-up but an unimpressive display on an uneven surface saw Wycombe trail 2-0 down at the break after a brace from home forward Adrian Sear. An improved second-half performance culminated with Laurence Hall scoring a consolation goal for Wanderers in the 88th minute. There was a blow for Keith Ryan on 30 minutes when he was forced off with an ankle injury following a late challenge and he left the ground on crutches. With substitutes also limited to six thanks to a new FIFA ruling, Wanderers finished the game with nine players after all six players had been used and two more had picked up injuries.
Wanderers' triallists included former Watford trainee Clint Easton. The 26 year old was released by Norwich City at the end of the 2003/4 campaign and looked quite lively for Wycombe playing down the left of midfield. Behind him at left back was 23 year old Shaun Byrne. The Irishman is a former member of the West Ham United academy but having made just three substitute appearances in more then three years for The Hammers First Team, will be looking for chances elsewhere. He had a three month loan spell at Swansea City at the end of last season and will be keen to impress at Wycombe. Sadly he was forced off injured in the second-half after a comfortable showing in the opening stages.
On the right of midfield was Craig Dobson, a skillful player who won the Nike Freestyle Champion in 2001/2 while with the Crystal Palace Academy. He was told of his release from Palace earlier this year and spent the final month of the season on loan at Cheltenham Town. During the summer he made a brief appearance for the Jamaican international side when he came on for the last eight minutes of their 1-0 defeat to the Republic of Ireland in the Unity Cup tournament played at The Valley, Charlton. He went closest to scoring for Wycombe in the first half when he chipped over the bar after a near run down the right flank.
The final triallist that caught the eye in patches was goalscorer Laurence Hall. The 20 year old was released by Stoke City at the end of last season having made just one First Team appearance for City when he played against Reading on the final day of the 2002/3 season. He also spent loan spells at Tiverton Town and Gresley Rovers last season and will be looking for a new start this season. His Wycombe showing saw him force a brilliant save from the home 'keeper on 55 minutes following a left wing cross by Mark Philo before he grabbed his late goal.
The game also marked the Wycombe debuts of new signings Gus Uhlenbeek, Gary Silk and Mike Williamson but on a surface no better than a park pitch, they will be looking forward to returining to normal conditions. There were also suprise appearances for defender Scott Marshall and Stuart Nethercott. Marshall has been given a second chance by Adams while Nethercott has also been training with Wycombe while weighing up his options before making a commitment.
The pre-season games continue at Chesham United on Wednesday 14th July, before a trip to Dorchester Town on Saturday 17th July.
Final Score: Beaconsfield SYCOB 2 Wycombe 1
Wycombe: Alan Julian (sub HT Tom Gott), Gus Uhlenbeek (sub HT Gary Silk), Shaun Byrne, Keith Ryan (sub 28 Matt Bloomfield), Stuart Nethercott (sub HT Mike Williamson), Scott Marshall (sub HT Roger Johnson), Craig Dobson, John French (sub HT Mark Philo), Laurence Hall, Mark Jefferson, Clint Easton
Scorer: Hall (88)
Referee: Mr M Scholes Attendance: 479
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