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Matchday Wednesday 4th August 2004
Berkhamsted Town 2
Wycombe Wanderers 1
Wanderers played their final pre-season friendly of 2004/5 when a predominantly Youth Team based line-up lost 2-1 at Berkhamsted Town. The game was arranged as part of the deal that took Charlie Mapes to Wycombe in the summer of 2003 but with Tony Adams deciding not to risk new signing Ian Stonebridge it was left to Youth Team boss Gary Smith to take charge of fairly meaningless fixture.
Wycombe included two triallists in the starting line-up. Spanish born Juan Ugarte played as centre forward with former Arsenal Academy striker Dean McDonald joining him in the Wanderers attack. It's understood that Ugarte has come through the Youth ranks with Real Sociedad while 19 year old McDonald was released by Arsenal in the summer and has already played for Boston United and Farnborough Town in the pre-season games.
The duo combined well in the opening stages as Wycombe initially dominated. McDonald went close with a low shot in the 7th minute while ex-Wimbledon Youth Teamer Sonny Ball shot over from 25 yards a few minutes later. Wanderers took the lead on 18 minutes when a chipped through ball from Andy Reilly eventually found its way through to McDonald who laid the ball neatly off for Ugarte to finish with ease from 12 yards.
The Spainard could have made it 2-0 on 26 minutes when his weaving run from midfield culminated with a shot that hit the foot of the post before Matty Fox sent the follow up straight at the keeper.
However, Wanderers conceded an equaliser on 35 minutes when Scott Marshall, at 31 years old by far the oldest player on the pitch, was caught out as the home side broke down their right and Wes Lewis nicked the ball over Steve Williams from just inside the penalty area.
Wanderers could have restored their lead shortly before the break when Ball centered from the right but McDonald could only shoot over from close range as he stretched to get contact.
The second-half was less flowing affair as both sides made a multitude of substitutions. Michael Chennels went close for the home side on the hour mark while Wycombe should have scored on 72 minutes when D'juvane Davidson chipped the ball in from the left but Andy Savage smashed his header against the cross bar from around 3 yards out. It was the home side who grabbed whatever glory was possible from this match when a low cross from the right was converted at the near post by Ben Cowen.
OK, that's the friendlies out of the way, now let's get started with the serious business on 7th August versus Cambridge United.
Final Score: Berkhamsted Town 2 Wycombe 1
Wycombe: Williams, Ball, Reilly (sub 69 Bunting), Grier (sub 69 Douglas), Cadmore (sub 74 Jamal), Marshall (sub HT Gradwell), Anya, Gregory, McDonald, Ugarte (sub 62 Savage), Fox (sub 62 Davidson)
Referee: Mr J Anscomb Attendance: 160 approx
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