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Saturday 9th April 2005
Football League 'League Two'
Jonny Dixon - great chance in dying minutes Wanderers missed a golden opportunity to push even closer to the play-off zone after playing out a goalless stalemate at Grimsby Town. It was Wycombe's first 0-0 scoreline in 56 League games but that run could have continued and Wanderers gained victory if any of number of decent chances had been converted. These included two for Nathan Tyson, a close range effort from Jonny Dixon with four minutes left on the clock and a Mark Philo shot blocked in stoppage time. Once again results elsewhere mean Wycombe are still only three points from the play-off places but with just four games remaining, time is running out.
With Clint Easton missing with a hamstring injury, team news saw Joe Burnell moved back into the left back role, while Ian Stonebridge returned to the Wanderers front line in an attack minded line-up from Manager John Gorman.
However, it was The Mariners who started the brighter side but Wycombe coped despite a strong wind being in the faces of the defence. Wycombe's first clear cut opening came in the 13th minute when Matt Bloomfield set Gus Uhlenbeek away on the right but Steve Claridge couldn't get enough on the resulting ball into the box. Six minutes later Tyson was one on one with the 'keeper having cut in from the left but shot wide of the far post. It turned out to be Wycombe's best chance of the half.
Wanderers continued to create the better openings but without that final bite in front of goal. On 23 minutes Rob Lee flighted a ball forward to find Tyson who cut in again but couldn't quite find the route for the ball through to Danny Senda. Then on 31 minutes Roger Johnson saw a powerful header blocked on route to goal by Claridge only for Tyson to scoop the loose ball over the crossbar. Mike Williamson was booked shortly before the break for pulling back Andy Parkinson and thankfully for Wycombe, Grimsby wasted the opportunity to take advantage from the resulting free-kick.
Half-time 0-0
A similar pattern of play followed in the second period with Wycombe still unable to provide that vital finishing touch inside the penalty area. Around the hour mark Wycombe forced three corners in quick succession but none were fruitful. Indeed from the third Grimsby broke but were let down again by poor finishing.
Johnson was unlucky again on 67 minutes when he saw a header cleared off the line following a Lee corner, while four minutes later Senda's cross was again left needing a Wycombe player on the end.
Wanderers' frustration was then compounded when Coach Steve Brown was sent to the stands by the referee in the 81st minute for showing dissent to the officials after contesting a throw-in decision. Brownie had been warned just a few minutes earlier for a similar offence.
Meanwhile, back on the pitch Mark Philo and Jonny Dixon were introduced fairly late on as substitutes and both players saw sight of grabbing a Wycombe winner. Dixon had the better of the chances on 86 minutes but he seemed to be left in two minds when attempting to meet a cross from Tyson and he ended up laying a soft header back to the 'keeper. Martin Gritton went close with a header for the home side in the 89th minute before Philo saw his stoppage time shot blocked amongst a crowd of players.
Final Score - Grimsby Town 0 Wycombe 0
John Gorman was more pleased with the performance than the result when speaking to BBC Three Counties Radio after the game, saying "I can't ask any more the team. We are a good side now and totally dominated the game. I don't know how anybody could see anything else but one way traffic. For an away team it was almost embarassing at times. It was even worse than Rochdale."
Grimsby boss Russell Slade had a slightly different view of the game, commenting "I felt defensively we did very well. The one chance that fell to them was miles off side, in my opinion, was way off side." Slade was encouraged that his team kept a clean sheet and added ""I thought where we let ourselves down, in the second period in particular, was that we gave away possession in the middle third too softly."
Meanwhile, John Gorman confirmed that his players were disappointed with the draw and the reaction was a sign of how far the team had come, concluding "Nobody is happy about drawing away from home. We came to win. We didn't win but I still felt we put on a really good performance. I thought the lads were outstanding and a really good team effort but we just didn't get the three points that we deserved."
Wycombe: Talia, Senda, Burnell, Johnson, Williamson, Bloomfield, Uhlenbeek (sub 84 Dixon), Lee, Stonebridge (sub 74 Philo), Claridge, Tyson - subs not used: Martin, Nethercott, Cronin
Bookings: Tyson (foul 19), Williamson (foul 45)
Scorers: none
Grimsby: Williams, Forbes, Crowe, McDermott, Jones, Ramsden (sub 72 Bull), Parkinson, Coldicott, Whittle, Fleimng (sub 72 Pinault), Gritton - subs not used: Crane, Downey, Hegarty
Bookings: Crowe (foul 24)
Scorers: none
Referee: E Evans Attendance: 3,452 (180 away end)
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