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Grimsby Town 0
Monday 30th August 2004
Football League Two
Adam Birchall - two goals versus Grimsby Wanderers made it six points out of six over the holiday weekend as they overcame Grimsby Town 2-0 at Adams Park. Wanderers go third in the table but had to survive a series a scares in the first half before taking the lead two minutes before the break through on loan Adam Birchall. It was Birchall who scored again six minutes after the restart to put Wycombe firmly in the driving seat. Frank Talia saved an 81st minute penalty to prevent any last minute worries for the Wanderers.
The result will have come as relief to Manager Tony Adams who fielded an unchanged line-up to the one that had won at Kidderminster 48 hours earlier. He saw his side on the back foot for the majority of the half and could have been behind as earlier as the 5th minute when Fleming curled a shot from 15 yards against the left-hand upright following a deflected cross from the left.
Talia was forced to save a free-kick from Gordon on 16 minutes while at the other end Wycombe struggled to make inroads into the The Mariners defence, a looping header from Ian Stonebridge and a long range effort from Clint Easton being the token efforts from Wycombe in the opening 40 minutes.
An intense spell of Grimsby pressure kick started in the 38th minute when they forced a couple of corners and Stuart Nethercott's sliced clearance moments later set up Jason Crowe but his attempted lob went high of the target. Wanderers survived and three minutes later it was Nethercott who played a major part in Wycombe's opening goal when he headed Gus Uhlenbeek's cross from the right back across the face of the goal for Birchall to head in from close range.
Half-time Wycombe 1 Grimsby 0
Stuart Nethercott heads in for Adam Birchall to open the scoring Wycombe were fortunate to be ahead at the break but took a stronger grip on the game six minutes after the re-start when Tyson delivered a low ball from the left that Danny Senda eventually returned from the opposite flank and after the ball had deflected off the woodwork, Birchall was there to stoop in and head home again for his second goal of the game.
The goal seemed to kill of the challenge of the visitors who rarely troubled Wycombe again. However, they were given the chance of a lifeline in the 81st minute when Uhlenbeek unnecessarily fouled Stacy Coldicott near the left bye-line to concede a penalty. But Talia guessed right by diving to his right and save Michael Reddy spot-kick and it was a happy ending for Wycombe.
Final Score - Wycombe 2 Grimsby Town 0
After the game Tony Adams was honest in admitting that Wycombe weren't at their best in the opening stages, commenting to BBC Three Counties Radio "The first 20 minutes we didn't play particularly well but the second-half I thought we were very good." Adams also said he wanted his players to play without fear and to try and pass the ball around, adding "The pitch is not helping. It is looking lovely but it is very sticky. But I am going to encourage them to go through that fear and to put the ball down and try and play. Keith (Ryan) did that second-half and I thought he ran the game."
Wycombe: Talia, Uhlenbeek, Silk, Williamson, Nethercott, Senda, Ryan, Easton, Tyson (sub 88 Ahmed), Birchall, Stonebridge - subs not used: Johnson, Dixon, Martin, Williams
Bookings: Tyson (68 dissent)
Scorers: Birchall (43, 51)
Grimsby: Williams, Whittle, Ramsden, Gordon, McDermott (sub 71 Bull), Crowe, Coldicott, Fleming, Pinault (sub 62 Marcelle), Parkinson, Sestanovich (sub HT Reddy) - subs not used Mansaram, Young
Bookings: Ramsden (foul 60), Coldicott (foul 65)
Scorers: none
Referee: Clive Penton Attendance: 4,320 (away end 368)
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