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Wycombe Wanderers 1
Tuesday 28th December 2004
Football League 'League Two'
Roger Johnson lies injured just after the half-time whistle at MacclesfieldA lack of concentration cost Wycombe a point at Moss Rose on holiday Tuesday as Macclesfield snatched a winner three minutes into stoppage time. The goal came less than two minutes after Roger Johnson had forced in an effort that looked likely to bring Wycombe a deserved draw. The home side had taken the lead in the fifth minute when Danny Whitaker slotted a low shot past Frank Talia and they could have been further ahead at the break. However, Wanderers came back strong in the second-half with Craig Faulconbridge, Nathan Tyson, Tony Craig and Clint Easton all going close before Johnson struck late on. But it was Alan Navarro who dampened the Wycombe celebrations when he connected with a Jon Parkin through ball that eluded the Wanderers defence. The Macclesfield bench mocked their Wycombe equivalents at the final whistle leaving both Managers in face to face confrontation with John Gorman describing the defeat as 'devestating'.
With Steve Guppy still missing with flu, Gorman made the bold step of playing three forwards but with Ian Stonebridge dropping to the bench in favour of Drewe Broughton. The Southend loanee played alongside Nathan Tyson in the Wanderers frontline with Craig Faulconbridge sitting behind this duo.
But plans for a smash and grab raid on the home side were knocked to one side when Johnson was harshly penalised for a push on the Macclesfield right and Whitaker managed to find the target following the resulting free-kick.
Wycombe's first response came in the 8th minute when Senda found Gus Uhlenbeek on the right wing but Broughton could only head the chipped cross wide of the far post. Stephen Cooke fired over at the right hand post following a cross from the left on 12 minutes but it was the home side who went on to have the better chances in the remainder of the first half.
On 14 minutes Paul Harsley saw Talia, Wycombe's Captain for the day, push away a shot from the right channel, while around the half hour mark both Graham Potter (a Wycombe loan player back in 1993/94 season) and Matthew Tipton sent efforts wide. On the stroke of half-time Mike Sheron beat the offside trap down the left channel but Talia managed to get the faintest of touches to deflect the effort wide. From the resulting corner there was an altercation in the box that left Roger Johnson on the deck claiming he had been struck by one of the opposition.
Half-time Macclesfield 1 Wycombe 0
After Faulconbridge had sent a low shot wide of the right-hand upright two minutes after the restart, there was a torrential downpour adding to the already difficult windy conditions. But Wycombe continued to create chances. A Craig cross from the left on 50 minutes saw Tyson turn and shoot high, while seven minutes later an Uhlenbeek delivery from the right was met by Cooke but the Villa player saw his bullet drive crash against the right post.
After Tyson had been replaced by Easton on 67 minutes it was Macclesfield who looked to seal the game with Harsley and Potter both going close again. But Wycombe were not finsihed with the ever improving Broughton seeing a low shot from the edge of the penalty area deflected wide, while with ten minutes remaining Easton sent a loose ball in the area wide of the left hand post. Wanderers kept going into stoppage time and when Craig's corner from the left was struck in by Johnson it looked like it was a point saved. However, all the celebrations were made to look meaningless when Navarro struck home to leave the bragging rights with the home side.
Final Score - Macclesfield Town 2 Wycombe 1
Speaking after the game to BBC Three Counties Radio John Gorman said "I feel we have had something stolen from us today. I'm proud of the team and proud of the way we performed in the second-half obviously because it was a lot better than the first. But we weren't bad in the first. We started off a little bit cagey but we are away from home. We've been bold, we've gone three up front and try and gove teams a problem and win the game, not come and defend like teams do away from home, we've come to attack. And second half it's been an onslaught." The Wycombe boss was not happy with the way Macclesfield reacted after they scored their late winner, with Gorman claiming that his counterpart Brian Horton had come up to him in the Wycombe dug-out for a few words. However, Gorman tried to take some positives away from the game, adding "We are devastated but there is still a great spirit there because they know if you perform like that you will definitely get results. The fans have seen the effort the boys have put in today, they were absolutely cheering us to the last minute. They must be feeling the same way as we are. They deserve better because of the journey they've had. Coming up here in miserable weather at this time of year and I'm sorry for them that we didn't get the result that we should have got."
Brian Horton commented to the Macclesfield official website "Wycombe are a decent side and I thought, in the first half, we played it very, very well indeed. We had our chances, we played some very, very good football. We were very solid at the back and were dominating the game. The wind played a strong part in the game and we had it in the first half and it helped them in the second. They put us under a lot of pressure without creating all that much. Then they scored off a corner, I think it took a slight deflection, and they must have thought that they were going home with a point. But then Alan Navarro popped up with the winner. It was a great two points for us."
Wycombe: Talia, Uhlenbeek, Williamson, Johnson, Craig, Ryan, Senda, Cooke (sub 76 Stonebridge), Tyson (sub 67 Easton), Faulconbridge, Broughton - subs not used: Silk, Nethercott, Williams
Bookings: none
Scorers: Johnson (90+1)
Macclesfield: Wilson, Strong, Carragher, Welch, Harsley, Whitaker, Navarro, Potter, Parkin, Tipton (sub 85 McIntyre), Sheron (sub 63 Miles)- subs not used: Fettis, Widdrington, Briscoe
Bookings: Tipton (diving)
Scorers: Whitaker (5) Navarro (90+3)
Referee: R Booth Attendance: 1,908 (162 away section)
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