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Wycombe Wanderers 1
Saturday 14th August 2004
Football League 'League Two'
Ian Stonebridge - opening goal at Sixfields Wanderers drew 1-1 at Sixfields after taking a 42nd minute lead through a close range effort from Ian Stonebridge and then playing the final 30 minutes against ten men. The home side drew level a minute after the break when Marc Richards struck but then had Fred Murray red carded for 'dangerous play' on Nathan Tyson. Despite their loss it was the Cobblers who went on to have the better chances but a draw was a fair reflection at the final whistle.
Tony Adams made one change to the starting XI that beat Chester in the week, with Danny Senda coming in for Gus Uhlenbeek. Jonny Dixon was on the bench with Scott Marshall out with a calf problem. Roger Johnson passed a late fitness on an ankle injury and played at right back for the majority of the game with Gary Silk switched to the left.
Backed by a decent 'all-ticket' following of close to 800, Wanderers support was also boosted by the familiar faces of former players Steve Brown and Jermaine McSporran. They saw Keith Ryan go close with 25 yard plus effort in the 4th minute as Wycombe went on to have the better of the first half. Wanderers efforts were rewarded three minutes before the break when Clint Eaton found Silk down the left wing. The on loan Portsmouth defender fed a clever ball to Nathan Tyson who delivered a first class cross that Stonebridge slid in to convert with ease from around a yard out.
Half-time Northampton 0 Wycombe 1
Wanderers good work in the opening 45 minutes was undone just a minute into the second-half when Richards got through Wycombe's central defensive pairing of Williamson and Nethercott before driving the ball past Frank Talia.
Wycombe continued to have the better chances culminating in Murray's dismissal on the hour mark when the Northampton player took out Tyson with a wild challenge down the left wing. Referee Carl Boyeson said after the game he had shown the red card for 'dangerous play' but Cobblers Manager Colin Calderwood said he would ask the official to review a tape of the incident in the hope of getting the red card overturned.
Unlike the previous week against Cambridge, Wanderers failed to take advantage of the extra-man and it was the home side who went closest to taking all three points. By this stage Wanderers had converted to what looked like a back three with Stuart Nethercott the surprise sacrifice.
Eric Sabin forced a good save from Talia with seven minutes left on the clock, while Richards hit the crossbar with an effort from the left flank. Then in stoppage time Wanderers survived a mini spell of pressure to leave with a point and their unbeaten run at the start of the season intact.
Final Score - Northampton 1 Wycombe 1
Speaking after the game to BBC Three Counties Radio Tony Adams said that the sending off appeared to help the home side, saying "Psychologically Northampton got a lift from the player going off. It looked the ten men side might have actually nicked it at the end so all in all for me as a Manager and a Coach I'd like more first half displays and not so many second halves." The Wanderers boss also praised his striking partnership of Ian Stonebridge and Nathan Tyson but added with caution "They are doing alright but I haven't got a lot of cover and we are going to have to look at that situation because before long they will be run into the ground but they are certainly working hard at the moment."
Wycombe: Talia, Silk, Johnson, Nethercott (sub 64 Uhlenbeek), Williamson, Senda, Burnell, Ryan (sub 75 Martin), Easton, Stonebridge, Tyson (sub 89 Ahmed) - subs not used: Dixon, Williams
Bookings: none
Scorers: Stonebridge (42)
Northampton: Harper, Chambers, Willmott, Murray, Low, Galbraith (sub 81 Jaszczun), Cozic, Amoo, McGleish (sub 62 Bojic), Richards (sub 76 Morison), Sabin - subs not used: Youngs, Bunn
Bookings: - Red Card: Murray (60 dangerous play)
Scorers: Richards (46)
Referee: Carl Boyeson Attendance: 6,049 (away 758)
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