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Wycombe Wanderers 2
Saturday 20th November 2004
Football League 'League Two'
Wycombe players celebrate at Brisbane Road Keith Ryan led Wycombe to their first Football League victory for ten games with a battling performance at Brisbane Road. Wanderers conceded first for the 12th time in 18 League games so far this season when a skimming 28th minute free-kick from Wayne Carlisle out on the left wing deflected past Frank Talia. The goal was suitably scrappy for a scrappy first-half but after the break Wycombe took the game to the home side and equalised three minutes after the restart when Nathan Tyson picked up a poor backpass on the left and nipped the ball into the far corner of the net. Adam Birchall, playing the final game of his three month loan spell, went close with a couple of headers before a Danny Senda free-kick on 67 minutes was headed home by Roger Johnson from six yards. The home side's indiscipline showed on 73 minutes when David Hunt's flying tackle on Tyson sparked a mass brawl of players ending with The O's player being red-carded for violent conduct. For Leyton Orient it was only their fourth defeat this season and their first home defeat since the opening day against Macclesfield Town. For Wycombe it was a massive confidence booster following the recent poor run of results and events off the pitch.
Ryan made just one change to the starting line-up that scraped through against Coalville the previous in the FA Cup - Adam Birchall returning the side ahead of fellow younsgter Russell Martin. Craig Faulconbridge was named on the bench to make his return to the First Team squad for the first time since April 2004. The Faulcon remained unused but he'll surely relish the chance to show his worth in a division that the game at Brisbane Road summed up agin the even standard throughout.
The first half was a poor advert for the 'Third Division' of the Football League with neither side able to really test the opposing 'keeper. The home side included former Wanderer Michael Simpson and he was hardly noticed in an O's side that were fourth in the table heading into this game on 28 points. Wanderers meanwhile were in 17th, just seven points behind.
The closest Wycombe went in the opening 45 minutes came from Nathan Tyson when he saw a shot blocked from the left corner of the penalty area in the 14th minute. Later in the half Tyson had a good claim for a penalty waved away as he ran in to a similar position. In between, Carlisle's free-kick from the left wing, given for a debatable foul by Ryan on Andrew Scott, somehow ended in the back of the net at the Brisbane Road building site and Wycombe fans would be forgiven for thinking, 'here we go again'.
Half-time Leyton Orient 1 Wycombe 0
Wanderers' second-half showing was one of the best in the turbulent season to date. Tyson's goal four minutes after the restart will have hopefully kick started the former Reading striker's season. It was his first goal since Wycombe's victory at Southend back in September. It was an equaliser that day and from then on there only looked like one winner. Birchall saw a headed goal disallowed for a marginal offside around the hour mark and a few minutes later he saw another header tipped over following a left wing cross.
Roger Johnson celebratesTyson was causing major problem's for the home side down the Wycombe right and it was foul on Tyson by Matthew Lockwood in the 67th minute that allowed Senda to curl in a free-kick that bounced once before Johnson headed past Lee Harrison in The O's goal at the far corner of the six yard box. The celebrations by Wycombe players and the 500 all-ticket following, said it all.
Hunt's sending off in the 73rd minute followed a series of fouls on Tyson. Alan White and Michael Simpson both had a pop down the Wycombe right before Hunt's challenge sparked the brawl and the red card. There was a further stoppage close to the end when referee Kevin Friend took an accidental knock in the face and had to leave the pitch. It all added to the tension in the dying moments with more than ten minutes of stoppage played before the celebrations of victory at the final whistle could begin.
Final Score - Leyton Orient 1 Wycombe 2
Speaking after the game to BBC 3 Counties Radio stand-in boss Keith Ryan said "The boys have aquitted themselves fantastically today. They have worked so hard during the week. We've been trying to get the best out of them and I think that showed today." Rhino was also pleased with the way they had snuffed out the threat of former team mate Michael Simpson, adding "It was lovely to meet Simmo again today. He's a lovely lad and a fantastic footballer and we knew he they were to have any joy then he was going to be the main person to create that. As it happens we managed to nullify his threat and all over the park we matched them and I think you would say we were the better side today."
Meanwhile O's boss Martin Ling commented in the press conference "It's an afternoon I want to forget. This is the worst I've felt all season. It was a bad day at the office. To win a game of football you need seven or eight players performing at a reasonable level, but we didn't even have two or three doing that. Maybe they've been reading their own press, but you can't just turn up and expect teams to roll over. The two goals we gave away were ill-disciplined and we didn't pass the ball. There's a big six weeks coming up and we've got to forget days like this."
In contrast Ryan praised the attitude of the Wycombe team after they had gone a goal down, saying to the official website "Even when we fell a goal behind from a ridiculous set of circumstances, we shrugged that off and kept going. The way Nathan Tyson took his goal was first class and Roger Johnson made a well-timed run to head the winner. We played with tremendous confidence all over the pitch today and this is a very important win for the team. It would be nice if we could go on and turn this into a run that would see us move further up the table."
The Brisbane Road brawl
Wycombe: Talia, Silk, Craig, Johnson, Williamson, Uhlenbeek, Ryan (sub 88 Bloomfield), Senda, Birchall, Tyson, Stonebridge - subs not used Williams, Faulconbridge, Nethercott, Martin
Bookings: Silk (53 foul), Ryan (71 foul), Senda (73 unsporting behaviour)
Scorers: Tyson (48), Johnson (67)
Leyton Orient: Harrison, Miller (sub 83 Wardley), Zakuani, White, Lockwood, Carlisle (sub 77 Newey), Hunt, Simpson, Scott (sub 68 Lee Barnard), Ibehre, Steele - subs not used: Morris, Donny Barnard
Bookings: Lockwood (40 dissent) White (73 foul)
Red Card: Hunt (73 violent conduct)
Scorers: Carlisle (28)
Referee: Kevin Friend Attendance: 4,047 (502 away section)
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