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With the play-offs an extreme long-shot, Manager John Gorman made three changes to the side that had drawn at Yeovil seven days previous. Mark Philo came in for his first start of the season, replacing the injured Keith Ryan in midfield, while fellow ex-Youth Teamer Jonny Dixon started up front in favour of Steve Claridge. Danny Senda returned in defence following his injury allowing Gus Uhlenbeek to move back into midfield where Rob Lee was also absent due to a knock in the game at Yeovil.
Wanderers were ahead before two minutes had shown on the clock. Dixon played the ball through from midfield and Bloomfield finished from just right of centre with an angled shot from the edge of the penalty area. It all seemed so easy and on 23 minutes Clint Easton's corner from the right was sent deep where Roger Johnson headed the ball back across the face of the goal for Williamson to nod home. Seven minutes later it was 3-0 as Bloomfield was involved again, this time winning the ball on the right bye-line from John Mackie before centering for Uhlenbeek who tucked the ball away with a low shot from around six yards.
The visitors hardly threatened Wanderers' goal and had already registered four yellow cards, including one for ex-Wanderer Michael Simpson who had been given the run around by his former club's midfield during opening 45 minutes. It all gave little warning of what was to come in the second period when the tables were turned.
Half-time Wycombe 3 Leyton Orient 0
The change in play was more or less self inflicted by the respective Managers. John Gorman replaced Joe Burnell with Steve Claridge and converted to a front three, while O's boss Martin Ling made two changes of his own and went to a 5-3-2 formation. The visitors were back in with a shout within four minutes of the re-start when Gary Alexender latched on to pass by substitute Brian Saah and finished past Talia. Two minutes later the same player scored again with a near indentical finish this time from a pass from Lee Steele. Wycombe were now in disarray and Donny Barnard fired wide on 57 minutes before Alexender came close to completing his hat-trick.
By this stage Gorman had sacrificed Dixon as a striker for Russell Martin in midfield and it prompted a Wycombe revival which saw Tyson and Johnson both see efforts hit the woodwork after Uhlenbeek had delivered from the right. Tyson's injury on 69 minutes disturbed the flow of the game. The incident came after Wanderers top scorer was left one on one with O's keeper on the left flank. Harrison rushed out his penalty area but Tyson seemed to lose control and as the ball ran away both players collided, leaving Tyson nursing a injured leg. Referee Darren Drysdale waved away claims for a foul but had no option to stop play for what turned out to be more than five minutes of treatment and Tyson's eventual exit on a stretcher.
Wycombe had the better of the closing exchanges with Tyson's replacement Adrian Caceres seeing plenty of the ball but being denied by Harrison on the edge of the penalty in the best opening on the stroke of full-time.
Final Score - Wycombe 3 Leyton Orient 2
John Gorman described the meeting as a "great game" when speaking to BBC Three Counties Radio in the post match press conference. However, explaining the changes at half-time he added "I was a brave and maybe a bit foolish. It was a hard decision because young Russell (Martin) has not really played a game to be honest and it was hard whether to decide to put him in straight away. I thought I would go with experience with Steve (Claridge) and play the three up (front) and be brave and pin them back and get more goals. Of course they have come out caution to the wind, had a real effort and got a goal back. All of a sudden we've got a wee bit jangly nerves, they've got another goal back and it's game on."
Meanwhile, Leyton Orient boss Martin Ling said he was embarassed with his side's performance in the first half and said his team had no cutting edge and were devoid of ideas and energy. He added "I've known John Gorman for an awful long time. I've worked with him for three years. I know he likes his teams to pass and move. We talked about stopping them passing and moving and imposing our own footballing game on them. But the first half they passed us off the pitch but we changed the system at half-time, change a couple of personel and you get that and we should have got something out of the game in the end." He said the change made an instant impact, adding "They (Wycombe) didn't know how to deal with it, to be honest. I don't care what system you play. Coaches talk systems but it's all about passing the ball. They passed the ball in a 4-4-2 in the first half and we passed the ball in a 5-3-2 in the second-half." Ling, said his side lacked consistent performers and said that players should take note of former Wanderer Michael Simpson, saying "In this League you have got to have consistency about your players. I've just told them that if all my players give a 'Michael Simpson performance' week in week out, then I'm happy. Michael Simpson gives you everything he's got. He does his offensive work and he does his defensive work."
John Gorman concluded by pointing out the number of younger players in the side, saying "There were many young boys out there today. The experienced one's were somebody like Roger (Johnson) who is just 22 plus obviously Gus (Uhlenbeek) and Frank (Talia)." He also praised Matt Bloomfield, only just 21, and said he was he best player on the pitch before adding "It was exciting game but I would rather have had an easy win but I don't think I'm ever going to get that."
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