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Rushden and Diamonds 1
Tuesday 19th October 2004
Football League 'League Two'
Adam Birchall - fine goal versus Rushden Wanderers returned another trademark 1-1 draw as Rushden & Diamonds went away from Adams Park with a point despite finishing the game with ten men. Wycombe took the lead in the 14th minute with a neat finish from Adam Birchall from the right of the penalty area. However, the visitors equalised four minutes later with a spectacular overhead kick from Gary Mulligan. Frank Talia kept Wycombe in the game in the 70th minute with a superb one handed save from Drewe Broughton while moments later Graham Allen saw red after pushing Nathan Tyson as the Wycombe striker ran through on goal. Mike Williamson went close to snatching a winner when his follow up to the resulting free-kick was cleared off the line.
Tony Adams made two changes to the side that had lost at Boston at the weekend - returning Adam Birchall to the forward line in favour of Ian Stonebridge and experimenting with Clint Easton at left-back, with Gary Silk playing on the right and Gus Uhlenbeek dropped to the bench.
Easton's time was cut short when he picked up a nasty gash to his knee in the 23rd minute. The former Norwich player was carried off and was later reported to have required 25 stitches in the wound. Bolton youngster Charlie Platt-Comyn replaced Easton in what turned out to be the final game of his loan spell with Wycombe.
Before those changes all the relevant goalmouth action of the evening had taken place. As early as the first minute Wanderers could have been ahead when Nathan Tyson found himself clear on the left of the area but he drove the ball into the side netting. Tyson contined to cause the Rushden defence problems and was through again in the 6th minute, this time on the right, but he wanted too much time and the chance went. In between Tyson's chances David Bell lobbed an effort onto the roof of the Wanderers net.
Wanderers took the lead for the first time in seven League matches when a fine chip to the right from Danny Senda was picked out by Birchall who sent a delightful shot past Billy Turley and into the back of the Valley End net.
Frustratingly for Wycombe followers the lead couldn't be built on and Mulligan's overhead kick four minutes later gave the visitors and their small band of supporters something to cling to. Meanwhile for Wycombe the groans were on the increase as the home forwards seem to lose their way in front of goal. A goalmouth scramble shortly before the break produced a rare moment of excitement but Turley was rarely troubled prior to the break.
Half-time 1-1
The visitors almost snatched the lead three minutes after the restart when Mulligan chested a corner from the left against Frank Talia's near post. Seconds later Tyson had broken away at the other but saw his shot from the left channel forced away for a corner.
Half chances for both sides continued with Craig Dove striking a shot wide for the visitors in the 56th minute while Matt Bloomfield volleyed over on the hour mark at the other end. Talia made his mark again in the 70th minute with Allen seeing red from the resulting break. However, after Williamson had missed the chance to put Wanderers ahead, the chance to take all three points drifted away and Wycombe are now looking at a run of six League games without a win since going top of the table after the same at Southend on 11th September. However, with 20 points from 14 games, Wycombe actually climb to a place to 10th in the table - six points behind leaders Swansea City and just one point from the play-off zone.
Final Score - Wycombe 1 Rushden 1
Speaking in the press conference after the game. Tony Adams commented "I was really pleased with the way the team played this evening and see it as an improvement on our last two games. The players did all the things we asked them to, get balls in the box, attack down the flanks and get a grip in mid-field. I thought in the first half we did this really well and was a bit disappointed that we conceded so early after taking the lead." The Wycombe boss was ruing the missed chances from his leading scorer Nathan Tsyon but added, "We now look forward to another hard game on Saturday against Mansfield. Hopefully we can provide more of the same and go on and take all three points."
Wycombe: Talia, Silk, Easton (sub 24 Comyn-Platt), Williamson, Johnson, Senda, Burnell, Bloomfield, Birchall, Abbey, Tyson - subs not used: Uhlenbeek, Stonebridge, Ryan, Williams
Bookings: none
Scorers: Birchall (14)
Rushden: Turley, Connelly, Hawkins, Allen, Gray, Bell, Burgess, Broughton, Gulliver, Dove (sub 71 Grier), Mulligan (sub 47 Dempster) - subs not used: Grier, Sambrook, Worgon, Braniff
Bookings: Dove (foul) Red Card: Allen (71)
Scorers: Mulligan (18)
Referee: Steve Tomlin Attendance: 3,844 (away end 151)
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