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Friday 7th October 2005
Football League 'League Two'
Tommy Mooney - two goals against Chester - lets out some steamWanderers went to the top of 'League Two' following an excellent 1-0 victory at Blundell Park and in the process equalled the Club record of thirteen games unbeaten at the start of a League season. The only goal of the game came in the 11th minute when Tommy Mooney headed home a right wing cross from Kevin Betsy. As expected the home side came back strongly as the game progressed but three top quality saves from on loan Preston North End 'keeper Andrew Lonergan meant that Wanderers retained a clean sheet away from home for the first time since the corresponding fixture at Grimsby last April.
Wanderers went into the game without top scorer Nathan Tyson, while there was a surprise change in goal with Lonergan going straight into the starting line-up having signed a month long loan deal the previous day. Tyson was ruled out after he was forced to rest his knee injury originally picked up in the game at Mansfield. Tyson's absence meant Betsy got his chance alongside Mooney in attack with Joe Burnell returning in midfield. Other team news for Wycombe saw Rob Lee still out with an achilles problem while the home side had Jean-Paul Kamudimba Kalala missing due to World Cup duty with the Democratic Republic of Congo.
A healthy attendance of over 7,000, the highest so far in League Two and 2,700 above the League average at Blundell Park saw John Gorman's side come out in their usual attacking style and there were half chances for Betsy and Stefan Oakes in the opening ten minutes before Mooney who bagged his 6th goal of the season to give Wycombe the lead. The goal came after Oakes sent a free kick out to the right wing for Betsy who cut back inside his man before delivering a left footed cross that found Mooney completing unmarked at the far post to head home with ease.
Mooney could have made it two moments later but he didn't get enough power on his shot, while the home side struggled to created any significant chances until the closing stages of the half when Oakes managed to clear off the line and Lonergan gathered a Michael Reddy shot.
Wanderers thought they had doubled their lead eight minutes into the second half when Mooney crossed and Sergio Torres dived in to head home, only for the 'goal' to ruled out for offside. The frantic pace continued moments later at the other end as Lonergan showed his class when he tipped a Justin Whittle shot onto the crossbar. The home side continued to press and Gary Jones should have done better with a header on the hour mark. Meanwhile, Wycombe still looked dangersous on the break with Mooney seeing his shot on the turn blocked on 65 minutes and Bloomfield's follow also shut out.
Gary Jones missed another good chance on 70 minutes as the home side stepped up the pressure. But the Mariners were to be denied by a combination of top drawer saves by Lonergan and resolute defending. Lonergan first stunned the locals on 79 minutes when he smoothered an effort from Reddy. Then with five minutes remaining Paul Bolland fired in a shot that Mooney stopped on the line before Lonergan was grateful to collect.
Wycombe broke away again on 86 minutes, with Betsy crossing from the right but Mooney and Bloomfield couldn't finish. It was then left for Lonergan to deny Reddy again with a Gordon Bank-esque save and from the resulting corner Wycombe cleared off the line before the referee called time on a amazing game for this level of football.
Final Score - Grimsby Town 0 Wycombe 1
Speaking in the press conference after the game Wycombe boss John Gorman heaped praised on the entire team for a "fantastic performance" and added, "It had to be such a performance tonight because Grimsby are up there at the top of the League and I expect them to up there right until the end of the season." Gorman singled out Wanderers goal scorer on the night for special praise, commenting "I'm so proud of Tommy Mooney because he'd lost his Nan and the funeral was yesterday and I think that save and that goal was for his Nan. He's not been with us until this morning and he trained with us this morning but we've not seen him until last Saturday."
Meanwile, Grimsby Town Manager Russell Slade said "Obviously to the neutral it was a thrilling game and a good advertisement for our particular League. Having said I'm a little frustrated and disappointed that we've not come away with at least something." Slade went on to praise Wycombe for their first half performance but was pleased with his side's response in the second period, adding "I thought we were desperately unlucky not to get something out of the game. I thought the 'keeper was inspired for them. I thought Betsy was an outlet for them and Tommy Mooney just had one of those special games where he's scored one and just happens to be on the line to clear what was certain goal from Paul Bolland." Slade concluded "On the night you have to say fair play to them. They have defended heroically in the closing stages to go on to what will amount to be a vital win."
Wycombe: Lonergan, Senda, Easton, Johnson, Williamson, Oakes, Bloomfield, Torres (sub 84 Dixon), Burnell, Betsy, Mooney - subs not used Talia, Martin, Anya, Stonebridge
Bookings: Oakes (foul 74)
Scorers: Mooney (11)
Grimsby Town: Mildenhall, McDermott (sub 65 Ramsden), Whittle, Robert Jones, Newey, Francis (sub 70 Cohen), Toner, Bolland, Parkinson, Reddy, Gary Jones (sub 70 Gritton) - subs not used: Barwick, Crane
Bookings: Robert Jones (foul 38), McDermott (dissent 45+), Bolland (foul 75)
Scorers: none
Referee: D Deadman Attendance: 7,206 (away end 230)
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