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Grimsby Town 1
Saturday 19th November 2005
Football League 'League Two'
Roger Johnson - headed goal against Grimsby sealed the points for Wycombe Wanderers went back to the top of 'League Two' following an impressive 3-1 victory over second placed Grimsby Town at Adams Park. It was Grimsby's first away League defeat of the season and extends Wycombe's unbeaten League start to the season to an amazing 18 games. The victory came despite Wanderers being down to a bare bones squad. Stefan Oakes was ruled out with a broken arm while Sergio Torres was a late casualty after suffering a tight hamstring during training on Friday. Bristol City defender Richard Keogh continued in the centre of defence with Mike Williamson named on the bench despite not being fully fit. Everton loanee 'keeper Iain Turner was favoured ahead of both Frank Talia and Steve Williams.
The undersoil heating had ensured the pitch was perfectly playable and in front of the highest League gate of the season at Adams Park, it was Charlie Griffin, on his full Wycombe debut, who opened the scoring on 21 minutes when he turned to finished off from 12 yards following Danny Senda's free-kick from the right flank. Matt Bloomfield made it 2-0 on 36 minutes when he swept the ball home from eight yards after Kevin Betsy had worked in a low ball from the right. The visitors were let back into the game a minute later when Michael Reddy capitalised on a lapse in the Wanderers defence - finishing from around eight yards after Clint Easton got tangled up in a ball from the left.
The three goals in a fifteen minute spell had come as little surprise following an opening where both sides had created goal scoring opportunities. Within the opening couple of minutes Rob Lee's cross from the right saw Griffin head over from a central position while four minutes later at the other end Easton had to time his tackle well to twart the threat of Reddy.
Griffin volleyed over on 11 minutes from Senda's inviting ball from the right while the visitors enjoyed their best spell in the lead up to Wanderers two goal salvo. First on 19 minutes Gary Jones looped a header against the crossbar after John McDermott's cross from the right had caught out fellow home debutants Iain Turner and Richard Keogh. But a minute later Turner was down quick to save at the feet of Reddy and it proved vital as Wanderers took the lead two minutes later through Griffin - his first League goal for Wycombe.
Bloomfield's strike, his first goal since earlier August, seemed to raise the confidence of the midfielder who went on to have one of his best games in a Wycombe shirt. Reddy's goal on 37 minutes proved to be a minor set-back for John Gorman's side who remained positive in the second-half. Within three minutes of the restart Bloomfield was left kicking the far post in anger after he saw his header from another Senda cross saved at point blank range by Town 'keeper Steve Mildenhall.
There were brief scares at the other end including when Senda went close to heading an own goal on 68 minutes but Turner rushed back to collect close to the line. Gorman then switched to a back three for the final twenty minutes or so of the match - youngster Russell Martin coming on as left back and Easton pushing forward in a five man midfield. A deserved victory was eventually sealed with twelve minutes remaining when Danny Senda's curling free-kick from the right of midfield was headed home at the far side of the penalty area by Roger Johnson. He, along with the majority of the crowd, seemed to enjoy it.
Final Score - Wycombe 3 Grimsby Town 1
Wycombe Manager John Gorman speaking to BBC Three Counties Radio after the game was delighted with victory, especially as it had come at home. He said "We needed a home win today. Lately we've had some draws and lost in the Cup and we weren't happy about that and we've produced a fantastic performance today when we needed it" And he went on to praise the home support, adding "It's special for the fans today. It was a great day for them because they were fantastic in their support. It was the best I've heard them and I enjoyed it. We played well and there was a bigger crowd than normal and they must be now thinking they can't wait until the next home game. I can't wait until the next home game because we've needed to beat teams at home because we've got teams who came here to draw and maybe the good thing today was they came trying to win the game."
Meanwhile, Grimsby Town boss Russell Slade commented "I'm disappointed at the way we defended. They score from three crosses, we haven't defended the first ball or we've failed to clear. We still created chances to win the game but the third goal was the crucial one. At 2-1 we were having some good possession and could have got back into it." Commenting on Wycombe he added, "They (Wycombe) are a very attractive side going forward. I am sure that they are going to be successful come the end of the season. I think that if we are within a point of them at the end of the season we wont be far off."
Wycombe: Turner, Senda, Easton, Johnson, Keogh, Betsy, Bloomfield, Lee (sub 69 Martin), Burnell, Mooney, Griffin (sub 80 Dixon) - subs not used: Williams, Anya, Williamson
Bookings: Keogh (51 foul), Mooney (78 ungentlemanly conduct)
Scorers: Griffin (21), Bloomfield (36), Johnson (77)
Grimsby: Mildenhall, McDermott, Newey (sub 80 Croft), Ramsden, Whittle, Cohen (sub 80 Andrew), Toner, Bolland, Parkinson, Reddy, Gary Jones (sub 64 Gritton) - subs not used: Barwick, Kamudimba Kalala
Bookings: Gary Jones (43 foul), Newey (foul 76)
Scorers: Reddy (37)
Referee: Mr M Russell Attendance: Att: 6,125 (487 away end)
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