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Northampton Town 3
Saturday 5th November 2005
FA Cup 1st Round Proper
Action against Northamton Town in the FA Cup Wanderers were left counting the cost of missed first half chances as they crashed out of the FA Cup at the first hurdle, losing 3-1 to Northampton Town at Adams Park. Wanderers could have been leading at the break with Tommy Mooney, Nathan Tyson, Sergio Torres and Roger Johnson all going close. But the visitors scored on 57 minutes through Chris Doig and four minutes later via Martin Smith to leave Wycombe looking for another dramatic comeback. Scott McGleish's breakaway goal on 80 minutes effectively ended Wycombe's chances and Joe Burnell's near sided header from Clint Easton's left wing corner in the final minute was merely a consolation for John Gorman's side.
Team news for Wycombe saw influential midfielder Kevin Betsy return to the side but as expected Mike Williamson was ruled out following a twisted knee suffered in training during the week and youngster Russell Martin took his place in defence.
In what was a open game of football, it was Wycombe who had the first chance of the game when Torres volleyed from a central position on 3 minutes. The end to end nature of the tie was confirmed two minutes later when Eoin Jess curled in a shot from the right of midfield that Frank Talia claimed at the far post.
McGleish headed wide from a good position on 7 minutes while within a minute at the other end Danny Senda's free-kick from the right was headed back at the far post by Mooney only for Johnson to see his goalbound looping header pushed away by Lee Harper in the Cobblers goal.
Nathan Tyson had a great chance on 33 minutes when he found space to the right of goal but he probably took one touch too many and blasted over from the narrowing angle. Two minutes later Wycombe looked certain to score as Senda's ball from the right saw three attempts to convert desperately blocked by the Cobblers defence.
Meanwhile, on 38 minutes the visitors could have taken the lead when a clever chip by Smith caught Talia off his line and the Aussie 'keeper grateful for the crossbar to come to his rescue. Torres sided footed over on the stroke of 45 minutes as the half ended goalless.
Clint Easton saw a powerful 25 yard plus effort saved seven minutes after the restart before Wycombe conceded twice in four minutes. The first goal on 57 minutes came when a short corner from the left was eventually laid back to Doig who placed his shot from 12 yards into the bottom right corner of the Wycombe net. The second came when a high cross from the right wing by Josh Low saw Huddersfield Town loanee Junior Mendes head against the cross bar at the far post before Smith was first to the loose ball to convert from six yards and leave Wycombe with a mountain to climb.
John Gorman gambled with a triple substitution within five minutes of going 2 nil down. A change of formation also saw Rob Lee pushed into a Wycombe back three with Senda and Easton allowed to push further forward.
A flowing passing move by Wycombe on 70 minutes almost brought the goal that would have made the closing stages more interesting. Again it was Senda who crossed from the right but Charlie Griffin could only watch in frustration as he headed wide at the far post.
With Wycombe pushing forward it was always likely that the fragile defence could be caught out. On 73 minutes Lee missed a challenge in midfield and Mendes ran through before sending in a shot that Talia did enough to loop the ball high of the target. However, on 80 minutes it was all over for Wycombe when another through ball left Lee and Martin chasing shadows and McGleish finished with ease from 12 yards.
Wycombe consolation goal came from a corner that should never have been. Tyson miscued his cross from the left and for some reason referee Thorpe gave the dead ball to Wycombe. Burnell converted at the near side of goal to register his first goal in a Wycombe shirt since joining in the summer of 2004.
Final Score - Wycombe 1 Northampton Town 3
Wycombe Manager John Gorman was in a philosophical mood when speaking to BBC Three Counties Radio after the game. He said "In the end they obviously deserved their win. When it was 2-0 we made changes and it all went wrong really and they got three. But Joe (Burnell) came up with a good header to at least salvage a bit of pride to show that even when we have a bad game we can still score a goal." The Wycombe boss added "We had chances and I think if you score early the confidence is much higher and the crowd would be behind us. It's a difficult one because we want to do well in the Cup but if this makes us a better team because we lost today, improve and we have learnt from it. I've learnt from it as a Manager as well. It's not been easy to get where we are but it's one of those games that bring you back down to Earth."
Meanwhile, Cobblers boss Colin Calderwood commented to their official website "It was the game we expected it to be. It was very open and went from end to end. They certainly had the better opportunities in the first half and didn't score and we've had a chance and taken the chances which were less than the chances they had and that made a massive difference with us going ahead." He added "It was thoroughly enjoyable to end up winning a game like that and probably frustrating for John (Gorman) because they have certainly had the best opportunities in the first half and that might had given them the lead and made a massive difference. The building block for us was the triple block and clearance on the line."
Wycombe: Talia, Senda, Easton, Johnson, Martin, Betsy, Burnell, Torres (sub 65 Bloomfield), Oakes (sub 65 Lee), Tyson, Mooney (sub 65 Griffin) - subs not used: Anya, Dixon
Bookings: Johnson (foul 68)
Scorers: Burnell (89)
Northampton: Harper, Crowe, Chambers, Doig, Bojic, Taylor, Low, Jess (sub 81 Hunt), Mendes (sub 78 Kirk), McGleish, Smith (sub 74 Rowson) - subs not used Gavin Johnson, Poke
Bookings: Crowe (foul 31), Taylor (foul 82)
Scorers: Boyd (57), Smith (61), McGleish (80)
Referee: Mr M Thorpe Attendance: Att:- 3,974 (950 away end)
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