Wanderers went down 1-0 at home to relegation threatened Torquay United but remained in the automatic promotion places after Leyton Orient and Northampton Town both lost. The only goal of the game came in the 57th minute when Wanderers lost possession in midfield and Tony Bedeau finished off from 12 yards following a pass from the left channel by Martin Phillips. The closest Wycombe came to equalising was in the 82nd minute when Stefan Oakes' free-kick was tipped onto the woodwork by Gulls 'keeper Andy Marriott and two follow-ups were then cleared off the line in an amazing goalmouth scramble.
Torquay United 1
18th March 2006
Football League 'League Two'
The match saw John Gorman name an unchanged line-up to the one that had beaten Shrewsbury Town the previous week. Kevin Betsy served the final match of his two game suspension, while Sergio Torres and Joe Burnell remained sidelined with their injuries.
This will be another game where Wycombe will look back on numerous attempts at goal but nothing to show for it in terms of points at the end of the ninety minutes. However, it could have been different if early chances for Jermaine Easter and Dean Bowditch had made the back of the net. But the visitors were allowed to grow in confidence as the game progressed while Wanderers' frustrations grew. Easter could have scored his first goal in a Wycombe shirt when he saw an overhead kicked saved by Marriott following Clint Easton's free-kick from the right wing on 18 minutes. On 25 minutes Bowditch sent a dipping long range effort just over the cross-bar and five minutes later the same player crossed from the right but Marriott was there to deny again.
Easter made way for Griffin at the break with Gorman claiming after the game that the former Stockport player seemed to be lacking in confidence. But it was the confidence of the remainder of the team that may have taken a blow on 57 minutes when Torquay cleared from their own half and won the midfield battle before Phillips crossed to Bedeau to tuck past Talia from the right side of the penalty area. The goal prompted a double substitution from Wycombe with Russell Martin and Ian Stonebridge replacing Easton and Bowditch. But things could have got worse on 68 minutes when Bedeau had what looked an easier chance than his first but the ball bobbled at the left edge of the six yard box and Wycombe were allowed to clear.
Naturally with time running out Wycombe pressed for an equaliser and Griffin was unlucky with a couple of efforts at goal - Marriott scrambling back on one occasion to catch the ball on the line. On 74 minutes Martin's looping cross from the right almost caught out Marriott but the Gulls 'keeper back-peddled to tip over at the far post. Then Wanderers did everything but score when Oakes' free-kick was pushed onto the cross-bar before both Griffin and Roger Johnson saw their attempts to force the ball over the line thwarted. Stonebridge and Senda were also presented with chances in the dying moments but it was not to be and with eight games remaining in the 2005/6 'League Two' season Wanderers will have to register an improvement of the 11 points taken in the previous eight games in order to ensure an automatic promotion spot.
Final Score - Wycombe 0 Torquay United 1
Speaking after the game to BBC Three Counties Radio, John Gorman said, "It was a bad day at the office. They (Torquay) did OK. I thought they played well at times but they made life difficult for us and broke away and got a goal out of nothing. It was a terrible goal for us." The Wycombe Manager went on to comment about the state of the pitch, saying "We didn't play like we can play and the pitch is shocking. I'm being honest. I think it's so hard to play on the type of football we've played all year and now it comes to the vital stage of the season. It's nobodies fault. The groundman is doing his best, it's just took too much use." Wanderers hang in the final automatic promotion spot thanks to defeats by Leyton Orient and Northampton, Gorman added, "The lads are still there but Carlisle are doing fantastic, you have to give them credit and Grimsby as well. We've had our chance at home to win comfortably and we didn't take it."
Meanwhile, Torquay Manager John Cornforth said his side put in a great performance. The former Wycombe player added to the Gulls official website "Wycombe are a good side, their league position tells you that, but we bettered them on the day and if Tony Bedeau had taken the easier second chance we'd have won 2-0. I'm not singling any player out. It was a team performance and they deserve the accolades." And Cornforth praised the travelling support for his side, commenting ""The away support was fantastic- 350 against 7,000 and they out-shouted the Wycombe supporters from the off. If we can get the same noise at Plainmoor it will be worth an extra goal to us."
The attendance of 7,134 was Wanderers highest League gate of the season thanks to the 'Community Day' initiative that saw close to 2,000 tickets distributed to families and youngsters
|Wycombe: Talia, Senda, Easton (sub 62 Martin), Johnson, Williamson, Bloomfield, Bowditch (sub 62 Stonebridge), Lee, Oakes, Easter (sub HT Griffin), Mooney - subs not used: Williams, Antwi
|Torquay United: Marriott, Andrews, Reed, Sharp, Woods, Garner, Hollands, Phillips (sub 87 Taylor), Bedeau (sub 89 Sako), Robinson (sub 89 Hockley), Hill - subs not used Kuffour, Lloyd
Bookings: Sharp (17)
Scorers: Bedeau (57)
|Referee: Mr D Deadman
(away section 355)
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