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Before the game team news for Wycombe saw Chris Vinnicombe return to the starting line-up after missing the last three games through injury. Although as expecetd Jason Cousins was missing due to his badly bruised knee picked up in the midweek victory over Gillingham. On the bench was Jamie Bates - returning to the First Team squad for the first time since his injury at Colchester in January.
Vinncombe's return to defence allowed Steve Brown back into his normal midfield role and it was his sweeping pass to Dave Carroll in the 9th minute that forced the City defence to concede the first corner of the game. The only other significant action in a dull opening period came in the 5th minute when Martin Taylor had to be alert to block Damien Spencer's shot.
It was City who took the lead in the 18th minute when Brian Tinnion's corner from the right was only half-cleared by the head of Steve Brown and when Tony Thorpe's low drive was deflected off Brown, Martin Taylor was left routed to the spot and picking the ball out of the Valley End net.
Wycombe's best spell of the first half came shortly after Sean Devine had made an unconvincing dive in the City penalty area when pressed by two defenders. It was in the 34th minute when Devine cantered down the left again and delivered a dangerous cross that was hastily cleared by ex-Wanderer Mickey Bell. Bell had signed a new four year contract with City the previous day but had a relatively quiet game against his former club. A minute later Dannie Bulman's knockdown set-up Michael Simpson but he dragged his shot wide of the target.
City replyed on the stroke of half-time when Scott Murray dragged a shot wide of Taylor's right-hand post.
Half-time Wycombe 0 City 1
Wycombe forced two corners in quick succession early in the second-half - the first coming after Simpson's free-kick saw Devine's bye-line cross forced out, with the Wycombe players and supporters claiming for handball. However, it was City who came close to extending their lead in the 51st minute when Andrew Jordan's free-kick was brillantly tipped over by Taylor. Wycombe survived another free-kick from a similar position in the 57th minute before snatching an equaliser in the 63rd minute with their first serious effort on goal. Dannie Bulman won a free-kick on the right and Simpson's curling free-kick was headed in at the near post by Sean Devine for his 21st League goal of the season.
However, Wycombe's fight back only lasted three minutes when after Thorpe's shot was half-blocked by Taylor, Damien Spencer was on hand to knock the ball in for his first senior goal.
Wycombe responded well with Devine seeing a low shot saved by Steve Phillips in the 73rd minute, while a minute later Bulman's 25 yard effort was tipped over by the City 'keeper. Sean Devine then saw a free-kick pushed away by the City stickman in a flurry of action in front of the Wycombe fans.
A heavy challenge by Jermaine McSporran on Mickey Bell in the 80th minute right in front of the dug outs nearly boiled over although it was McSporran who ended up in the book.
A dramatic last minute effort from substitute Jamie Bates almost saw Wycombe snatch a point when he headed a corner inches wide having only come on seconds earlier. Bulman then saw a fierce drive go close in the fourth minute of stoppage time but it was not be be.
Final Score Wycombe 1 Bristol City 2
Wycombe Team: Taylor, Vinnicombe (sub 90 Bates), McCarthy, Carroll, Ryan (sub 70 McSporran), Baird, Devine, Rogers, Bulman, Simpson, Brown (sub 75 Harkin)
subs not used Thompson, Senda Att:4,754
Wycombe v City OPTA Form Guide
Team of the week ending 25 March 2000
OPTA index for March
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