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Nationwide League Division Two Burnley v WYCOMBE
Saturday 4th December
Division Two
Chris Vinnicombe - playing against his former club - picture with kind permission of Paul DennisA Sean Devine missed penalty in the 65th minute with the game still goalless, cost Wycombe dearly at Turf Moor on Saturday. Devine's left-foot effort struck the right-hand post and fired up the home crowd and players, before Burnley went on to take all three points with a 78th strike from Andy Payton. Wycombe's spot-kick chance came after home 'keeper Paul Crichton had felled Andy Baird on the edge of the Burnley penalty area but Devine's missed the chance to claim his 13th League of the season. Gary Ablett made his debut in a Wycombe shirt following his loan signing from Birmingham and stepped straight into the role left by the suspended Jamie Bates. Ablett had a mixed game, summed up by the fact he was caught out in the air for The Clarets goal while two minutes later he saw his brave diving header blocked in the six-yard box as Wycombe pressed for an equaliser.
Wycombe have a good record against Burnley and within the opening minutes Andy Baird found himself in space but couldn't hit the target. McSporran also saw his shot go wide before The Clarets finally put Wycombe under pressure. On 21 minutes ex-Luton central defender Steve Davis saw his 25 yard shot go just wide of Taylor's left hand post and three minutes later Payton cut inside but his shot curled wide of the Wycombe upright. Payton was guilty of another miss on 27 minutes after Matt Lawrence's slip had let Burnley in down the left wing - Payton hooking the ball over the bar from inside the Wycombe box.
Michael Simpson and Paul Cook had a childish kicking match in the middle of the park on 36 minutes and when play had stopped, Simpson talked his way into the book.
Devine imitated Payton on 41 minutes when he shot over from a good position after Dave Carroll had weaved in from the right. Two minutes before the break Wycombe picked up yet another unnecessary yellow card when Andy Baird was fouled by Gordon Armstrong. The referee gave the free-kick but Baird had to add his own comments and ended up in the book with the Burnley player. From the resulting free-kick Devine had a shot on target but Crichton saved with ease.
Half-time Burnley 0 Wycombe 0
It was Andy Cooke who joined the list of players unable to hit the target when he crashed the ball over the Wycombe crossbar ten minutes into the second-half. Three minutes later Devine set-up McSporran with Wycombe's best chance so far in the game but he wanted too much time and was eventually shut out. Devine's penalty miss was the turning point in the match. The previously muted home crowd rose to the occasion and after Brown and Simpson had seen half chances go begging, Burnley snatched the points. The goal came after a foul by ex-Burnley player Chris Vinnicombe out on the right wing. Wycombe protested the free-kick but when Paul Cook delivered to the far post, Ablett mis-timed his jump and Graham Branch's knockdown fell nicely to Andy Payton who turned and shot through Taylor's leg from inside the six-yard box. Wycombe responded by forcing a couple of corners. Ablett saw his header blocked from the first while Simpon's 25 yarder from the second went a just wide of the target. Lenny Johnrose forced a good block from Taylor on 86 minutes as time eventually ran-out for Wycombe. 
Ironically the defeat at Burnley comes just days after claims by manager Lawrie Sanchez that the referee had cost Wycombe the game in the midweek FA Cup replay with Wigan. This time around Wycombe only had themselves to blame for not taking the points and for the enthusiastic and noisy band of supporters that made the trip to the snow covered hills of Lancashire it was another case of 'what might of been'.
Final Score Burnley 1 Wycombe 0
Wycombe Team: Taylor, Lawrence, Vinnicombe (sub 88 Harkin), Cousins, Ablett, Ryan, Simpson, Carroll, McSporran (sub 60 Brown), Devine (sub 75 Bulman), Baird subs not used Osborn and Beeton Att:9,179

Chris Vinnicombe v Mitchell Thomas pre-match Head to Head stats from Carling Opta
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