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With Division Two safety virtually guaranteed for both sides, Saturday's meeting was all about pride and it was Wycombe who went away with their heads held high after their first Football League victory over The U's at Adams Park.
Before the game there was a minute's silence in memory of the 11th anniversary of the Hillsborough Tragedy and it was a credit to all of the 4,500 supporters that were in the ground that this was observed to perfection.
Despite Wycombe's safety Manager Lawrie Sanchez stuck with a mainly experienced line-up. Keith Ryan continued alongside Sean Devine up front, while Jamie Bates was given the nod over Jason Cousins at the back, with Mark Rogers switching to right-back.
After a quiet opening the game sprung into life on 15 minutes. First Michael Simpson's free-kick from the right flank was headed straight at Simon Brown in the United goal by Bates. A minute later a long range effort chip from Sean Devine had the 'keeper back peddling before tipping over. The flurry of action was completed when Wycombe's first corner of the game was sent over from the left by Steve Brown but Paul McCarthy's downward headed was held again by The U's 'keeper.
Colchester lost skipper David Gregory on 17 minutes after an awkward fall and the loss added to United's injury toll following Ross Johnson's withdrawal moments before kick-off due to a hamstring problem. Johnson was replaced by ex-Stevenage and Macclesfield full-back Efe Sodje who did well to keep Devine at bay for most of the afternoon. However, Devine did get away from his marker in the 37th minute when he collected McCarthy's ball in from the right but his shot on the turn was pushed onto the foot of the post by Brown in The U's goal. At the other end Martin Taylor was having a quiet afternoon - a 40th minute Joe Dunne cross from the right the first hint of danger. Ryan should have done better after a one-two between Dannie Bulman and Dave Carroll - but the makeshift striker shot over.
Colchester's first serious effort at goal came two minutes into the second-half when Mark Rogers slip let in Tony Lock whose left wing cross saw Jason Dozzell's header saved acrobatically by Taylor.
Ryan went close with a 25 yard effort after 55 minutes before the break-through finally came. in the 62nd minute Aaron Skelton gave away a needless free-kick on the Wycombe left and from Dave Carroll's resulting free-kick, Keith Ryan pounced to head home from inside the six-yard box. Five minutes later Wycombe were 2-0 up when Mark Rogers' cross from the right side of midfield was met again by Ryan who stabbed home before taking the acclaim from The Valley End.
U's substitute Lomana Tresor Lua-Lua gave the travelling fans some hope when he fired inches wide in the 69th minute. However, his miss in the 71st minute is one he'll want to forget. After ex-Wanderer Steve McGavin and Jason Dozzell had combined, Lua Lua shot wide of an empty net from no more than ten yards.
It was Colchester's last chance to claw their way back into the game and this time around it was Wycombe who added the last minute icing on the cake. After Michael Simpson had gone close with a cheeky lob that grazed the top of the Colchester crossbar, the tireless Dannie Bulman worked out an opening on the right wing and after a quick exchange with Simpson, Steve Brown thundered home a shot that simply flew into the top corner from all of 25 yards - Brownie then made headway for a celebratory run across the pitch and in front of The Woodlands. A perfect end to a perfect game - let the celebrations begin.
Full-time Wycombe 3 Colchester 0
Wycombe Team: Taylor, Vinnicombe, McCarthy, Bates, Rogers, Carroll (sub 77 McSporran), Simpson, Brown, Bulman, Devine, Ryan
subs not used Cousins, Harkin, Senda, Brady
Wycombe v ColU OPTA Form Guide
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