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Wycombe Wanderers 0
Tuesday 22nd January 2002
Football League Division Two
Paul Emblen - clash of heads It was no goals and no points as Wycombe went down 2-0 to struggling Cambridge United at The Abbey Stadium. Wanderers were already a goal down when The U's had 'keeper Lionel Perez sent off for handball but despite the one man advantage Wycombe conceded again shortly after the break and never seriously tested stand-in 'keeper Shaun Marshall.
Wycombe played the final 23 minutes of the game with only ten men after substitute Paul Emblen clashed heads with U's defender Stevland Angus. The game was held up for eight minutes before both players were carried off on stretchers. Thankfully the news after the game was not too serious with Emblen needing a stitch in a head wound, while Angus suffered concussion and the only side affect was that he couldn't remember the game or the score.
Sadly for the Wycombe fans who made the midweek journey to Cambridge the memory of this game will be hard to forget. Wanderers should have been one-nil up in the fourth minute when Michael Simpson sent away Keith Ryan just left of centre but Perez managed to save at his near post. Four minutes later The U's had taken the lead when Tom Youngs' cross from the left was headed in at the near post by Dan Chillingworth.
Ryan saw another chance go begging a minute later before Perez was sent packing in the 16th minute for handling outside his area. However, Wycombe simply didn't have the imagination to break down the home side and stand-in 'keeper Marshall must have had one of the quietest matches of his career. Paul Wanless headed home 45 seconds into the second-half to emphasise Wycombe's disjointed display and although Wanderers enjoyed lengthy spells of possession, it was the home side who went closest to adding to the scoring and leave Wycombe fans shaking their heads in disbelief.
Carlos Lopez - surprise startWycombe started the game with two changes the side that lost narrowly to Cardiff the previous weekend. Danny Senda returned after his three match ban to play in the right wing-back role while their was a surprise start for Mexican triallist Carlos Lopez on the opposite wing after Chris Vinnicombe cried after with flu. Keith Ryan moved back up front as Gavin Holligan dropped to the bench.
Ryan had Wycombe's best chances early on but it was the inability to breakdown the home side following Perez's sending off that was the most worrying factor for all those concerned with Wanderers. The defence looked shaky too with Lopez having a cruel awakening into English League football. The Mexican was given a rough time by Shane Tudor, although the U's player was booked in the 32nd minute for a blatant dive as he passed the Wycombe player on route to goal.
Wanderers best spell and best move came seven minutes into the second-half with a swift move down the right wing that culminated with Darren Currie's shot being block after Michael Simpson had played the ball in.
A twin substitution on 58 minutes was just as confusing for Wycombe fans. Keith Ryan, Wanderers only aeriel threat, plus the hard working Danny Bulman were replaced by Paul Emblen and Martyn Lee. Eight minutes later Senda was replaced by Jermaine McSporran. Within a minute the ball had been swung in from the right by Lee but just when it looked like Emblen might get in a clean header at goal Angus had challenged and both players were out for the count.
After the extended stop the game was never likely to recover any sort of pace and McSporran's shot into the building site behind the goal deep into stoppage time summed up the evening.
Wycombe remain 11th in the Division Two table after this latest set-back and unless the team begin to gel again very quickly, then any hopes of challenging near the top of the table of the table can be dismissed.
Final Score Cambridge United 2 Wycombe 0
Wycombe: Taylor, Senda (sub 66 McSporran), Cousins, Lopez, Johnson, Currie, Bulman (sub 59 Lee), Simpson, Roberts, Devine, Ryan (sub 59 Emblen) subs not used: Holligan, Brown
Yellow Cards: Simpson (foul 83), Lopez (foul 94)
Cambridge United: Perez ,Angus (sub 75 Mustoe), Tann, Duncan, Ashbee, Scully (sub 16 Marshall), Guttridge, Wanless, Tudor, Youngs, Chillingworth (sub 58 Fleming) subs not used: Revell, One
Yellow Cards: Tudor (ungentlemanly conduct 32)
Referee: Joe Winter (Stockton-on-Tees) Attendance: 2,623 (Wycombe 223)
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