Avon Insurance Combination - click here for fixture listing 2001/2002 QPR 4
Wycombe Wanderers 1
Wednesday 2nd January 2002
Sean Devine gets a pat on the back from Martyn Lee as he begins his first game since May 2000 The return of Sean Devine and Andy Baird was the highlight of Wycombe's 4-1 defeat to QPR in the Avon Insurance Combination. A strong Rangers side were 4-0 ahead before a blatant trip on Baird by home 'keeper Rhys Evans saw Wycombe awarded a spotkick and Evans shown the red card. Devine took the opportunity to dispatch the penalty past stand-in 'keeper Nikki Bull and just four days after the respective First Teams had met in the seven goal, three penalty, two red card thriller, there was more controversy as Rangers midfielder Richard Langley was shown the red card for a second bookable offence.
The sight of Baird and Devine in the starting will be a major boost for Wycombe and both players will be pleased to have come through the game without any hitches. Neither player was given enough service to prove their goalscoring touch but there were enough signs to suggest that they will knocking on the First Team door very shortly.
Carlos Lopez - on trial at Wycombe Wycombe also gave a run-out to Mexican triallist Carlos Lopez, while Gavin Holligan played his first game since limping off injured against Notts County in the FA Cup. Defender Lopez struggled to impress against a tough Rangers frontline that scored three times inside fourteen first half minutes. First Richard Langley struck home an 18th minute free-kick and then ten minutes later Carl Leaburn was credited with deflecting home a Stuart Wardley header from Langley's corner from the right. Paul Bruce scored the goal of the game on 32 minutes when he smashed home a volley from 30 yards that left Mark Osborn standing. Richard Pacquette struck an effort against Osborn's left hand upright three minutes before the interval as the home side continued to dominate.
Wycombe improved after the break and Martyn Lee was unlucky not to reduce the deficit on 47 minutes when he weaved in from the left flank before drawing a good save from Evans. However, Wycombe fell further behind in the 57th minute when Richard Pacquette broke clear from midfield before flicking the ball over the advancing Osborn.
With Baird and Devine begining to combine, Wycombe were given a lifeline in the 65th minute when Evans upended Baird in a 'one on one' situation, leaving referee Mr Russell little option but to shown the R's 'keeper the red card. Sean Devine made no mistake from the spot but there was no dramatic comeback despite another red card to the home side, Langley being given his marching orders following first a booking for dissent and then a foul on Baird.
It was great to see Baird and Devine back in action and the watching Lawrie Sanchez will now be wondering how long he'll have to leave it before introducing them to First Team football. Wanderers next scheduled Reserve game is two weeks away and Club officials are thought to be looking at arranging a friendly to give the duo an earlier chance to show their worth.
Final Score QPR 4 Wycombe 1
Welcome back Sean!!
Wycombe: Osborn, Smillie, Parsons, Castledine (sub 80 Lynott), Johnson, Lopez, Simpemba (sub 80 Cook), Lee, Baird (sub 88 Dixon), Devine, Holligan - subs not used: Oliver, Gott
Reporting for Chairboys on the Net from Loftus Road were Paul Lewis and Steve Maguire
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