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Aldershot Town 1
Wycombe Wanderers 0
Friday 21st July 2006
Wanderers suffered their first defeat under new manager Paul Lambert going down 1-0 at Conference side Aldershot Town - the only goal of the game coming in the second half from former Welsh international Darren Barnard.
The Shots could have scored more against a Wycombe side who fielded different first half and second half teams, including new signing from Chelsea, Anthony Grant and on-trial Fulham keeper Richard Batista. Grant has come in on a season long loan from Chelsea and has already appeared in the first team at Stamford Bridge and won England U19 caps. The second-half also saw former Torquay centre half James Sharp and Hibernian midfielder Antonio Murray given a third outing, alongside released Bournernouth centre half Jason Tindall who played in the 3-1 victory at Basingstoke the previous Tuesday. Former Wanderer Steve Guppy also featured in the 2nd-half XI for Paul Lambert's side.
Aldershot, who had drawn with Brighton and QPR in their pre-season campaign, were always going to provide Wanderers with their stiffest pre-season test so far but it was Wanderers who began the brightest. Shots keeper Nikki Bull denied Kevin Betsy with a terrific low one-handed save to his right after the Wycombe man had got his head to a cross from captain-for-the-night Tommy Mooney.
Bull was then quickly off his line to deny Jonny Dixon, who looked certain to profit from Dean Smith's badly-underhit back pass. Dixon has been a long-time transfer target of Aldershot but he has now signed a one-year deal to stay at Wycombe ending the Hampshire side's interest. He was cheered enthusiastically by the Shots fans all night. They were unaware that he has chosen to stay put rather than join them in an £8,000 deal.
The homes side went on to have chances when Marcus Gayle rattled the bar with a header from three yards out after Ryan Williams had outfoxed Stockley to deliver the cross, while Williams himself and John Grant both made a hash of their headed chances after escaping the clutches of a disorganised Wycombe defence.
The Shots had to wait until the 63rd minute to break the deadlock. Tom Cadmore fouled John Grant on the edge of the area and Barnard made him pay with a curling free kick which left the otherwise exemplary Steve Williams rooted to the spot.
Wycombe did little to threaten their hosts' lead until a late flurry almost brought them a draw. James Faulkner dragged a shot wide of the target when one-on-one with Shots substitute keeper Louis Wells and then in the final minutes Sergio Torres smashed the ball wide from eight yards after Steve Guppy had spotted his run into the box.
Final Score - Aldershot 1 Wycombe 0
Following the game, Lambert also confirmed he had ditched triallists James Sharp, Antonio Murray and Jason Tindall after the trio failed to come up to expectations in pre-season games against Basingstoke and Aldershot. Lambert told the local press, "They were terrific lads but you have to go with your own judgement and we will be trying someone else."
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