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Wycombe Wanderers 0
Tuesday 26th December 2000
Nationwide Football League Division Two
Cousins excellent display at Cambridge - picture Paul DennisWycombe completed the first half of the season with a very disappointing 1-0 Boxing Day defeat at Cambridge. The result sees Wycombe drop to ninth place in the table, with Saturday's opponents Northampton leap-frogging The Wanderers after they beat Bristol City 2-0 at Sixfields.
Before Boxing Day The U's were without a League victory in 12 games and had also been dumped out of the FA Cup by Conference side Morecambe but they made Wycombe look second best for the majority of the cold afternoon.
Roy McFarland's side forced 15 corners to Wycombe's one. Incredibly 11 of those came in a goalless first-half. The winning goal came in the 65th minute when Keith Ryan failed to deal with Stuart Wilson's cross from the right bye-line and 21 year old Tom Youngs was on hand to grab his 11th goal of the season.
Lawrie Sanchez made two changes to the side that had beaten Swansea the previous Saturday. Club Captain Keith Ryan was recalled into midfield in preference to Dannie Bulman and Sam Parkin was chosen to partner Andy Rammell up front instead of Niall Thompson. Unfortunately it was a partnership that simply didn't gel and much to the annoyance of Lawrie Sanchez, the duo were caught offside almost as many times as the home side won corners.
Once again it was Martin Taylor who kept Wycombe in with a shout. In the 14th minute he saved from ex-Leicester City striker Stuart Wilson after Paul Connor had broke in from the right. Three minutes later Tom Cowan's power header was blocked by a Wycombe defence as the home side continued a spell of intense pressure. Taylor used his legs to block John Dreyer's 18th minute effort as Wycombe survived.
Wycombe's chances were confined to break-aways but it was some shambolic 'keeping from Lionel Perez that gave the chance to steal a half-time lead. Perez flapped at Dave Carroll's cross from the right but when the ball fell to Brown just outside the penalty area he fired high of the target.
Half-time 0-0
The second-half followed a similar pattern. Within two minutes Youngs got free down the left wing but Wilson could only smash the ball against the crossbar at the near post.
Ryan nearly headed past Taylor on 58 minutes before Thompson replaced an out-of-sorts Parkin a minute later. The Canadian got involved almost immediately but on 65 minutes Wycombe had fallen behind due to a howler by Ryan. Rhino took too long to clear Wilson's cross to the far post and Youngs pounced for what turned out to be only the goal of the game.
Even after Wycombe had gone behind they failed to press the home side and Cambridge could have made the victory look more comfortable. In the 71st minute Taylor denied Connor again after a rare slip by Cousins. Meanwhile Wycombe continued to clock up the offsides and registered their only corner if the game in the 75th minute thanks to a wayward backpass. It was from that corner that by Michael Simpson that Perez just did enough to keep out Rammell's header to the far post but Wycombe had few ideas on how to break down a defence that had conceded eleven goals in the previous four League games.
The nearest Wycombe came to committing Boxing Day robbery came with seven minutes left when Thompson dragged an effort fractionally wide from the edge of the box. With that chance gone it was left to Cambridge to give their fans some New Year cheer. The U's played out the final moments by forcing yet another corner, while for Wycombe and their fans, it's left to analyse an away record that has seen just five goals from twelve games this season. Not a happy Boxing Day.
Final Score Cambridge 1 Wycombe 0
Wycombe: Taylor, Townsend (sub HT Rogers), Vinnicombe, McCarthy, Cousins, Carroll, Brown, Ryan (sub 70 Senda), Simpson, Rammell, Parkin (sub 59 Thompson)
subs not used: Harkin, Bulman
Yellow Cards: Simpson (45 foul), Thompson (69 foul), Brown (85 foul)
Cambridge: Perez, Cowan, Joseph, Duncan, Ashbee, Dreyer, Youngs, Wanless, Wilson, Connor, Hansen (sub 78 Taylor)
subs not used: Marshall, Traore, Oakes, Preece
Yellow Cards: Wilson (36 foul), 
Referee: M North Attendance: 4,758 (Wycombe 590)
Chairboys Stat File
26th Dec 2000

Division Two
Goals For
Goals Against

Top Scorers (League)
Andy Rammell 8
Steve Brown
Andy Baird 3
Jamie Bates 3
Jermaine McSporran 2
Dannie Bulman 1
Sam Parkin 1

Paul McCarthy 1
Michael Simpson 1
Previous Games
Sat 23rd Dec 2000
Division Two
Wycombe 2
Swansea 1

Tue 19th Dec 2000
FA Cup 2nd Round
Wycombe 2
Millwall 1

Sat 16th Dec 2000
Division Two
Wigan Athletic 2
Wycombe 1

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