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Wycombe Wanderers 4
Tuesday 22nd October 2002
LDV Vans Trophy - First Round
Final whistle at Torquay
Frank Talia and team mates acknowledge the Wycombe fans after the final whistle
Sean Devine grabbed a hat-trick as Wanderers cruised into the Second Round of the LDV Vans Trophy with a 4-0 victory at Torquay. Three goals in eleven first-half minutes, two by Devine and another by Mark Rogers, killed the tie off before the break. Devine completed his hat-trick on 77 minutes but despite all the goals, a major talking point after the game was an incredible save by Frank Talia in the 11th minute when the game was still goalless. He flung himself to his right to keep out what looked like a certain goalbound header. The Aussie frustrated the home side with other saves too, while home 'keeper Jamie Attwell had a night to forget.
Prior to the game the Wanderers' Management had said they were taking this game seriously and although there were changes to the side, there was still enough quality to see of the Division Three side with plenty to spare.
Out from the weekend game with Peterborough went 'old boys' Paul McCarthy, Keith Ryan, Steve Brown and Adny Rammell. They were replaced by Mark Rogers, Dannie Bulman, Lewis Cook and Sean Devine. Cook was making his first start for the senior team and was lively throughout. Frank Talia retained his place in goal and he showed his worth again.
Talia was called into action within the opening few seconds when he was forced to block a 25 yard shot from the right channel by David Graham. However, his save in the 11th minute was extraordinary. Alex Russell's free-kick from the right found Graham and the resulting header had goal written all over it. But Talia reacted otherwise and stunned everybody in the ground by not only stopping the shot but getting enough strength on the block to push the ball away from the danger zone.
From that point on Wycombe never looked back. On 14 minutes the enthusiastic Cook tried his luck with an effort from the left edge of the penalty area after the ball had been worked across from the opposite side. Two minutes later a stinging 25 yard effort from Bulman had to be beaten down by Attwell. The 20 year old Bristol born 'keeper was making only his second senior appearance and he had a rough night ahead of him.
On 22 minutes Michael Simpson played a great crossfield ball to Cook and the youngster eventually won a corner after seeing his initial shot blocked. Wanderers took the lead on 24 minutes when an inviting waist high cross from Cook from the left eluded Attwell and Devine was there to net with a diving header close to the far post.
It was 2-0 on 31 minutes when Danny Senda smashed in a vicious low cross in from the right bye-line to the near post that proved too hot to handle for Attwell and the instinctive and goal hungry Devine was on hand to stab home the loose ball.
Four minutes later it was Senda again who crossed from the right. This time the cross was more flighted but with Attwell and his defence at sea, Rogers made a good contact with a header and the ball crossed the line after coming down off the underside of the crossbar.
Talia got down quickly to block from Matt Hockley a minute before the break and effectively it was game over.
Half-time Torquay 0 Wycombe 3
The Gulls commenced the second-half by making their third substitution of the evening but despite the changes they had no answer for an efficient Wanderers defence coupled with a dominating midfield.
Wanderers continued to dominate and threatened to add more goals. Bulman shot over on 51 minutes and only a marginal offside decision ruled out a Craig Faulconbridge 'goal' on 55 minutes following a neat through ball from Devine. Cook also went close with a couple of strikes from the left. The second one on 60 minutes from Devine's pass cannoned off the crossbar with such force that it went out for a throw-in on the opposite wing.
In between Cook's efforts Kevin Hill drove the ball into side netting on Talia's right side as the home side struggled to make any impact in front of goal.
Jonny Dixon was introduced for Faulconbridge on 67 minutes and the 19 year old showed his ability and desire for goal by having the confidence to take on players. Within a couple of minutes of his arrival he made use of Simpson's battling efforts on the left side of midfield but couldn't quite find the final route to goal.
Wanderers final goal of the evening was a strange affair. Currie's free-kick from the right was 'controlled' by Devine in a central position and as the home side claimed for handball Devine scooped the ball into the net. The 100 or so Wycombe fans at the opposite end of the ground struggled to work out if the goal had been given but when Devine was congratulated by his team-mates the loyal fans could acknowledge the hat-trick.
The tie then ended as it started with Talia making commendable saves. First he got enough on former Arsenal trainee Jonathan Osei-Kuffour shot from the right and then in the final minute he palmed away Graham's effort from the left. An impressive job done all around.
Final Score Torquay 0 Wycombe 4
Wycombe: Talia, Senda, Vinnicombe, Rogers, Thomson (sub 79 Johnson), Currie, Bulman, Simpson, Cook (sub 82 Townsend), Devine, Faulconbridge (sub 67 Dixon) subs not used: Harris, Taylor
Yellow Cards: none
Torquay United: Attwell, Canoville, Hazell, Woozley, Holmes (sub 48 Douglin), Osei-Kuffour, Russell (sub 45 Ashington), Hockley, Hill, Graham, Gritton (sub 38 Fowler) susb not used: Prince, Camara
Yellow Cards: none
Referee: Paul Rejer (Leamington Spa) Att: 1,133 (69 Wycombe)
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