Wanderers went out of the LDV Vans Trophy, going down 1-0 at Bristol Rovers in a largely disappointing performance. The only goal of the game came in the 49th minute goal when Jamie Forrester tucked in a Dave Savage cross from the left at the near post. New boss John Gorman watched from the stands with Keith Ryan and Gary Smith remaining in charge for one final game. Steve Guppy made another surprise appearance while the tie also marked the return of Craig Faulconbridge from injury for the first time in seven months. Guppy was Wanderers' most inspiring player with his corner from the left on 43 minutes producing Wycombe's best chance when Roger Johnson saw his header cleared off the line. Earlier Ian Stonebridge had two golden opportunties to break his goalscoring drought but on both occasions the final shot was too weak. With Guppy substituted just before the hour mark, Wanderers had little to offer in the way of response to Forrester's goal and slumped out again of a perfectly winnable competition. Stuart Nethercott was forced off in the 15th minute after receiving a blow to the head that required seven stitches.
30th November 2004
LDV Vans Trophy Third Round
The sides were meeting for the second time in four days, with Wanderers having won the League encounter at Adams Park by a goal to nil. For his last game in charge Keith Ryan made four changes to starting line-up - Nethercott replacing Johnson, Faulconbridge replacing Nathan Tyson, while in midfield Gus Uhlenbeek and Ryan himself were rested in favour of Matt Bloomfield and Russell Martin. Meanwhile, Rovers boss Ian Atkins also made four changes, bringing in Aaron Lescott for Robbie Ryan, Craig Disley for Paul Trollope and Jamie Forrester for Junior Agogo.
Wycombe were on the back foot almost from the start. In the first minute Frank Talia was forced to palm away an effort by former Mansfield Town striker Craig Disley, while Forrester claimed he was pushed in the box in the 15th minute but the braying fell on deaf ears.
Wanderers created through Guppy on the left in the 19th minute but his cross went wanting that final touch. Then after Forrester had curled a free-kick wide of the left hand post, Stonebridge was presented with his first glourious chance when he was set free from the middle of the park but shot weakly from the edge of the box with just the 'keeper to beat.
Wanderers best spell of the game came in the six minutes leading up the break. First on 39 minutes Danny Senda laid the ball off to Stonebridge on the left side of the box but the shot was deflected over. Three minutes later Stonebridge had his second clear sight of goal when he was given room from an angle on the left side of the goal but he delayed too long with the shot and the ball was forced away for a corner. From the resulting corner Johnson was unlucky not to open the scoring but it proved to be Wanderers final serious effort on goal of the evening.
Rovers dominated the second period. A minute after the restart Disley saw a 20 yard shot tipped around the right-hand post by Talia but a few minutes later the home side were ahead when Gark Silk was caught out down the Rovers left and Savage's cross was converted by Forrester. Guppy's exit for Tyson marked the end of Wycombe's creative edge, with the home side more than happy to sit back on their lead and literally watch Wycombe fail time and time again to create anything of note in front of goal.
Final Score - Bristol Rovers 1 Wycombe 0
Speaking after the game to BBC Three Counties Radio Keith Ryan side his side never competed during the second-half, saying "We started poorly first half and got better as the half went on and I was expecting more in the second-half. But it was a bit of a role reversal and they came out better than us and you've got to say they were the better side." Ryan also thought the annoucement of John Gorman as new boss may have affected some players, adding "It was a very nervy evening. We've all been introduced to the new Manager. I'm sure there was a bit of trying to impress. Sometimes that doesn't do you any favours."
|Wycombe: Talia, Silk, Craig, Nethercott (sub 20 Johnson), Williamson, Bloomfield, Martin, Senda (sub 83 Ahmed), Guppy (sub 58 Tyson), Stonebridge, Faulconbridge - subs not used Anya, Williams
|Bristol Rovers: Miller, Hinton, Edwards, Elliott, Campbell, Lescott, Hunt, Savage (sub 81 Trollope), Disley, Forrester (sub 86 Agogo), Thorpe - subs not used: Haldane, Walker, Williams
Scorers: Forrester (49)
|Referee: P Taylor
||Attendance: 3,667 (127 away end)
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