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Wycombe Part 2

By: Gareth Edwards
Date: 08/10/2005

BOTH sides emerged unchanged after the break and Town started the second half much brighter than they had the first. Simon Francis was looking threatening on his wing and had to be halted by a robust challenge from Johnson early on.

Wycombe thought they had doubled their lead at the other end but the linesman's flag ruled out Bloomfield's stooping header. Reddy continued his tireless work up front for Town and his toil was rewarded with a free-kick on the right flank. Newey's original cross was half cleared but after a brief melee' Justin Whittle managed to direct a volley goal wards only to see the keeper tip the ball against the bar and over. Two resulting corners followed this with nobody being able to capitalise.

Wycombe began to now rely on the counter attack and were choosing to keep numbers behind the ball and hang on. Town responded well by throwing men forward and several chances were created through high balls into the box. Gary Jones should have perhaps done better when he steered a free header at the far post wide, and then once again when he me met Francis' cross with a header which this time missed at the near post. He then completed a hat trick of wasted opportunities when Michael Reddy squared for him in the box, only to see the big Liverpudlian tread on the ball. It was definitely not Jones' night and he was visibly frustrated as were the 7000 town fans watching.

Simon Ramsden then replaced McDermott at right back in an injury enforced substitution, but Slade also chose to make two tactical changes in an effort to find the equaliser, with Gritton replacing the unlucky Jones and Cohen replacing the excellent but tiring Francis. Wycombe began using every tactic they could find to help the clock tick over, with a lengthy stoppage for an Oakes "head injury" proving a prime example.

Town continued to put pressure in Wycombe and Michael Reddy almost got through on the left but Lonergan blocked the one on one well at the near post. Bolland, along with many of the fans, thought he had the ball in the net after his low drive had Lonergan beaten but it was cleared off the line desperately by the defender. Mildenhall made a great save from Betsy at the other end to keep Town in with a chance of getting a late equaliser. Michael Reddy then so nearly provided this after he met Martin Gritton's with a diving header only to see the goalkeeper somehow fling himself in front of the ball and deflect it over.

These late chances just required that vital piece of luck which Town lacked all night and the evening ended in disappointment after promising so much. The fans applauded the players second half endeavours and Russell Slade echoed this in his post match interviews. Both Slade and his players will be hoping ,along with the fans, that the Mariners luck changes in time for next Friday's away trip to Cheltenham and that it changes significantly enough to bring the three points required to resume their promotion challenge, so rudely halted by Tommy Mooney and Wycombe this weekend.

Full Time: Town 0 Wycombe 1

MOM: Simon Francis - Worked hard and looked strong in all areas.

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