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Wycombe Preview

By: Richard Hubbert
Date: 24/08/2003

NOW the Mariners have recorded their first win of this new 2003/04 season with a win at Luton, Paul Groves’ side will be looking to please the home faithful with victory at Blundell Park against Lawrie Sanchez’s Wycombe Wanderers.

Home > 2003-2004 Season > Previews > Wycombe (h)

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The Chairboys, from the newly-named "Causeway Stadium", have had a pretty similar start to the season as the Mariners. In their first three league games they have won, lost and drawn, leaving them one place above the Mariners in the Nationwide League Table. An impressive opening day victory against Stockport was followed up by an even more impressive Carling Cup win against division one side Wimbledon. Their loss to Blackpool on August 16th was disappointing but demonstrated that they are more than capable of scoring a goal or two on their travels. On Saturday, Wycombe drew 3-3 at home to Chesterfield, a game that emphasised their quality going forward, but also their vulnerability at the back.

Wycombe Facts

Last Season
18th in Division Two. Wycombe had yet another relatively disappointing season last year, that saw them finish lower than the year before. Better things are expected of Wanderers this season, and Lawrie Sanchez has rung the changes in the summer, with the exit of several of their more experienced players. Martin Taylor, Andy Rammell and Paul McCarthy have been shown the exit door. New players have been recruited in an attempt to improve on last year’s showing.

Lawrie Sanchez. After successfully steering Wycombe away from relegation in the 1998/99 season and leading the Chairboys to the F.A Cup semi finals in the 2000/01 season, Sanchez was regarded as one of the best young managers in England. After two disappointing seasons in division two, Sanchez is now under pressure to deliver, with some fans believing that he has taken Wycombe as far as he can.

Top Players
Michael Simpson. A vital part of Wycombe’s midfield engine, and has been so since his arrival at Adams Park in 1997 from Notts County. Voted the supporters player of the year last season, and has started this season in a typically determined fashion.

Iffy Onoura (left). Journeyman striker who arrived at Wycombe alst week on a month’s loan from Sheffield Untd. A reported transfer target for Town boss Paul Groves, Onoura always manages to score against Town, which means that the Town rearguard will seek to keep a close eye on his presence on Monday. Made his debut on Saturday with an assist for Jermaine McSporran’s goal.

Darren Currie. Wycombe boss Lawrie Sanchez has opted to use more width in his side this season, and Dean Currie and Jermaine McSporran are the men that will be expected to give the Chairboys this. Currie, Wycombe’s record signing from Barnet at £200,000 is a tricky customer and is a free kick specialist.

Team News



  • Paul Groves has several injury worries to contend with. Firstly, Jason Crowe, who was so impressive in Saturday’s 2-1 win at Luton, has twisted his knee and is very doubtful. Similarly, Marcel Cas has a bruised knee after taking a kick in Saturday’s game.

  • To make matters worse, central defenders Tony Crane and Simon Ford are also carrying knocks. Tony Crane has a sore back, whilst Simon Ford has suffered a cut above his eye. Ford is expected to be fit for Monday’s game, but Paul Groves or Mike Edwards stand by to deputise for either should they fail to make it.

  • Iain Anderson is also a doubt for the Mariners after taking a knock on the knee. But he is expected to continue in midfield, especially with his three match suspension starting next week, meaning that Paul Groves will want to get the most out of Town’s joint-top scorer.

  • The good news for the Mariners is that John McDermott is expected to be in the squad after playing two reserve team games last week. But should Crowe or Cas fail to be fit enough for the kick-off, Town’s captain could find himself plunged straight back into the starting eleven.

  • Up from, Paul Groves could consider pairing Jonathan Rowan with Michael BouldinG. Rowan came on and impressed on Saturday when he replaced the disappointing Laurens Ten Heuvel, who interestingly, has still not been signed on a permanent basis.
  • Wycombe do not appear to have picked up any new knocks since their draw with Chesterfield on Saturday. However, manager Lawrie Sanchez may consider one or tow changes to his side.

  • Striker Jonny Dixon made a surprise return to the side on Saturday alongside Iffy Onoura, after missing the start of the season with a blood circulation problem in his foot. However, Lawrie Sanchez may decide that two games in three days will be too much for the young striker and could opt to play Simon Patterson, who replaced Dixon after an hour on Saturday, and scored.

  • Michael Simpson should recover from his ankle problem that almost made him miss Saturday’s game, whilst Charlie Mapes could make way for Dannie Bulman. Mapes is carrying a sickness bug, while Bulman has impressed when been used as a substitute in recent games.

  • In goal, the experienced Frank Talia is in contention for a starting place after recovering from his injury. Should Sanche decide to play the former Swindon stopper, then the young Steve Williams would be dropped to the bench.
  • Probable Starting XI's


    Aidan Davison
    John McDermott
    Darren Barnard
    Tony Crane
    Simon Ford
    Marcel Cas
    Iain Anderson
    Des Hamilton
    Stuart Campbell
    Michael Boulding
    Jonathan Rowan
    Frank Talia
    Steve Dell
    Roger Johnson
    Chris Vinnicombe
    Mark Rodger
    Michael Simpson
    Darren Currie
    Dannie Bulman
    Jermaine McSporran
    Simon Patterson
    Iffy Onoura



    Mike Edwards
    Paul Groves
    Laurens Ten Heuvel
    Darren Mansaram
    Andy Pettinger (GK)
    Charlie Mapes
    Jonny Dixon
    Stuart Roberts
    Danny Senda
    Steve Williams (GK)

    On This Day

    August 25th

  • 1984. The opening day of the 1984/85 football league season, saw the Mariners get off to a winning start at Blundell Park with a 1-0 over Barnsley. Paul Wilkinson, who was relieved from the Mariners coaching staff at the start of this season, got Town’s only goal in front of a 6,190 crowd. In the Town side that day was the likes of Tony Ford, Kevin Nicholl, Gary Lund and Paul Emson. That season saw Town finish 10th, under the guidance of manager Dave Booth.
  • 2001 Wycombe draw 2-2 at Blackpool with Darren Currie and Kevin Brown (pen), the goalscorers, in a season where the Chairboys finished 11th. Current Southampton striker Brett Ormerod and Phil Thompson netted for Steve McMahon’s side..

  • Last Time Out

    The last time Town met Wycombe was not a game to remember for any Town fan. In the 2000/01 season, Town lost 3-1 at home to Wycombe in an F.A Cup replay. This game spurred Wycombe on to a sensational F.A Cup run that saw them reach the semi finals. Monday’s game will be only the fifth time the two sides have met, with Town failing to win in any of the previous four fixtures.

    Town Team: Coyne, Butterfield, Gallimore, Handyside, Richard Smith, Coldicott (Nielsen), Willems (Burnett), Campbell, Donovan, Livingstone, Jeffrey

    Wycombe Team: Taylor, Vinnicombe, Rogers (Bates), Cousins, McCarthy, Bulman, Brady (Brown), Lee, Simpson, Rammell, Baird (Senda)

    Attendance: 3,269    Report

    Wycombe Head-to-Head (88th on The Opposition Ladder).


    Fishy prediction: 2-0 to the Mariners Reader's POMs


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