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25/08 Wycombe 2nd Half

By: Tony Butcher
Date: 26/08/2003

NEITHER team made any changes at half time. Within a couple of minutes Wycombe nearly scored by accident.

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

Kenilworth Road

Grimsby Town 3 Wycombe Wanderers 1
25 Aug 2003, Nationwide League Division 2

The usual hopeful hoof into the penalty area, a rebound, a ricochet, the ball flew over Ford and a striker was free. Davison raced off his line and flung himself at the feet of this interloper, a few yards out wide of the right hand post. The ball was blocked for a corner and serenity was restored.

Town pushed, Town probed, small moments when something almost happened. The Wycombe defence rocked, it rolled, it fell flat on its face in a collective panic. Rowan and Boulding hassled defenders as the ball dropped about 25 yards out on their left. The solution? Pretend you’re Der Kaiser and pass your way out of trouble. The ball was rolled to their right back, about 30 yards out. Campbell nipped in, nicked the ball off Vinnicombe’s toe and swept on towards the bye-line. In one move he crossed and BOULDING caressed the ball across the goalkeeper with a loving volley from somewhere near the penalty spot. The ball was a blur as Town mauled at speed. The small matter of Rowan being wrestled to the ground as the ball was crossed is now irrelevant.

And from this moment the game opened up into a frenzy of attack, attack, attack, attack, from both sides now. McSporran was sent free down the Town left after Hamilton was caught betwixt and between, like a very large rabbit. The ball was crossed early into the near post and one of the strikers, unmarked, sent a diving header towards Josh’s Fish Bar, rather than Davison’s crossbar. That’s what we like to see. A little later Onuora muscled Ford away, and from about 8 yards out, glanced a diving header wide of Davison’s right hand post. A free header from a corner sent wide of the angle of post and bar and a few more crosses, dives and scrambles followed at sporadic intervals, but never, ever, did Wycombe look like scoring. Sanchez fiddled with substitutions while Wycombe burned as Town’s searing pace cut them apart, almost at will. The dam had burst and only Rogers stopped Town. Boulding, twist, turn, fouled, Rowan, turn, twist, fouled, in rapid succession, but no penalty given. Boulding crossed, Campbell crossed, just too high for Cas, just too high for Rowan, nearly, so close, almost, that deserved third was tantalisingly close. Sweet beautiful passing down the left saw Wycombe dazzled into submission, with Groves edging across the pitch and smashing a drive a foot or two over the bar. A few minutes later and Groves was at it again, dragging a shot through defenders’ legs and straight at the ‘keeper. Then Campbell did the same after more dancing and prancing down the left. Anything else? Of course, the obligatory Casblaster. Surging, sweeping, swooping, the Town fans swooning as Cas glided in from the left and, from about 25 yards, hit a piledriver at the goalkeeper’s head, the sheer force of the shot knocked Talia off his feet. Let’s hope Cas continues his accuracy as someone in the Pontoon will get their hat knocked off.

For a wonderful five minute spell Wycombe imploded, incapable of passing, controlling or in a couple of cases, standing up. They graduated from passing the ball out of play to dribbling the ball out for throw ins. Some feat. The Town players responded to this encouragement with increased speed and purpose. With about quarter of an hour left, Campbell turned in midfield, on the right for some reason, and hit a superb pass between the left back and centre half.



Parker81 mins
Mansaram81 mins
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Cas steamrollered through, bearing down upon the wobbling Talia. One touch, two touches, a third and the ‘keeper came off his line and blocked with his knee. The ball ricocheted away to about 20 yards out, right in the centre. Rowan just reached the ball before a defender and tried to curl the ball around the prostrate keeper. Not to mention the waggling legs of Wycombite defenders. The ball rolled a few inches wide of the right hand post. Five minutes later and the same thing happened. Except one small detail changed. Cas was sent free behind the defence and surged towards goal, leaving defenders at the bus stop. As the ‘keeper advanced, CAS checked and turned, poking the ball into the bottom right hand corner with his left foot. The ball rolled gently into the goal, nudging the goalkeeper’s vanity case on the way, as Cas strolled towards the Pontoon, arms up, soaking in the adulation.

It was all so reminiscent of those balmy days when Palace and Wimbledon were dismissed with a click of the fingers. Immediately after the goal Town nearly scored again. Barnard curled a free kick from the touchline towards the centre of the penalty area. Rowan missed it, Crane didn’t, twisting and curling a dainty header towards the right hand corner of the goal. The ‘keeper joined the Pontoon in gaping at the ball as it sailed by, just missing the post by an inch or two. At this point, Parker replaced Barnard and Mansaram replaced Cas, with Rowan moving to right wing. And there was just one more chance for Town when Boulding was sent free down the middle. He was sandwiched by two defenders just outside the area, but the referee took pity and refused to blow.

Town had flowed, unstoppable, a showcase of compelling attacking with pace, power, poise and some lazy defending thrown in to boot. For despite everything Town were very loose at the back, with so many players pouring forward in search of the fifth and possibly the sixth goal, forgetting to score the fourth beforehand. The final two Wycombe substitutes combined when the ball was returned to Senda on the right wing. He crossed and the ball squirmed to Dixon on the edge of the area, who stretched and swept a raking shot across Davison. The ball hit the foot of the right hand post and bounced up to Currie, about half a dozen yard wide of goal. He leant back and placed a very careful shot just under the scoreboard. A few minutes later another cross from the right, another chance to Currie and another fluff from the fluffmeister. Closer still he headed a bouncing ball into the side netting as Crowe stood by the post, unconcerned.

With about a minute left Bolder replaced Groves and his first touch was a tackle and pass into space, sending Mansaram free down the right. Rowan trotted up in support, collected the pass, and ambled towards the corner flag, much to the annoyance of the Town support. If some barbers don’t do perms, Town don’t do time wasting. They are just rubbish at it. The ball went out for a Wycombe throw, it was chucked upfield, knocked on, knocked on again and suddenly one of their players was behind the Town defence on the right. The ball was crossed into wards the near post and MAPES stretched forward and pokily steered the ball across Davison into the bottom left hand corner.

Town kicked off and the referee ended the game. The match finished on an inappropriate downer, but overall provided more evidence for the prosecution, if not the defence. With Cas flying, Campbell buzzing and Boulding scampering Town are beginning to look quite frighteningly good in attack. They may have been helped by ropey opposition, but then again, it may have been Town’s (second half) excellence, for Wycombe were not capable of dealing with crisp passing movements done at high speed. When Town click they are awesomely funky. There are still gaping holes and yawning gaps, or is that yawning holes and gaping gaps? But it seems that most of the second division teams are quite capable of falling over their own feet in front of goal. How many saves has Davison made this season? Exactly. Don’t we just know that Bristol will be a different kettle of Brussels sprouts.

So, ignoring the central midfield, and the defence (organisationally, not individually), it wasn’t too bad at all. The Town jelly is setting slowly. It will always wobble, for that’s the essence of Town, isn’t it.

What more could you want? Three points and the crowd skipping its way down Blundell Avenue, whistling merry tunes with a smile upon its collective face.

Nicko’s Man of the Match

Well, where do we start, quite a few fine individuals, with Ford again cool, calm and collected, Boulding a scampering pest all game, Rowan lively (in his own way) and Cas the runaway train. But, they seek him here, they seek him there, that darned elusive CAMP(ER)BELL was the fizzing ticker at the heart of the pummelling second half performance.

Official Warning

C Webster. Nowhere near as dreadful as the last time he set foot on our shores. Not great, irritatingly lenient at times, but nothing too much to complain about. The small decisions were quite odd at times, but he was determined not to book anyone (only a couple of clattering Chairboys forced him to flash the yellow card), which, for Town this season, was a blessing. Feeling generous, he gets 5.98997.

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