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Question of the Week
What should happen to the EFL Trophy next season?
25/08 Wycombe 2nd Half
By: Tony Butcher
NEITHER team made any changes at half time. Within a couple of minutes Wycombe nearly scored by accident.
Grimsby Town 3 Wycombe Wanderers 1
Cas steamrollered through, bearing down upon the wobbling Talia. One touch, two touches, a third and the â€˜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 â€˜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 goalkeeperâ€™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 didnâ€™t, twisting and curling a dainty header towards the right hand corner of the goal. The â€˜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 donâ€™t do perms, Town donâ€™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 Townâ€™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. Donâ€™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 wasnâ€™t too bad at all. The Town jelly is setting slowly. It will always wobble, for thatâ€™s the essence of Town, isnâ€™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.
Nickoâ€™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.
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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