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Past meetings against Wednesday's visitors Wycombe

20 March 2018

Despite this being our seventh season in the Football League, it is only the third in which we have been in the same division as Wednesday's visitors Wycombe Wanderers.

Our promotion into the League in 2011 coincided with their return to League One, then during our own rise to that level we passed them coming back the other way as they continued their yo-yoing between the two divisions.

Our relegation to League Two in 2015 meant that we would finally meet although even that nearly didn’t happen as the Chairboys had only lost the League Two play-off final in a penalty shoot-out  against Southend.

So late August 2015 at the Checkatrade Stadium was the scene, a week after we had picked up our first win of the season. Wycombe had won three of their opening four games and remained unbeaten after a lively goalless draw although the visitors were grateful to a late save from Matt Ingram who denied Roarie Deacon in a one-on-one late on.

The rematch came in late December with the hosts in play-off contention while we were in mid-table, enjoying excellent home form but struggling on the road. We struggled on the road that day too. Motorway delays meant the team coach didn't arrive until 2.20pm.

And we were slow out of the traps in this one as Max Kretzschmar opened the scoring after just seven minutes and we were almost blown away in the opening 20 minutes. We recovered to get something of a foothold in the game and had a decent go in the opening exchanges of the second half. Alas, Garry Thompson secured the points in stoppage time leaving us six points off the play-offs while victory lifted them up to fifth place.

The following season we met on the opening day, again at home. There were seven debutants in Dermot Drummy’s new-look team and we began the campaign in perfect fashion as new captain Jimmy Smith volleyed in the only goal on the hour-mark. Andre Blackman’s red card in added time was a blow but did not stop us maintaining our unbeaten opening-day record.

The return game came at the end of February 2017. Wycombe were very much in the promotion picture despite being on a four-match losing run, while we were six points outside the play-offs. 

And once again we conceded during a slow start, Ade Akinfenwa back-heeling home after we had failed to clear a corner. We levelled things up just before half-time when Joe McNerney headed home a Dean Cox corner. An even contest looked to be heading towards a share of the spoils when six minutes from time Josh Payne stepped up and curled a brilliant free-kick off the underside of the bar to give us a second successive away win.

The first meeting this season came at Adams Park for a change and on a difficult afternoon Eberechi Eze and a late Craig Mackail-Smith hat-trick condemned us to a 4-0 defeat.  However, that proved to be something of a watershed for us as we surged up the table thereafter, taking 34 points from our next 17 games.

The final match to look at was a famous FA Trophy second round tie from January 1986 at Town Mead.  Having got through two rounds, this was the furthest we had ever progressed in the competition and, sitting second in the Southern League Premier Division table, these were heady times for the Reds, following from promotion in 1984 and a third-place finish a year later. Similarly, Wycombe were in their first season in the Gola League (these days the National League).

In front of a bumper crowd of 1,250, Keith Browning had a goal disallowed for us two minutes before our captain Steve Breach managed to lob his own goalkeeper Gary Moseley from 30 yards, an own-goal which some fans still talk about! Three minutes later, Joe Blochel made it two. We were awarded a second-half penalty but David Myers’ effort was saved and 2-0 was how it stayed.

Pictured: Josh Payne's free-kick winner against Wycombe last season


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