Match Preview: Wycombe Wanderers
Wycombe Wanderers return to Adams Park on Saturday for their 8th League One fixture of the season.
Saturday's opponents are the universally mocked 'soccer' franchise currently operating out of Milton Keynes.
The visitors' birth was a tawdry affair, during which they effectively bought Wimbledon's place in the Football League rather than work their way up through the non-league system as other clubs, including Wycombe Wanderers, had always done before them.
They currently sit 5th in the table with 14 points from their opening 7 league games.
Among their ranks are former Wycombe players Jermaine Easter and David McCracken.
Easter will be remembered by Wycombe supporters for two main reasons. Firstly, as the player who went on a goal-scoring spree for half a season and was instrumental in taking the club to a Carling Cup semi-final against Chelsea. And secondly, for his behaviour at the start of the following campaign when he embarked on a protracted sulk in order to procure a transfer to Plymouth Argyle.
Easter missed our opponents' game against Norwich City on Monday evening with a thigh injury but may well return for Saturday's game.
David McCracken captained the Chairboys to promotion last season before departing in the summer, saying: 'This wasn't about money for me, I really appreciate the offer that Wycombe put down on the table - it was a good one. However I wanted a new challenge and that's why I've decided to move on.'
Our Opponents' Season So Far
Seven different players have scored for Saturday's opponents in all competitions so far this season, and their top marksman is former Chairboy Jermaine Easter with 7 goals. Their other scorers each have 1 goal to their name.
Jason Puncheon.....13 on-target, 12 off-target, 0 against woodwork.
Jermaine Easter......14 on-target, 8 off-target, 1 against woodwork.
Jemal Johnson.........8 on-target, 11 off-target, 0 against woodwork
Results so far
LG1: Hartlepool (H)........Drew 0-0
Ccp: Swindon (H).............Lost 4-1
LG1: Swindon (A)...........Drew 0-0
LG1: Tranmere (A)..........Won 1-0
LG1: Colchester (H).........Won 2-1
LG1: Exeter (A)...............Won 2-1
JPT: Dagenham (H)..........Won 3-1
LG1: Huddersfield (H).......Lost 3-2
LG1: Norwich (H).............Won 2-1
Stuart Searle (Watford) Goalkeeper
Danny Woodards (Crewe Alexandra) Defender
Darren Powell (Brentford) Defender
Mathias Doumbe (Plymouth) Defender
Sol Davis (Luton Town) Defender
David McCracken (Wycombe Wanderers) Defender
Mark Carrington (Crewe Alexandra) Midfielder
Stephen Gleeson (Wolves) Midfielder
Lewis Gobern (Wolves) Midfielder
Richard Partridge (Chester City) Midfielder
Jason Puncheon (Plymouth Argyle) Midfielder
Jermaine Easter (Plymouth Argyle) Striker
Jabo Ibehre (Walsall) Striker
The Chairboys are currently 22nd in the table with 5 points from their first 7 league games.
Following a dismal display at Brighton two weeks ago, The Chairboys put in a much better performance at Hartlepool last Saturday and were unfortunate not to take all three points.
Only another defensive lapse which saw Wycombe concede their 9th set-piece league goal of the season prevented Stuart Beavon's 25 yard strike from being the winning goal.
Beavon's first league-start saw the Chairboys switch to a 4-4-2 (4-4-1-1) system and his man-of-the-match performance led to manager Peter Taylor saying after the game: 'Today Stuart Beavon has absolutely grabbed his chance without a doubt. There's no way he won't be starting next Saturday.'
On the injury front, Lewis Hunt made his second appearance of the season for the reserves on Wednesday evening but there's still no sign of Tommy Doherty. Matt Bloomfield remains on the sidelines.
Chairboys on target
Five different players have scored for Wycombe in all competitions this season and their top marksman is Jon-Paul Pittman with 4 goals. Chris Zebroski and Matt Harrold have each scored 2 goals while Matt Phillips and Stuart Beavon both have 1 goal to their name.
Jon-Paul Pittman....7 on-target, 5 off-target, 0 against woodwork
Stuart Green..........6 on-target, 6 off-target, 0 against woodwork
Chris Zebroski.......7 on-target, 3 off-target, 0 against woodwork
Wycombe's season so far
LG1: Charlton (A)...........Lost 3-2
Ccp: Peterborough (H)....Lost 4-0
LG1: Leeds (H)...............Lost 1-0
LG1: Southend (H)........Drew 1-1
LG1: Norwich (A)...........Lost 5-2
LG1: Bristol Rovers (H)..Won 2-1
JPT: Northampton (H).....Lost 2-2 (3-0 on pens)
LG1: Brighton (A)...........Lost 1-0
LG1: Hartlepool (A)......Drew 1-1
League form comparison
Wycombe Wanderers (Home)....Pld-3..W-1..D-1..L-1..Pts-4..GF-3..GA-3
Saturday's Opponents (Away)...Pld-3..W-2..D-1..L-0..Pts-7..GF-3..GA-1
2006/07: LG1 Wycombe Lost 3-1 (Away)
2006/07: LG1 Wycombe Lost 2-0 (Home)
2007/08: LG2 Wycombe Drew 1-1 (Home)
2007/08: LG2 Wycombe Drew 2-2 (Away)
The Man In The Middle
Saturday's referee is Grant Hegley from Hertfordshire who joined the National List of referees in 2001. His most recent Wycombe game was the televised 1-1 draw with Shrewsbury Town in March of this year.