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Preview: Torquay United v Wycombe Wanderers


Wycombe Wanderers travel to Torquay United on Friday for their 43rd league game of the season.


The league table currently shows Wycombe in 3rd place with 70 points from 42 games and Torquay in 5th spot with 65 points from 42 games.

Torquay's Home Record.....Won 10 - Drawn 6 - Lost 5 - Pts 36 (Rank-7)

Wycombe's Away Record.....Won 9 - Drawn 7 - Lost 5 - Pts 34 (Rank-2)


The end is nigh, and with only four games to go and no remaining margin for error, a trip to Torquay looks daunting. It's widely acknowledged among Wycombe fans that the Gulls were the most impressive team to visit Adams Park this season, totally dismantling the Blues with a slick performance that earned them a comfortable 3-1 victory.

On target for the visitors that night were top-scorer Elliot Benyon and star midfielder Nicky Wroe. Both players were sold in January and many pundits thought the Gulls would suffer, but their ratio of points-per-game has actually improved from 1.37 to 1.83 since the duo departed and they've climbed from 11th to 5th in the table.

The Gulls replaced Benyon and Wroe by entering the loan-market to snap-up Jake Robinson from Shrewsbury and Craig Stanley from Morecambe. Both were shrewd acquisitions, but judging by their all-round performance at Adams Park, Torquay's success is based on impressive teamwork rather than individuals.

Docked a point by the Football League for fielding an unregistered player, the Gulls are currently five points behind the Blues and view this game as their final chance to stake a realistic claim for automatic-promotion.

Midfielder Eunan O'Kane said: "It's a really big game. If we can beat Wycombe, it will pull some ground back on them, but it will also put a lot of extra pressure on them, and sometimes teams under pressure do silly things."

Torquay manager Paul Buckle has been singing the praises of former Chairboy Chris Zebroski who has already bagged twelve goals for the Gulls this season: "Chris is a real handful and judging by the scouts who are turning up here, he's catching the eye. On his form at the moment, he's better than League Two level," said Buckle.

Wycombe's place in the top-three is looking precarious. Three consecutive draws have left them clinging to third spot by a single point with the worst goal-difference of all the promotion contenders.

Recent form suggests that Shrewsbury Town will pip the Blues to the final automatic promotion place, but that can change in the blink of an eye and with the Shrews at bitter rivals Hereford this weekend, now could be the time to turn the tide.

Hopefully, there will be even more important games to come, but for now, this is the Blues' biggest test since they travelled to Chesterfield last month still hoping to catch the league leaders.

The Wycombe players didn't turn up that night and they owe it to themselves to make a better fist of it this time.

The players and fans have travelled all over the country for nine months hoping to be in contention at the end of the season, and having done all the hard work to get there, it would be disappointing to go down without a fight.

Inspirational skipper Gareth Ainsworth is likely to return to the side on Friday and if ever the Blues needed a captain's performance from him, it's now.


Here are all the stats......


Torquay's last five games (All Competitions)

LG2: Cheltenham (H)......Won 2-1

LG2: Northampton (A)....Drew 2-2

LG2: Lincoln (H)..............Won 2-0

LG2: Bradford (A)...........Won 3-0

LG2: Port Vale (H).........Drew 0-0



Wycombe's last five games (All Competitions)

LG2: Morecambe (A)........Won 3-0

LG2: Stockport (H)...........Won 2-0

LG2: Hereford (A)...........Drew 0-0

LG2: Oxford (A)..............Drew 2-2

LG2: Northampton (H).....Drew 2-2



Torquay Goal Stats (49 games in all Competitions)

Goals Scored (Total)..........Lg: 70...Cups: 3...Total: 73

Goals Conceded (Total)......Lg: 47...Cups: 4...Total: 51

Goals Scored (Home).........Lg: 36...Cups: 2...Total: 38

Goals Conceded (Home).....Lg: 22...Cups: 2...Total: 24

Clean Sheets.....................Lg: 14...Cups: 4...Total: 18



Wycombe Goal Stats (48 games in all Competitions)

Goals Scored (Total)...........Lg: 61...Cups: 11...Total: 72

Goals Conceded (Total).......Lg: 48...Cups: 11...Total: 59

Goals Scored (Away)..........Lg: 28...Cups: 4.....Total: 32

Goals Conceded (Away)......Lg: 24...Cups: 1.....Total: 25

Clean Sheets.....................Lg: 15...Cups: 1.....Total: 16



Torquay's Top Goal Scorers - (All Competitions)

Elliot Benyon...............14 (inc 1 pens)

Chris Zebroski.............12

Billy Kee.......................9 (inc 1 pen)

Eunan O'Kane...............7

Jake Robinson...............7 (inc 2 pens)

Gavin Tomlin.................3

Nicky Wroe...................3 (inc 1 pen)

Kevin Nicholson.............3

Danny Stevens..............3

Torquay have benefitted from two own-goals.

Three other players have each scored two goals.

Four other players have each scored one goal.



Wycombe's Top Goal Scorers - (All Competitions)

Scott Rendell...........16 (inc 8 pens)

Gareth Ainsworth.....10

Kevin Betsy..............7

Andy Sandell............7

Stuart Beavon...........5

Ben Strevens............5

Lewis Montrose.........4

Jon-Paul Pittman.......4

Matt Bloomfield.........3

Four other players have each scored two goals.

Three other players have each scored one goal



Torquay Shooting (Top-3) - All Competitions

Chris Zebroski........44 on-target...52 off-target...5 against woodwork

Billy Kee................31 on-target...26 off-target...2 against woodwork

Kevin Nicholson......20 on-target...27 off-target...5 against woodwork



Wycombe Shooting (Top-3) - All Competitions

Kevin Betsy............24 on-target...47 off-target...2 against woodwork

Gareth Ainsworth....23 on-target...36 off-target...3 against woodwork

Stuart Beavon........24 on-target...27 off-target...2 against woodwork



Shooting (Club) - League Games Only

Torquay......221 on target...248 off target...27 against w'work (Rank-6)

Wycombe....184 on target...248 off target...18 against w'work (Rank-10)



Most Assists

Torquay - Zebroski & Nicholson....6

Wycombe - Kevin Betsy...............7



League Form Guide

All Season
*Before Torquay's one point deduction.

Torquay.....Pld: 42...W: 17...D: 15...L: 10...Pts: 66...Pts per game: 1.57

Wycombe...Pld: 42...W: 19...D: 13...L: 10...Pts: 70...Pts per game: 1.67



First-half of the season

Torquay........Pld: 23...W: 8.....D: 8...L: 7...Pts: 32...Pts per game: 1.39

Wycombe......Pld: 23...W: 11...D: 7...L: 5...Pts: 40...Pts per game: 1.74



Second-half of the season

Torquay........Pld: 19...W: 9...D: 7...L: 3...Pts: 34...Pts per game: 1.79

Wycombe......Pld: 19...W: 8...D: 6...L: 5...Pts: 30...Pts per game: 1.58



Last Five league Games

Torquay........WDWWD - 11 points (Rank-5)

Wycombe........WWDDD - 9 points (Rank-7)



Last Five League Games (Home)

Torquay.......WWWWD - 13 points (Rank-3)



Last Five League Games (Away)

Wycombe.......WDWDD - 9 points (Rank-5)



Against Top Half Opposition

Torquay...........Pld: 19...Pts: 25...Pts per game: 1.32...(Rank-5)

Wycombe.........Pld: 20...Pts: 26...Pts per game: 1.30...(Rank-6)



Against Bottom Half Opposition

Torquay...........Pld: 23...Pts: 41...Pts per game: 1.78...(Rank-7)

Wycombe.........Pld: 22...Pts: 44...Pts per game: 2.00...(Rank-3)



Previous Meetings

In 8 previous meetings there have been 2 wins for Wycombe, 3 for Torquay and 3 draws.

At Plainmoor there's been 1 win for Wycombe, 1 for Torquay and 2 draws.

1993/94 LG2: Torquay 1 Wycombe 1

1993/94 LG2: Wycombe 1 Torquay 1

2002/03 FLT: Torquay 0 Wycombe 4

2005/06 LG2: Torquay 2 Wycombe 2

2005/06 LG2: Wycombe 0 Torquay 1

2006/07 LG2: Wycombe 2 Torquay 0

2006/07 LG2: Torquay 3 Wycombe 0

2010/11 LG2: Wycombe 1 Torquay 3



The Man In The Middle

Friday's referee is Dean Whitestone from Northamptonshire who was promoted to the National List of Referees in 2005. His last Wycombe game was the 2-1 win over Hereford at Adams Park on Boxing Day. During the current campaign he's issued 9 red and 94 yellow cards in 33 games.



Prediction

Pass




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The Journalist

Writer: Len Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday April 20 2011

Time: 1:05AM

 

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