Date:Thursday May 5 2011
Oily Sailor takes a look at Wycombe on the last day of the season.
For only the fourth time in their Football League history, Wycombe go into the final day of the season with something tangible to play for and under pressure to sate the seething mass of fans that are eager to see the club return to the third tier at the first attempt.
This is the fourth season in a row that Wanderers will end the campaign at their once-suitable stadium Adams Park, scene of a glum and ill-tempered promotion two seasons ago, an elevation achieved despite a sullen defeat to Notts County. Previous final day pressure scenarios came in the first ever league campaign, 1993-94, when a win against Preston could have seen Wycombe secure the final automatic promotion slot. Instead, a draw meant that a few weeks later the team faced North End again, this time at Wembley, where a second successive promotion was sealed.
Five years later there was no ambiguity as Wycombe headed into the last game of the 1998-99 season at Lincoln. Only a win would save the team from relegation and Paul Emblen duly obliged with a late goal to send the travelling hordes into manic delirium and begin York City`s descent into madness.
And that was it, until two seasons ago against Notts County. Nine years of relaxed end-of-season commitments, players and fans already thinking of the lavish holidays they had or hadn`t earned. Even last season, with Wycombe already relegated, we saw some entertainment, as the self-styled Kings of Kent Gillingham were amusingly dragged down with the Chairboys after a 3-0 mauling at Adams Park.
So, with a draw, a win and a defeat in Wycombe`s three previous final-day pressure scenarios, how will things play out on Saturday? Well the Blues are yet to keep a clean sheet against Southend in the league and have won none of the last four against the acceptable face of Essex football, but Gary Waddock is poised to become only the 5th manager in the Football League era to guide Wycombe to a 10 game unbeaten run and with Southend having little to play for, and Wycombe hopefully - surely - having learnt their lesson from the moribund carnival of 2009, surely the team have enough to cement their yo-yo status, bouncing between the bottom two divisions like a low-rent West Bromwich Albion.
Wycombe on the last day of a Football League season
1994 - L2 - Preston North End (H).......1-1 Draw
1995 - L1 - Leyton Orient (A)..............1-0 Win
1996 - L1 - Bristol Rovers (A).............1-2 Loss
1997 - L1 - Bristol City (H).................2-0 Win
1998 - L1 - Walsall (A).......................1-0 Win
1999 - L1 - Lincoln City (A)................1-0 Win
2000 - L1 - Cambridge United (A).......2-1 Win
2001 - L1 - Colchester United (H).......1-1 Draw
2002 - L1 - Swindon Town (A)............1-1 Draw
2003 - L1 - Plymouth Argyle (A).........0-1 Loss
2004 _ L1 - Peterborough United (A)...1-1 Draw
2005 - L2 - Bristol Rovers (A).............0-1 Loss
2006 - L2 - Peterborough United (A)....2-0 Win
2007 - L2 - Barnet (A)........................1-2 Loss
2008 - L2 - Bradford City (H)..............2-1 Win
2009 - L2 - Notts County (H)..............1-2 Loss
2010 - L1 - Gillingham (H)..................3-0 Win
Vital would like to thank Oily for his contribution.
Date:Thursday May 5 2011
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