Writer: Benny & Len
Date:Thursday September 13 2012
Wycombe Wanderers will be looking to cast away a few demons this weekend when they travel to the Proact Stadium to face Chesterfield.
The Chairboys have conceded four goals on both their previous visits to the Spireites' new home, somehow managing to better their shambolic performance back in March 2011 with an even worse display in April 2012 that effectively condemned them to relegation back to League Two. Given their start to the current campaign, it's difficult to shake off the expectation that it'll be more of the same this time around too.
Having registered just one shot on target in the 1-0 defeat to Southend United a fortnight ago, the Blues somehow succeeded in going one better and failed to register even a single shot in the 1-1 draw with Cheltenham Town at Adams Park last weekend. The visitors kindly put through their own net inside the opening three minutes when defender Keith Lowe sliced Joel Grant's tame cross past his own bemused goalkeeper Scott Brown.
Sadly the following 87 minutes were rather uninspiring as the Robins dominated possession and controlled the contest. A clumsy and needless foul from Stuart Lewis on ex-Wanderers loanee Marlon Pack gave Shaun Harrad the chance to level from the spot and it was only due to some wayward finishing and an excellent save from goalkeeper Nikki Bull that the hosts held on for a point.
Manager Gary Waddock made four changes to his starting line-up for the second successive game with loan defender Adam Thompson and striker Matt McClure both away on international duty with the Northern Ireland Under 21s. Anthony Stewart missed out with a dead leg whilst defender Grant Basey and Richard Logan both dropped to the bench.
Charles Dunne and Leon Johnson both earned recalls with the former making just his second ever league start in the unfamiliar right-back position whilst loanee Matt Parsons dropped to left-back. Bull was able to continue between the sticks despite picking up a leg injury during the defeat at Southend. Midfielder Jesse Kewley-Graham was handed his full debut as was striker Jo Kuffour after signing a permanent two-year deal.
It wasn't long before the Blues suffered yet more injury woe. Dennis Oli had shown some rare promise in the twenty minutes before being stretchered off with what was subsequently determined to be ankle ligament damage. He will be out for 'a few weeks.' Midfielder Matt Spring also had to leave the fray before half-time after taking the ball in the face. Ironically his replacement, Gareth Ainsworth, went on to be awarded with man-of-the-match as he showed the kind of skill and courage sadly missing from many of his team-mates.
Chesterfield find themselves in a similar position to Wycombe. They were also relegated from League One last season after a wretched season and a disappointing start to the current campaign saw them lose patience with manager John Sheridan, who was sacked a fortnight ago. There may well have been more to it than just results but the up-shot is Tommy Wright has now been placed in caretaker charge and they will be looking for their first league win of the season against the Wanderers.
Another similarity is they too lost a striker in the transfer window with Jordan Bowery joining ex-Wanderers boss Paul Lambert at Aston Villa. There have been numerous meetings between ourselves and the Spireites at Saltergate going back to our ascent to the Football League in 1993. Our first trip in October 1993 was arguably the most enjoyable with a brace from Keith Scott and a header from Terry Evans sealing a 3-2 victory in our green tea-towel change kit.
There was the 1-0 defeat in October 1997 when Steve Brown donned the gloves after Martin Taylor had been sent-off and there was the 2-0 defeat in January 1999 with Evans in caretaker change which saw a severely-weakened side saved from a drubbing by a sparking goalkeeping display from Taylor. Perhaps the most memorable was in March 2003 when a 4-0 thumping was followed by manager Lawrie Sanchez bringing the players over to the fans on the terrace for a post-match post-mortem. It predictably became known as Saltergategate!
There is some good news on the injury front with Anthony Stewart fit again after a dead leg. Defender Danny Foster completed ninety minutes in a training ground fixture in midweek as he recovers from a knee injury and is likely to make the bench again. Both Adam Thompson and Matt McClure are available again after international duty and will give Gary Waddock some choices to make as he looks for a markedly improved performance.
Midfielder Matt Bloomfield's groin problem is more serious than first hoped and he is reportedly a few week away from fitness. Midfielder Sam Wood faces eight weeks on the sidelines with a knee injury whilst defender Marvin McCoy will miss the next ten weeks after damaging ankle ligaments and fracturing his fibula. Dennis Oli is ruled-out with ankle ligament damage. The starting eleven may look something like this...
Adam Thompson - Gary Doherty - Leon Johnson - Charles Dunne
Gareth Ainsworth - Stuart Lewis - Matt Parsons
Joel Grant - Richard Logan - Jo Kuffour
Subs: Matt Ingram, Danny Foster, Anthony Stewart, Grant Basey, Jesse Kewley-Graham, Lee Angol, Matt McClure
Chesterfield were just seconds away from three points last weekend before conceding an equaliser in the fifth minute of injury-time to draw 2-2 with York City at Bootham Crescent. It leaves them without a league win, drawing four and losing one of their opening five games. They did however taste victory against League One Oldham Athletic in the Football League Trophy last week.
Tommy Wright has a doubt over midfielder Danny Whitaker who missed the draw with York due to a groin strain. Two players are sidelined through injury. Goalkeeper Tommy Lee has injured his shoulder and is set for at least six weeks on the sidelines. Richard O'Donnell will deputise and will be making his full home league debut. Defender Nathan Smith has had surgery on his ankle and has been ruled-out for eight weeks. The Spireites may line-up like this:
Terrell Forbes - Neal Trotman - Sam Hird - Liam Ridehalgh
Mark Allott - Sam Togwell - Drew Talbot
Jacob Hazell - Marc Richards - Craig Westcarr
Subs: Mark Crossley, Craig Clay, Tendayi Darwikwa, Mark Randall, Jack Lester, Jonathan Wafula, Scott Boden
The league table currently shows Wycombe in 18th place with 4 points from 4 games and Chesterfield in 19th spot with 4 points from 5 games.
Chesterfield' last five games (All Competitions)
Lg2: Rochdale (H).............Drew 1-1
Lg2: Rotherham (H)...........Drew 1-1
Lg2: Gillingham (A)............Drew 1-1
JPT: Oldham (H).................Won 2-1
Lg2: York (A)....................Drew 2-2
Wycombe's last five games (All Competitions)
Lgcp Watford (A)..................Lost 0-1
Lg2: York (A).......................Won 3-1
Lg2: Gillingham (H)...............Lost 0-1
Lg2: Southend (A)................Lost 0-1
Lg1: Cheltenham (H)...........Drew 1-1
Chesterfield Goal Stats (7 games in all Competitions)
Goals Scored (Total)..........Lg: 5...Cups: 3...Total: 8
Goals Conceded (Total)......Lg: 6...Cups: 3...Total: 9
Goals Scored (Home).........Lg: 2...Cups: 3...Total: 5
Goals Conceded (Home).....Lg: 2...Cups: 3...Total: 5
Clean Sheets.....................Lg: 0...Cups: 0...Total: 0
Wycombe Goal Stats (5 games in all Competitions)
Goals Scored (Total)..........Lg: 4...Cups: 0...Total: 4
Goals Conceded (Total)......Lg: 4...Cups: 1...Total: 5
Goals Scored (Away).........Lg: 3...Cups: 0...Total: 3
Goals Conceded (Away).....Lg: 2...Cups: 1...Total: 3
Clean Sheets.....................Lg: 0...Cups: 0...Total: 0
Chesterfield's Goal Scorers - (All Competitions)
Wycombe's Goal Scorers - (All Competitions)
Chesterfield Shooting (Top-3) - All Competitions
Jordan Bowery.....13 on-target...5 off-target...0 against woodwork
Marc Richards......10 on-target...5 off-target...0 against woodwork
Danny Whitaker....8 on-target...3 off-target...0 against woodwork
Wycombe Shooting (Top-3) - All Competitions
Matt Spring..........3 on-target...2 off-target...0 against woodwork
Joel Grant............1 on-target...4 off-target...0 against woodwork
Richard Logan......0 on-target...4 off-target...0 against woodwork
Shooting (Club) - League only - Source: Football League
Chesterfield...35 on target...25 off target...0 against w'work (Rank-8)
Wycombe........4 on target...11 off target...0 against w'work (Rank-24)
In 27 previous meetings there have been 12 wins for Wycombe, 10 for Chesterfield and 5 draws.
In Chesterfield the tally is 8 wins for the Spireites, 4 for the Chairboys, and 1 draw.
1993/94 Lg2: Chesterfield 2 Wycombe 3
1995/96 Lg1: Chesterfield 3 Wycombe 1
1996/97 Lg1: Chesterfield 4 Wycombe 2
1997/98 Lg1: Chesterfield 1 Wycombe 0
1998/99 Lg1: Chesterfield 2 Wycombe 0
1999/00 Lg1: Chesterfield 1 Wycombe 2
2001/02 Lg1: Chesterfield 0 Wycombe 1
2002/03 Lg1: Chesterfield 4 Wycombe 0
2003/04 Lg1: Chesterfield 2 Wycombe 2
2007/08 Lg2: Chesterfield 2 Wycombe 0
2008/09 Lg2: Chesterfield 0 Wycombe 1
2010/11 Lg2: Chesterfield 4 Wycombe 1
2011/12 Lg1: Chesterfield 4 Wycombe 0
The Man In The Middle
Saturday's referee is Tim Robinson who was officiating in the Conference last season and has never taken charge of a Wycombe game before. So far this season he's issued 6 yellow and 0 red cards in 3 games.
Benny: Chesterfield 4 Wycombe 0
Len: Chesterfield 2 Wycombe 0
Date:Thursday September 13 2012
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