Notts. County 1 Wycombe Wanderers 1

Last updated : 13 December 2003 By Footymad Previewer

The contrasting attitudes of rival managers Billy Dearden and Tony Adams virtually said it all.

Adams, though still looking for his first win in charge of Wycombe, was reasonably satisfied with a vital away point.

Dearden, who has seen Notts win only three league matches in 11 starts at Meadow Lane, slated this as the worst performance of the lot with every single one of his players below par.

That was certainly true in the first 45 minutes, which were totally controlled by the visitors.

Their best player was skipper Michael Simpson returning in midfield after an injury lay off on a ground where he used to be a young professional before being granted a free transfer.

Ironically, Notts had nobody to match his energy and skill in midfield.

It was fitting therefore that Simpson should break the deadlock with a cracking 25-yard drive in the dying moments of the first half, his shot taking a cruel deflection off defender Ian Richardson to leave goalkeeper Steve Mildenhall helpless.

Ten minutes before that Notts should have been awarded a penalty when Wycombe keeper Steve Williams sent Paul Heffernan flying in the box, but referee Trevor Parkes, an erratic and controversial official, saw nothing wrong with the challenge and waved play on.

Notts could only improve in the second half and they did so - but by nothing like enough.

Scoring opportunities continued to be few and far between, with almost a total lack of creativity in midfield even after Adam Murray was brought off the bench for his first outing at Meadow Lane.

Fifteen minutes from the end Notts salvaged some sort of pride with Heffernan's close- range equaliser after the Wycombe defence had for once, been breached.

Both sides had chances to win it after that and Adams even strengthened his front line by bringing Craig Faulconbridge off the bench, but it was to no avail despite a flurry of free-kicks and corners.