After successive home wins, Notts were dealt a rough hand before kick-off yesterday afternoon. In-form’ defender Dan Martin fell foul to a stomach bug and was replaced in the squad by Adam Tann; himself not fully fit having only recently returned to training after breaking his cheekbone, while a number of the playing squad were also believed to be suffering from food poisoning suffered the night before.
And, within two minutes, travelling fans must have been fearing the worst as Wycombe carved open the Notts rearguard with ease, with Kevin Pilkington was forced into a save from Charlie Griffin at the expense of a corner.
Seconds later, a mix-up between Brian O’Callaghan and Julien Baudet allowed veteran Tommy Mooney a clear run on goal, but, amazingly, the striker decided to hit the shot first time, instead of exploiting the space and time he had, with Pilkington managing to save with consummate ease.
To the surprise of the travelling Magpies fans, that was the last time Wycombe looked dangerous in a half that saw Notts suddenly take the game to Wycombe and, in doing so, forcing their hosts to concede a string of several corners in a twenty-minute period. However, the need for that all-elusive ‘proven’ striker was never more obvious, as Wycombe cleared their lines without Notts’ makeshift attack from the set piece ever really troubling.
The Magpies did manage to find the Wycombe net in the 18th minute, but the whistle had already gone for a foul on debutante 'keeper Matt Duke.
The second half started with the predictable Wycombe onslaught, although Notts seemed to be weathering the storm with ease. That is, however, until Mooney's shot finally opened doors for Wycombe to take the lead on the hour mark. Despite Pilkington having turned the initial effort onto the up-right, it was Ipswich Town's Aidan Collins - making his debut after signing on loan only recently - who was quickest to react to turn in the rebound.
Notts never really got it together in the second half, as they had in the first – so Wycombe doubling their lead seemed only fitting.
On 72 minutes, some woeful Magpies defending allowed winger Torres to latch onto a through ball, and beat Pilkington for an all-too easy second goal.
The ease of their victory, however, was overshadowed by the sudden death of their promising midfielder Mark Philo, whose life support machine was turned off at 4.20pm after a fatal car accident just outside Reading.
To see a full-length article on this tragic news, click here.