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We've met before: the Blues and the Blues

15 May 2014

Matt Bloomfield's forthcoming testimonial match against Chelsea may trigger memories of previous meetings between the two sides, writes Dale Hurman.

Wycombe Wanderers first hosted a Chelsea reserve team in a friendly clash at Loakes Park in September 1929 with Bill Brown (who was later to play a crucial role in the F.A. Amateur Cup triumph in 1931) scoring for the Chairboys.

The Blues from the Chair Metropolis met a Chelsea reserve side again in a friendly at Loakes Park in December 1938, losing 5-2 with a penalty from Meeks and a goal from Townsend.

It wasn't until January 1973 that the sides met again with a Chelsea XI drawing 1-1 at Loakes Park, Brian Langfield notching for the Blues. It was the first of a trio of meetings during the golden era under Brian Lee.

Kenny Swain played up front for Chelsea in a goal-less draw in March 1975 and then in December of the same year, Howard Kennedy’s strike was overturned as the Pensioners fought back to win 2-1 at Loakes Park.

The 1987/88 season was bookended by two meetings with Chelsea at Loakes Park; the first was a friendly in August with Mark West finding the net in a 4-1 defeat before the sides met again in May for the Steve King Memorial Fund.

The first meeting at Adams Park came in August 1994 as the Wanderers continued their build-up to their first season in the Second Division. It marked the first appearance of striker Cyrille Regis and he found the net in a 2-1 defeat to Glenn Hoddle’s side.

A crowd of 8,249 packed out Adams Park in July 2002 as Claudio Ranieri brought his star-studded side to Bucks. It was the first game played on the club's new desso surface and a stunning strike from Gianfranco Zola sealed a 1-0 win for the Premier League side. He drilled a 30-yard drive into the top corner giving trialist goalkeeper Ian Feuer no chance. The hosts’ best chance fell to Darren Currie but he was foiled by visiting goalkeeper Ed de Goey.

Three years later Chelsea returned as reigning English Champions under José Mourinho and a record crowd of 10,000 (which still stands today) came to see the embryonic Gormania project. Damien Duff and Carlton Cole gave the visitors a two goal lead before Charlie Griffin pulled one back when he headed Clint Easton’s cross past Petr Cech.

Arjen Robben made it 3-1 before a brace for Jiri Jarosik sealed a comfortable 5-1 win for Chelsea.  The roles were reversed in July 2010 when the Chairboys romped to a 5-1 win against Chelsea XI. Aliu Djalo gave the visitors an early lead before goals from Scott Rendell and Ben Strevens gave the Blues a 2-1 lead at the break. Jon-Paul Pittman stole the show with a four-minute hat-trick late in the second half to seal a handsome victory.

Of course the most memorable meetings weren’t friendly matches but ultra competitive as the two sides battled it out for a place in the League Cup final at the Millennium Stadium. Paul Lambert’s men had seen off Swansea City, Fulham, Doncaster Rovers, Notts County and Charlton Athletic for the right to take on the reigning English Champions.

The first leg was played at Adams Park on Wednesday 10th January 2007 in front of a crowd of 9,771. The Wanderers rose to the occasion and were unlucky to fall behind when Wayne Bridge beat goalkeeper Ricardo Batista to lob the visitors in front against the run of play in the 36th minute. The hosts fought back to grab a deserved equaliser in the 77th minute when striker Tommy Mooney flicked the ball on for Jermaine Easter to slot past Hilario.

The second leg at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday 23rd January was a sell-out with 6,000 fans making the trip from Wycombe to cheer on their heroes. Sadly a mistake from midfielder Tommy Doherty allowed Andrei Shevchenko to give the hosts the lead midway the first half. He added a second on the stroke of half-time and there was no way back for the visitors. A second half brace from Frank Lampard completed a 4-0 win for José Mourinho’s side as they won 5-1 on aggregate and went on to beat Arsenal 2-1 in the final.

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