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Club News

1992/93: The Adams Park Years

22 August 2015

There's a league and cup double, as Adrian Wood recalls.

Part 3 - Season 1992/93 – Double Glory!

The cost of watching football at Adams Park showed a small increase on the previous season. Adult season ticket prices were set at £77 (ground only) and £102 for a seat in the stand. Match prices were £6 (seat), £4.50 (terraces) and £2.50 concessions. The Family Stand (sponsored by Pro Leisure) was doubled in size to 180 seats and gave good value at just £13.50 for an adult and three children. A new Sunday Market opened with free admission and over 100 stalls and in addition the club offered a number of free Adams Park tours. Vandanel Sports & Leisure Ltd had signed a three year contract as official kit suppliers.

Martin O’Neill had signed a further one year contract and had made no new signings, thus showing complete faith with last year’s playing staff that had gone so agonisingly close to winning the Conference championship – and promotion into the Football League. Pre-season home friendlies saw confidence boosting victories over a Spurs XI (3-0) and an Arsenal XI (4-2). The Gunners’ line-up included the likes of Paul Merson, David O’Leary and Ray Parlour.

The real thing kicked off on August 22nd with a difficult trip to last season’s bogey side Macclesfield.  Wearing the new away strip of bright yellow with navy flashes, a goal from Kim Casey ensured a point in a 1-1 draw. There then followed a marvellous run of nine consecutive Conference victories. The goals were flowing – we had 32 in the “Goals For” column after just 10 league matches. High scoring wins at Adams Park came against Telford (4-0), Yeovil (5-1) and Bromsgrove (4-0). A first defeat came at Bath but at the start of October the Chairboys topped the table by 12 points, and the average home attendance at that stage was 3,567, easily the best in the league.

In early October the club successfully defended the James C Thompson Championship Shield with a convincing 3-0 home success against Colchester (the Essex side had completed the “Double” of Conference champions and FA Trophy winners in 1991/92). Adams Park was again selected to host an international fixture, this time the Under 19 friendly international between England and Turkey. On another positive note the club announced its sound financial position revealing for the year ended May 31st 1992 turnover up at 20% at £1,227,357, showing an operating profit of £20,484. The fixture against Witton Albion on October 24th (won 2-1) was the 50th GMVC League game to be played at Adams Park. 41 of those had been won, with just five defeats. Total goals scored were 121 and average attendance 3,315.

Having defeated Merthyr Tydfil 3-1 at home in the FA Cup 1st round, the club hosted Division 2 side West Bromwich Albion, then managed by Ossie Ardiles, in round 2. Despite the tie being shown live on SKY on a Sunday lunchtime, 6,904 packed the stadium - a new Adams Park record. A thrilling tie saw the Blues come back from two goals down to draw 2-2 with goals from skipper Glyn Creaser and Steve Thompson. An amazing 4,500 Wycombe fans travelled to the replay at the Hawthorns when Wycombe were desperately unlucky to lose 0-1. Meanwhile, after exactly half of the league season, the Blues were still 12 points clear at the top with 48 points out of a maximum 63 (one more than at the equivalent stage in 1991/92). Goal difference was a plus 40, and the side had netted 55 goals in 21 fixtures, Keith Scott leading the way with 15.

Early in 1993 the traumatic news broke that Creaser would likely miss the remainder of the season due to an injury sustained at his day job.  Despite that the Blues marched on being undefeated in the league in January and February. Important progress was made too in the FA Trophy with Adams Park victories over Cheltenham, Morecambe and Bromsgrove.  With two thirds of the league programme now completed our lead at the top was 10 points.

March was the crucial month. Kettering inflicted the first home league defeat and then a 0-3 reverse was suffered at Yeovil. The midweek home fixture against near neighbours Slough Town was massive as the Rebels were second and just four points behind (although we had two games in hand). The attendance record was again broken with officially 7,230 watching but several hundred more watched from the hillside behind the Woodlands Terrace.  A tense game was decided by a first half winner from Scott. Wanderers had to play most of the second half with ten men when Andy Kerr was sent off, but some determined defending and fine goalkeeping from Paul Hyde ensured the three valuable points. Just two days later the Blues crucially won 2-1 at third placed Dagenham & Redbridge to take a step closer to the title.  

O’Neill boosted the squad with several signings including strikers Tim Langford from Telford and Trevor Aylott on loan from Gillingham while former player Anton Vircavs returned from Cheltenham.  Four Wycombe players - Kerr, Stapleton, Thompson and Guppy - played for England in the semi-professional international against Wales.  Dave Carroll was also originally selected but later withdrawn when it transpired he was born in Scotland!

April saw the Blues reach the FA Trophy final for the second time in three years after defeating Sutton United 6-3 on aggregate in the semi-final. The superb 5-1 home victory over Runcorn all but secured the championship and Steve Guppy’s glorious solo goal is still talked about by many Wycombe fans. Two days later despite losing 0-2 at home to Altrincham, results elsewhere confirmed that Wycombe were champions and bound for the Football League. One trophy did prove elusive as Northwich Victoria came to Adams Park and won the Drinkwise Cup 3–2 in extra time.

The “double” was then clinched at Wembley with a 4-1 win over Runcorn in the FA Trophy Final. Watched by 28,000 Wycombe fans in the 32,968 crowd, goals from Cousins, Kerr, Thompson and Carroll climaxed a truly wonderful season. For the record Wycombe won the league by an amazing 15 points, with a goal difference of plus 47. Scott top scored with 20, followed by Casey with 10. Average home attendance was 4,602, a 27.6% increase on the 1991/92 average. Football League here we come!

This article first appeared in the club's matchday programme on Saturday 22nd August 2015.

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