Matt Ingram made over 100 consecutive appearances for the Chairboys between being handed his debut in March 2013 and departing for Queens Park Rangers in January 2016. Such continuity between the sticks is a distant memory, with Wycombe set to field an 11th different goalkeeper this afternoon in the 35 months that have passed, following Stephen Henderson's arrival today.
Let’s rattle them off quickly. Alex Lynch was handed the gloves after Ingram’s exit, but played just 105 minutes before suffering a season-ending injury at Plymouth, paving the way for Barry Richardson to make himself a hero at the age of 46, keeping a clean sheet in the final hour-and-a-quarter of the 1-0 win at Home Park.
Ryan Allsop arrived on loan the following week and enjoyed an impressive three-month spell, playing all but one of the remaining fixtures of the 2015/16 season, with Aston Villa loanee Benjamin Siegrist making one appearance at home to Accrington.
Wanderers’ search for a permanent replacement for Ingram brought Scott Brown to Adams Park for the start of the 2016/17 season, but the former Cheltenham man suffered an injury on his league debut, prompting Gareth Ainsworth to bring firstly Sheffield Wednesday youngster Cameron Dawson and then Chelsea starlet Jamal Blackman to the club.
Brown’s time to be number 1 finally arrived last year, playing almost every minute in the promotion-winning season before Yves Ma-Kalambay was brought off the bench for the final few moments.
Allsop returned this summer to don the number 1 shirt but his ankle injury in training last month coincided with Ma-Kalambay’s absence from the side with a broken hand, prompting first Matt Ingram’s return on an emergency loan, and then the capture of David Stockdale for two games.
But with Birmingham having opted not to allow Stockdale to return to south Bucks, Ainsworth has been in the market for a fifth goalkeeper already this season - a not too unfamiliar feeling…
Popular Aussie Frank Talia traded places regularly with youth team product Steve Williams for the majority of this ill-fated season, which started with Lawrie Sanchez in charge and ended with Tony Adams being unable to prevent relegation into the fourth tier. Scott Bevan, Wayne Henderson and Lee Worgan all spent time between the sticks, but Talia’s red card in the 2-0 loss at Rushden saw outfield players Richard Harris and Steve Brown both spend time in goal that day, taking the season’s total to seven.
Talia remained first choice but early season injuries brought Matt Duke, Iain Turner and Andy Lonergan all to the club on short-term loan deals; Lonergan in particular impressed with a stunning debut in a 1-0 win at Grimsby, before keeping another clean sheet in his second game against Rushden. Another injury to Talia paved the way for Steve Williams to come into the fray for the end of season games which included the play-offs against Cheltenham, where the Blues bowed out.
Scott Shearer and Jamie Young jostled for the number 1 jersey during the early weeks but both sustained serious injuries in the same week, leaving Paul Lambert with the urgent need to bring in a loan keeper for the trip to Bradford. He’d never met or even seen Frank Fielding or Przemyslaw Kazimierczak play but brought them in from Blackburn and Bolton respectively, and asked keeper coach Laurence Batty to select the better of the two during the warm-up. Fielding got the nod, and starred in the 1-0 victory, going on to enjoy a superb season with the Blues, while the Polish deputy only featured in cup games. However, when Fielding missed a week of action due to a death in the family, and former Celtic keeper Rab Douglas came on loan to cover.
We’ve already touched on the quintet of Ingram, Lynch, Richardson, Allsop and Siegrist, but don’t forget Ingram’s red card against Morecambe prompted Jason McCarthy to go in goal for the final few minutes, and face the penalty which saw the Shrimps double their lead.