Our very first meeting with Huddersfield Town was on Saturday 26th August 1994, a very special one indeed. We had arrived to celebrate the inaugural game of their new £16 million ground, The Alfred McAlpine Stadium.
A packed crowd of 13,334 saw Wycombe Wanderers become party poopers as they beat Huddersfield Town 1-0. The result was a very big surprise, none more so than for Terriers supporters and their manager Neil Warnock.
Early on the home team pressed forward with skipper Phil Starbuck and winger Simon Baldry causing problems for the Wycombe defence. Fortunately, thanks to two big men in the centre for the Blues - Glyn Creaser and Terry Evans - the visitors held strong. With keeper Paul Hyde looking very confident behind them the Wanderers defence looked solid. Steve Brown had been brought in to play at left-back, replacing the injured David Titterton, with Jason Cousins in his usual spot at right-back.
Just as well the Blues had a solid defence as the home side were determined to look for all three points. Wycombe hardly managed to get forward as often as they would have liked, especially with two outstanding front men in Simon Garner and Cyrille Regis. By that time both were legends in the game, none more so than Regis. With Dave Carroll and Steve Thompson providing support with the occasional classy pass Huddersfield could not lack concentration.
Wycombe’s first move came on 23 minutes when Steve Brown crossed for Dave Carroll to head the ball down into the path of Simon Garner only to see it run out of play. But on 41 mins. Garner did give Blues the lead when Keith Ryan floated a perfect cross for Garner to fire home. Both Garner and Regis caused all kinds of problems when the Blues did manage to sweep forward.
Huddersfield kept pressing, determined to get back into the game but the Blues defenders gave nothing away. Goalkeeper Hyde was in sparkling form making a series of first class saves to totally frustrate the Terriers attack. The Terriers were intent on providing their supporters something to celebrate on this very momentous occasion for both club and town.
Home striker Andy Booth collected a mistimed header from Glyn Creaser but boomed it over the bar from a good position right on the stoke of half time.
The Blues left the field looking like a team that had been under pressure. No doubt the half-time team talk by manager Martin O’Neill kicked in as they looked ready for the second half when they appeared.
Ten minutes into the second half it was Booth again who looked set to score but his bullet header was palmed away by Hyde only to be cleared by Steve Brown. The home sides striker looked very frustrated as he kicked the turf in despair after a fourth chance went begging.
A big blow came for the Terriers when centre half Pat Scully was sent off with six minutes remaining after his second bookable offence on Garner. The Blues' goalscorer limped off with a sore ankle to be replaced by Tony Hemmings. Needless to say, manager Neill Warnock was not amused, he thought the players were time wasting.
Even better was to follow when after a quick word with Thompson and Carroll, Regis went over to the right wing and started passing the ball in triangles between the three. It was utter genius from a player, despite his age, had been involved for the entire 90 minutes and looked very fit.
As Terriers' players dashed in to break up the trio, free-kicks and more space became available for Wycombe. It all ended on the referee's whistle with the Blues bench cheering and clapping their side off the pitch. Although only 300 Blues fans attended the match, they could be heard right across the ground - “Wycombe, Wycombe, Wycombe" - the players waving at them as they left the field.
For Huddersfield it was a very disappointing afternoon, leaving the pitch without the win they so wanted, and denied any applause by their fans.
HUDDERSFIELD: Francis, Billy, Cowan, Starbuck, Scully, Mitchell, Baldry (Dunn 63), Bullock, Booth, Jepson, Reid.
Not used: Dyson, Blackwell.
WYCOMBE; Hyde, Cousins, Brown, Creaser, Evans, Ryan, Carroll, Thompson, Regis, Garner (Hemmings 85), Stapleton.
Not used; Turnbull, Moussadik.