It was the battle of old verses new as former Wycombe manager Peter Taylor returned to Adams Park with Bradford City
Much of the pre-match debate circled around friends Gary Waddock and Peter Taylor coming head-to-head at the club Taylor got promoted to League One in 2009, and where Waddock now seeks to emulate that success.
The reflective Taylor added further spice to the tie by insisting he was no longer bitter about his sacking, but should have had more time in his role as Wycombe boss: “After 11 games our position and points total wasn't good enough but we weren’t able to start the season with the players that I wanted and we had an horrendous fixture list.
"I think they pulled the trigger too quickly. Sometimes a change is not always the best thing to happen because it means you have got to start again.”
Managerial merry-go-rounds aside, both teams came into this match on the back of a cup defeat but sturdy league form, however Wycombe have struggled at home, failing to win at Adams Park since the end of September.
The first half saw both sides looking to dominate the midfield, but it was Bradford who looked more assured in attack, yet the game remained goalless at the interval. The potential for an overspill materialised just after the hour mark as Wycombe’s Gareth Ainsworth looked to take a quick free kick, but was blocked by former Blue Tommy Doherty, who reacted to Ainsworth’s urgency by pushing the Wycombe Captain in the face.
A red card was brandished in what appeared to be a moment of madness, but by the letter of the law a player cannot raise his hands to an opponent.
With Bradford down to ten men Wycombe pushed for the victory, and were rewarded with 82 minutes on the clock, as the Bradford defence failed to play to the whistle when the linesman flagged for a foul on Stuart Beavon. Advantage was played and Matt Bloomfield skipped through the static defence and was felled by Bradford keeper Lenny Pidgeley, but the ball fell to Kevin Betsy to score the only goal of the game, and his forth in as many games.
The Bradford players were furious, but the decision spurred them on as they sought revenge, and in injury time Tom Adeyemi forced Nikki Bull into a fantastic near post save to secure the points for the home side, and move them within touching distance of the automatic promotion places.
With many talking points at the final whistle Gary Waddock praised the officials’ decision making and reflected on a vital victory: "I thought the linesman made a fantastic decision. He flagged but the referee allowed the advantage to be played. The decision was in our favour anyway so he allowed play to develop."
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.