Date: 6th September 2019 at 7:59pm
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The last time The Imps met tomorrow’s opponents Wycombe Wanderers at Adams Park was on Saturday, 5th August 2017, which was The Imps first game back in the Football League. This match finished 2-2. Matt Green put City ahead in the 31st minute, but Luke O’Nien made it 1-1 just 6 minutes later after getting on the end of a cross from Joe Jacobson. The hosts went ahead just minutes later following a Joe Jacobson free-kick, which went through what can only be described as a flimsy Lincoln wall. The Imps made it 2-2 in the 49th minute when Alex Woodyard played a superb through-ball to Josh Ginnelly, who finished beyond Scott Brown.

The last time the two sides met was at Sincil Bank on Tuesday, 17th April 2018. This match finished 0-0. From what I can remember, it was one of those really frustrating nights, with the away side wasting as much time as they could get away with.

Time for the Q&A. Thank you to Wycombe Wanderers supporter Tom for answering our questions!

How long have you supported Wycombe Wanderers?

16-and-a-half years. My first game was in February 2003. I don’t remember much, but we lost 2-0 to Wigan, whose squad included a young Leighton Baines (I feel old now).

Where did you finish last season?

17th – but we could have finished 20th by a single goal and the season would still have been a success. Staying up was the aim and we achieved that relatively comfortably in the end!

What do you think of your Manager?

Gareth Ainsworth is a ******* legend and the greatest manager in my time as a supporter. Simple.

Who Are The League One Managers? No.23: Gareth Ainsworth (Wycombe Wanderers)

What are your hopes and expectations for the 2019/20 season?

Hopes: play-offs. Expectations: top half? To be honest, until we went a bit transfer crazy, these both would have read ‘avoid relegation’.

One(s) to watch?

I don’t think it’s sunk in yet that we’ve managed to get Rolando Aarons in on loan. He’s Championship quality and could be one of the best players in the division, so we’ll see how that goes.

Also Nick Freeman and Scott Kashket. Both have been at Wycombe for a few years now, but this could be a real breakout season for both of them.

Freeman is our best midfielder in an attacking sense, with a defence-unlocking ability possessed by none of our others in that department. His assists for our dramatic late winners against MK and Southend were quite exquisite.

Kashket is our most natural finisher but doesn’t find himself playing centrally often enough – he did against Southend the other weekend and scored twice. If he gets a run in the side and stays fit – which he’s struggled to in the past – then he could bag 15+ goals.

Which teams you think will finish in the top six?

I don’t know about an order, and I hate making predictions this early in the season, but I’m going to go for:

Ipswich Town, Blackpool, Sunderland, Lincoln City, Peterborough United and Portsmouth

Which teams do you think will finish in the bottom three?

Bolton Wanderers, Southend United and Accrington Stanley.

What are your thoughts on Lincoln City?

I’m a bit scared that you’ll tear us to shreds on Saturday, especially having watched how well you played against Everton. In all seriousness, though, on the outside, you seem a very well-run club who are going places. The way the town gets behind the team now is exactly what I’d love to see Wycombe achieve.

What do you think the score will be?

Either 5-4 or 0-0.

Random fact about your Club?

Lionel Richie once attended a match at Adams Park. I’m not sure if he stayed all night long.

If you could steal one Lincoln City player for your own team, who would it be and why?

I haven’t seen enough of you to really say, but Jack Payne stood out for me when he played against us last season. Otherwise, Bruno Andrade is a classy player who’s been at Wycombe before – although we’re fairly stacked in that department these days!

What are your proudest and most embarrassing moments as a Wycombe Wanderers Supporter?

Proudest: promotion 2017/18 – we were underdogs near enough all the way, much like Accrington – and reaching the League Cup semis in 2007, when we held Chelsea to a 1-1 draw in the first leg.

Most embarrassing: I’ve yet to be truly embarrassed by this team.

Who would you say is your most underrated player?

Nick Freeman. How some fans still have their doubts about him is beyond me. He should be one of the first names on the team sheet.

Do you have a Supporters Trust and what role do they play at the Club?

The Trust owns the club, but that may well change in the near future. It’s become clear that fan ownership just isn’t working for us, so the plan is to sell a 75% stake in the club to American investor Rob Couhig – although that needs to be approved by 75% of Trust ‘Legacy’ members. Rob and his team have been on board for a few months now on a ‘trial’ basis – which has included loaning us some money, allowing us to restore the playing budget to last season’s level plus a tad more on top – and have made a great impression. They really seem to ‘get’ the culture of the club and want to be involved as much as possible. Some fans seem to think it’s a charm offensive. I disagree; I think the cracks would have started to appear if that were the case. To be honest, barring something scandalous happening between now and the vote – which, from the sounds of things, could take place next month – or something in the deal sending alarm bells ringing, it has to be a ‘yes’. The future of the club likely depends on it.

Which was your favourite match involving Wycombe Wanderers?

Wycombe 4-3 Carlisle in our League Two promotion season. After we’d gone 2-0 up at half-time, Luke O’Nien – one of the scorers – was sent off early in the second half for handling a shot on the line. The visitors scored the resulting penalty and were 3-2 up by the 70th minute – helped by our missing a spot-kick of our own with the score at 2-1. We never give up, but I think everyone in the stands had consigned themselves deflate as the clock ticked into the 93rd minute. But there was Paris Cowan-Hall to equalise with a diving header. Cue wild celebrations which expressed relief more than anything. We’d salvaged a point! Or so we thought…

Three minutes later, Adebayo Akinfenwa won a rare free-kick – referees don’t much like our Bayo – about 30 yards out, probably more. We could have just kept hold of the ball and settled for a draw, but that’s not the Wycombe way. Matt Bloomfield floated it into the box, Carlisle dealt with it. That was that, surely? Oh no! The clearance fell to Marcus Bean on the edge of the box, who had no hesitation in volleying it goalwards. Beany had never scored for Wycombe in over 100 apperances, but something this one flying into the bottom left-hand corner. I genuinely can’t remember how I celebrated it – I’m not sure many can – but I ended up getting from back of the stand to front in what felt like a matter of seconds. Beany had already sprinted the length of the pitch in celebration, looking for his parents in one of the executive boxes (they’d already left). A wonderful moment to leave indelible memories.

It was only in February, but it was one of several results which made Wycombe fans think “We might just do this”. And do it (get promoted) we did! As evidenced by certain results last season and our last home game, we’ve not grown any less fond of a dramatic comeback. It’s fun.

Which was your least favourite match involving Wycombe Wanderers?

The 4-0 loss to Accrington – already promoted by that point – in the penultimate home game of the same season. We were taken apart and looked nothing like ourselves. I can’t remember the exact scenario, but I believe a win would have meant we’d have gone to Chesterfield the following weekend with our fate in our own hands. Of course, we did go up on the day in the end, but the feeling after defeat to Stanley was one of “Ooh err, this is going to the final day, isn’t it?”. That wasn’t a nice feeling, even if it did last less than a week.

Do you have a Former Players Association at Wycombe Wanderers?

We do, although I can’t say I know much about it. There’s a little bit of info here.

What’s the best thing about Wycombe?

How easy it is to get away from. Sure, it’s not different to a lot of market towns in the country, but that doesn’t make in any less of a drab place. It’s home and pretty much always has been for me, but it’s nothing to shout about. Mind you, I do wonder how things might be had the club stayed based in the town centre.

Where are you wandering to?

The Championship or the pub. Or both.

Posted by Vital Lincoln City on Friday, 6 September 2019

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