May 2 2012 By Greg Burns
Wycombe Wanderers relegated
IT HAD been coming. But that didn't make Wycombe's weekend relegation back to League Two any less painful.
The season began with a sense of excitement and mild hopes of success this season.
By success, I mean survival.
But – week by week – those hopes evaporated as each bad result compounded the next.
A late rally temporarily raised hopes but it was always an uphill task for Wanderers after what had gone before.
After the hurt of relegation there is always a time to question the whys, whats and wherefores of a miserable campaign.
That time has come.
I will start by looking back on the 10 games I feel cost Wycombe their third tier spot.
20/8/11: Wycombe 0-2 Bury
Wanderers had started the season unbeaten and won 3-1 at Orient days before Bury arrived at Adams Park. But this lacklustre performance started a run that saw them win just twice in their next 10 games.
17/9/11: Tranmere 2-0 Wycombe
Days after a similarly shambolic defeat at Yeovil, this was probably their worst performance of the season. One token shot on target and the look of a team shot of confidence, belief and ability.
1/10/11: Rochdale 2-1 Wycombe
Wycombe took the lead against a poor Rochdale side. But a defensive collapse against their relegation rivals allowed them to comfortably claim the points. Two-goal Dale scorer Ashley Grimes had to wait 17 games for his next goal.
8/10/11: Wycombe 1-1 Walsall
Utter dominance by Wycombe looked set to end with deserved victory. But a Ben Strevens passback howler allowed the Saddlers to level nine minutes from time.
22/10/11: Oldham 2-0 Wycombe
The inability to record back-to-back wins cost them all season. Blues headed to Boundary Park after victory at Hartlepool but returned to type with a lacklustre display that stopped them building much-needed momentum.
31/12/11: Wycombe 0-1 Stevenage
Blues enjoyed 61 per cent possession in this game but lost concentration once to allow Lawrie Wilson to snatch an 82nd minute winner.
14/2/12: Wycombe 2-3 Yeovil
Leading at half-time, Wycombe knew they could leapfrog the Glovers and climb out of the dropzone with victory. Instead, a second-half collapse saw them drift four points from safety.
3/3/12: Scunthorpe 4-1 Wycombe
New loan signings and 5-0 home win over Hartlepool had lifted spirits. But this was a dreadful performance that also saw Wanderers ship two second-half goals against the ten-man Irons.
9/4/12: Chesterfield 4-0 Wycombe
This was must-win with Wycombe one point from safety. But a horrific display in the rain saw their survival hopes effectively ended.
28/4/12: Wycombe 3-4 Notts County
Winning with two minutes to play, Wanderers summed up their season with a defensive collapse in the final moments to lose and be dumped out of the league.
PAGE 2: SUMMER SIGNINGS