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96/97 review:
The win against early leaders Brentford was a real boost for flagging morale. Yet even that vital result couldn't gloss over some of our shortcomings - both of the goals were fortuitous and the rest of the game was so armpit-punchingly dull that we were forced to engage in a game of "Guess Ig's Middle Name" to liven things up. There was a source of some encouragement, though - for the first time, Robert Page showed signs of getting over a relatively poor start to the season.

I allowed myself to be talked into a trip to Rotherham, regardless of the fact that I had 'flu. What a bloody stupid idea that was. The cup tie at Northampton the following week, shown live by Sky, was little better - given the platform of a TV audience (albeit one consisting of three grannies in Great Yarmouth who couldn't work out how to turn the telly off), we proceeded to hack, hoof and blunder our way through an awful game. The tedium was enlivened by one single moment of class - Darren Bazeley's goal, a sublime curler from the edge of the box.

Wycombe arrived at Vicarage Road as the bottom side, mainly thanks to good ol' Alan Smith's magic touch. They went away defeated but unlucky. After a blistering start to the game, we lost our way and fumbled blindly around for inspiration until David Connolly popped up in the last minute. It was a win we needed, it wasn't one we deserved.

In the great scheme of things, the visit of Blackpool will be memorable for one event only - Gifton Noel-Williams became the club's youngest ever scorer. The game also saw the debut of Stuart Slater and a significant increase in entertainment (which went hand-in-hand with an increase in cack-handed defending). As a team that came to the Vic with attacking intentions, Blackpool stood out from the monotonous stream of opposition offside traps, time-wasting and general George Graham-isms.