Football / Non-League Notebook: Rovers worry busy Wycombe

Click to follow
THE supporters of Bromsgrove Rovers, hoping to see their side at Wembley for the Vauxhall FA Trophy final on 9 May, must have cursed when they heard the draw for tomorrow's third round.

The Worcestershire club are enjoying the best season in their 108-year history - they occupy fourth place in the GM Vauxhall Conference - but tomorrow, in a meeting of the best two teams left in the tournament, they travel to Wycombe Wanderers, who have a formidable nine- point lead in the Conference, to contest a place in the last eight of the Trophy.

Rovers may be more committed to success in the Trophy than their hosts, who won the competition in 1991. 'Last week, when we won at Yeovil to reach the semi-finals of the Drinkwise Cup (the GMVC league cup), I said that we wanted to win all three - the league, the league cup and the Trophy,' Martin O'Neill, Wycombe's manager, said last night.

'Then I looked at the number of games that would involve,' O'Neill added, 'and it would be something like 25 games in the last three months of the season. That's an unrealistic target for part-time players. We would all love to get to Wembley again, but I'm sure everyone at the club would give up everything else to win the Conference.'

Bromsgrove, who are one of only three sides to beat Wycombe in the Conference this season, have had mixed fortunes in the league recently - a problem their manager, Bobby Hope, puts down to the distractions of the Trophy.

Wycombe, however, have kept their promotion campaign going despite a bad injury situation. Their captain, Glyn Creaser, and the experienced striker, Kim Casey, are both long-term absentees, and Tuesday's 1-0 win over third-placed Dagenham and Redbridge (watched by more than 5,000 at Adams Park) was achieved at a cost. Their winger, Dave Carroll, suffered a groin strain minutes after scoring the winner, and he was joined in the treatment room by Steve and Les Thompson - the latter making his debut after arriving on loan from Burnley.

'I've never complained about injuries before,' O'Neill said, 'but they are a real problem now. We could have done without meeting Bromsgrove at this stage but, despite our distractions, we'll give it a go on Saturday.'