Norwich City. . . . . .2
Sutton 37, 87
IN THE end, Martin O'Neill's Adams Park family values were not enough to exploit the disunity of his Norfolk friends. Mike Walker may have left home for the raddled heiress that is Everton, but his former charges stuck together and ought in truth to have won even more convincingly.
Chris Sutton steadied them with a first goal just as Wycombe's little left-winger Steve Guppy was threatening to inflict some damage and Sutton's second allowed those who felt like it to miss the rush for home.
Norwich's followers stayed to show their appreciation of a job well done and to practise chanting 'Johnny Deehan's Green and Yellow Army', which is likely to become a familiar refrain. Deehan confirmed that he would like the job permanently: he has every chance of getting it.
Earlier the same supporters chanted: 'Chase - Out' at the Norwich chairman, making clear where their sympathies lay in an acrimonious dispute which may have more to it than meets the eye. Yesterday Robert Chase said: 'I'd like the FA to do their best to make sure that people who enter into contracts stick to them. You can't run any organisation in which the manager walks in at 10.15 in the morning and says he's off.'
Wycombe looked only briefly capable of taking advantage of these local difficulties, and fell behind to a piece of classic Norwich counter-attacking. Ruel Fox led the break, found Efan Ekoku and, from the latter's deep cross, Sutton scored with a stooping header.
The second half saw similar attacks, as the Norwich midfield found time and space, interspersed with increasingly frantic assaults by the home side. Wycombe's best, but most exasperating moment, brought a volley from Dave Carroll that Bryan Gunn saved instinctively.
Mark Bowen, switched to the right after Ekoku was withdrawn, could have scored four times, most notably when his shot from Fox's centre came back off the inside of a post. As consolation, he helped Fox to set up Sutton for a second goal just before the end.
O'Neill, one of the favourites to take over at his former club when Walker was appointed 20 months ago, can be proud of what Wycombe have achieved on and off the pitch. The one sacrifice he has had to make, selling his leading scorer, Keith Scott, to Swindon, proved a costly one yesterday.Reuse content