Wycombe Wanderers travel to Millwall on Tuesday evening for a League Cup first-round tie.
The Chairboys got their season off to a dream start on Saturday with a fully deserved 2-0 win at Newport County.
Having escaped the drop on goal-difference in May, Wycombe were immediately among the bookies` favourites to be relegated this season, but it was a very different side that lined-up against the Exiles.
Only Matt Ingram, Aaron Pierre, Sam Wood and Matt McClure started the final game of last season and the first of this.
Six summer signings featured in the starting eleven, and to the credit of Blues` boss Gareth Ainsworth, each and every one of the newcomers impressed.
A debut goal from Peter Murphy and a second from Paris Cowan-Hall, both scored in the psychologically important spell just before half-time, gave the Blues a comfortable lead and the Exiles a mountain to climb.
There was a solid, mature, professionalism to Wycombe`s second-half performance, Newport`s chances were restricted and there was barely a doubt that all three points were Buckinghamshire bound.
It was a really encouraging display.
Next up is a ‘nothing to lose` cup tie at the New Den, and it will be interesting to see if Ainsworth rotates some players, given the relatively small size of his squad and the importance of keeping key individuals fit and fresh for the league.
Here’s Dale Jenkins with a look at the Lions…
Millwall manager Ian Holloway has been busy in the transfer market this summer with six new signings.
Right back Carlos Edwards joined from Ipswich Town on a free transfer after a loan spell at the New Den last season where he scored once in eight appearances. Byron Webster also signed a two-year contract after turning down a new deal at recently relegated Yeovil Town and left back Matthew Briggs joined after leaving Fulham.
Highly rated striker Lee Gregory, who scored 31 times for Halifax Town last season, signed a three year deal for an undisclosed fee and will provide competition to Jermaine Easter, Scott McDonald and another new signing, the experienced Jamaican Ricardo Fuller.
Left winger/striker Magaye Gueye completes the inbound transfer activity for the Lions after leaving Everton in the summer and signing a one year deal with the option of a further 12 months. Long-serving goalkeeper David Forde and winger Lee Martin both signed new contracts to remain in London.
Defender Shane Lowry left for Leyton Orient and centre back Paul Robinson joined Portsmouth on a one month loan last week. Simeon Jackson, Fedde Bessone and Andy Keogh were all released in a summer of re-building. Midfielders Liam Feeney and Liam Trotter joined Bolton Wanderers, while Jack Smith signed for AFC Wimbledon.
Millwall managed to keep hold of the remainder of a squad that narrowly avoided relegation last season and will look to compete at the right end of the table this year with some impressive new signings in situ.
The Lions opened their Championship campaign with a 2-0 home-win over Leeds United on Saturday in front of a crowd of over 16,000.
Holloway’s men scored after 8 minutes through defender Mark Beevers and settled things with a Shaun Williams penalty two minutes from time.
The home side enjoyed only 45% possession but had 14 shots to United’s 9, with 6 on target to the visitors’ 3.
Here’s a look at how the two sides fared last season…
Millwall’s Cup Record
Lg Cup Round One……..AFC Wimbledon (H) – Won 2-1
Lg Cup Round Two…..Nottingham Forest (A) – Lost 1-2 (aet)
FA Cup Round Three…..Southend United (A) – Lost 1-4
Wycombe’s Cup record
Lg Cup Round One…..Leicester City (H) – Lost 1-2
JPT Round One…………..Exeter City (A) – Won 2-0
JPT Round Two …………..Bristol City (H) – Won 2-1
JPT Round Three……..Swindon Town (A) – Lost 1-2
FA Cup Round One………Crewe Alex (H) – Drew 1-1
FA Cup Round One (R)….Crewe Alex (A) – Won 2-0
FA Cup Round Two……….Preston N E (H) – Lost 0-1
Millwall’s League Record
Home – W:6 D:9 L:8 – GF:26 GA:33 – Pts:27
Away – W:5 D:6 L:12 – GF:20 GA:41 – Pts:21
Total – W:11 D:15 L:20 – GF:46 GA:74 – Pts:48
Final position: 19th in Championship
Wycombe’s League Record
Home – W:6 D:6 L:11 – GF:20 GA:27 – Pts:24
Away – W:6 D:8 L:9 – GF:26 GA:27 – Pts:26
Total – W:12 D:14 L:20 – GF:46 GA:54 – Pts:50
Final position: 22nd in League Two
The two sides have met on 15 previous occasions with 6 wins for Millwall, 5 for Wycombe, and 4 draws.
At Millwall the tally is 3 wins for the Lions, 2 for the Chairboys and 2 draws.
1996/97 LG1: Millwall 2 Wycombe 1
1997/98 LG1: Millwall 1 Wycombe 0
1998/99 LG1: Millwall 2 Wycombe 1
1999/00 LG1: Millwall 1 Wycombe 1
2000/01 LG1: Millwall 1 Wycombe 2
2000/01 FAC: Millwall 0 Wycombe 0
2009/10 LG1: Millwall 0 Wycombe 2
The Man In The Middle
Tuesday’s referee is 50 year-old veteran Andy D`Urso from Essex who first took charge of a Football League match in 1994.
Two seasons ago, Mr D’Urso sent Joel Grant off after 42 minutes of a 2-2 draw at home to Morecambe. The Shrimps equalised in the 90th minute, but Bruno Andrade appeared to have won it for the Chairboys in stoppage time only for the goal to be inexplicably disallowed. The Wycombe fans were incensed and booed the official from the pitch.
Last season, Mr D’Urso took charge of two Wycombe games. In August he dismissed Charles Dunne after 49 minutes of a 2-2 draw at Oxford. The U`s scored their equaliser in the 97th minute despite a clear foul in the build-up. The Wycombe fans were incensed and booed the official from the pitch.
In April, he took charge of Wycombe’s crucial relegation battle at home to Northampton Town. With the score at 1-1 in the 98th minute, Dean Morgan netted for the Blues only for the goal to be controversially disallowed. The officials were booed from the pitch. Skipper Stuart Lewis later revealed in his programme notes that the officials had apologised to the players in the changing room for their ‘mistake.’
Last season Mr D`Urso brandished 9 red and 100 yellow cards in 36 games. On Saturday he refereed Bradford’s 3-2 win over Coventry, issuing 5 yellow cards.
Millwall 2 Wycombe 1