When it comes to the BBC Three Counties bragging rights, the Bucks contingent sometimes get overlooked. Sorry about that, guys. It’s nothing personal, but our gaze tends to be on the other Hertfordshire sides. And how can we not want to get the better of whoever strays across county lines from Bedfordshire? Mind you, Wycombe Wanderers are currently the only team to make a decent go of representing Bucks. So, the hopes of an entire county rest on one set of shoulders.
Have we made their life easier or harder in doing that? Well, it’s a bit of both – innit…?
Stevenage v Wycombe Wanderers
Lamex Stadium, Stevenage — 24 August 2021 — Carabao Cup R2
In one of those shock 2019-20 moments, Boro’ beat the Chairboys on 8 October 2019. Granted, it was only the Leasing.com Trophy. But it was something to celebrate in an otherwise rubbish season. And it was our first encounter against them for 16 months; Wycombe up in League One after promotion in summer 2018. On their way to the third tier, we drew 0-0 at the Lamex on 9 December 2017 and lost 1-0 at home on 5 May 2018 – the final day of the 2017-8 season.
An encounter a long time in the making
Our head-to-head history with the Chairboys goes back to the 2010-1 season. While they were a former Conference side themselves, we too had to graduate before we had the chance to come up against them in a competitive match. On 2 October 2010, they welcomed us to the Football League in their own way; comfortably beating us 2-0 at the Lamex as two goals before the half-time interval did the damage
Our season picked up nicely after Christmas, however, and Boro’ evened out the head-to-head with a 1-0 win at Adams Park on 12 March 2011; John Mousinho with the winner, despite Scott Laird’s red card.
The Chairboys finished in the automatic promotion places that campaign. As playoff winners, it would be us joining them in League One. And it ensured we got a chance to renew a new rivalry. A late Lawrie Wilson goal on 31 December 2011 saw us end the year on a high and repeat a 1-0 scoreline that took us to victory nine months before. But we were to be denied a first home win over them as a stoppage time penalty on 31 March 2012 earned the Chairboys a point.
The story of a short run of regular fixtures
Wycombe were relegated after one season in League One. It took us two more years to fall back down into League Two ourselves. And the reunion didn’t fall in our favour. Not for the first time, we were left to rue a two-goal home defeat on 23 August 2014 as they claimed a 3-1 win. Boro’ did collect one point from the six on offer that season with a 2-2 draw on the road (28 February 2015). But it was our worst return from a single season again the Chairboys up until that point.
Then, we finally cracked it at home.
The 2015-6 season saw us win 2-1 at the Lamex on 17 October 2015, which was impressive for two reasons. One, Teddy Sheringham wasn’t exactly acing it as our new manager. Two, on loan goalkeeper Jesse Joronen got himself the scoresheet to help settle things in our favour. But the end of our home hoodoo came at the expense of our relatively decent run at Adams Park; Boro’ losing 1-0 on 12 March 2016.
It wasn’t long before we were back at their place. From the later stages of the 2015-6 campaign to the earlier stages of the 2016-7 equivalent; Boro’ again were left to contemplate a 1-0 defeat on 17 September 2016. Thankfully, we were more composed on 11 February 2017 as we won by three goals at the Lamex; the biggest win for either side in our shared story to date. Not that we could repeat that as we went into the 2017-8 season; the Chairboys heading up without us.