NO MAG­I­CAL FAREWELL FOR AINSWORTH

WY­COMBE ........1 PORT VALE ........1

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Richard Matthews

WILD THING was al­most weep­ing as he brought the cur­tain down on his ca­reer with a 600th and fi­nal ap­pear­ance – but there wasn’t quite the fairy­tale fin­ish for Wy­combe player-man­ager Gareth Ainsworth.

Com­ing off the bench, 39-yearold Ainsworth couldn’t help his side to vic­tory as Lee Hughes nod­ded in his 16th of the sea­son to can­cel out Dean Mor­gan’s opener from the spot – a goal which rub­ber-stamped Port Vale’s pro­mo­tion.

Ainsworth did have the chance to se­cure a fairy­tale fin­ish but he dragged his shot wide when wellplaced, en­sur­ing the Chair­boys ended their cam­paign in 15th.

But Ainsworth is al­ready plot­ting next sea­son’s as­sault af­ter tak­ing the de­ci­sion to hang up his boots.

He said:“I’m two weeks off 40 years old, I’m re­tir­ing, and I’ve got peo­ple like 17-year-old Kort­ney Hause who is an out­stand­ing prospect at this place, he is an ab­so­lute gem to work with and I think he’ll go onto big things.

“And that’s one of the rea­sons that I want to do it, I want to stop be­cause I want to give th­ese lads all I can and I’d love all of them to go on and play many more than 600.

“They did give me a stand­ing ova­tion in the dress­ing room and I got a lit­tle bit choked up but it’s bril­liant, it’s great to end it.”

Vale should have taken the lead on 19 min­utes when Chris Shuker’s free-kick fell to Ash­ley Vin­cent but he skied the ball over from just six yards.

Wy­combe made the break­through on the half hour when Vale keeper Chris Neal was called up for hold­ing Mor­gan in the box.

Mor­gan took the spot-kick and sent the keeper the wrong way, bury­ing it into the bot­tom left cor­ner.

Hause headed over in the sec­ond half for Wy­combe be­fore Hughes lev­elled with 11 min­utes to go, seal­ing a fourth straight draw for Vale, who fin­ish in third.

“I’m pleased it’s over. I’m de­lighted for ev­ery­one con­nected with the football club that we’ve had a fan­tas­tic sea­son,” said Vale boss Mickey Adams.

“I can’t pay the play­ers high enough praise they’ve been absolutely ter­rific. I don’t think that there’s many football clubs that have been through the trau­mas that we’ve had.We’ve come through the other end.

“The club’s a more set­tled place now. I don’t rec­om­mend ad­min­is­tra­tion for any­body be­cause it af­fects peo­ple’s lives and there are peo­ple that are not with us any­more be­cause the ad­min­is­tra­tor made cut backs.”

DAVE WIN­FIELD

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