MULLINS LEAVES IT LATE FOR OXFORD
Ten-man Wycome denied
JOHNNY Mullins scored a dramatic last-minute equaliser to keep Oxford top of League Two – but Wycombe boss Gareth Ainsworth had nothing but praise for his ten-man side.
A Dean Morgan double against his former club had put the Chairboys on their way to victory that seemed unlikely when Danny Rose levelled matters at 1-1 just minutes after Charles Dunne had been sent off.
But defender Mullins popped up in the seventh minute of added time to earn Chris Wilder’s men a late, late point.
Ainsworth admitted the dismissal of Dunne – just a day after he signed a three-year deal with Championship Blackpool before being loaned back to Wanderers – had changed the outcome of the game.
“I am immensely proud of the boys as I am most weeks but especially after this – they gave me everything they had,” he said.
“The onslaught came when we had ten men in the second half. We were the better side and I think with 11 against 11 we take the win.
“My lads are down but to play with 50 minutes with ten men they should be elated – I’m very proud of them.
“Unfortunately Charles was sent off for an alleged elbow. We’ll have to have a look at that, but we nearly came off and conceded right at the death.
“The referee is on the pitch and it’s
his decision. It was purely accidental in Charles’ opinion, but it’s an elbow in the face and by the letter of the law you’ve got to go.
“I’m not here to have a go at referees. They’ve got a tough job out there.”
Morgan, who scored once in ten games for United during a loan spell at the end of the 2011/12 season, gave Ainsworth’s men the lead in the 42nd minute with a glancing header at the far post following Gary Doherty’s long ball into the box.
Wycombe, without a point since beating Morecambe on the opening day, had to withstand some early pressure from the hosts, chasing a fourth win out of four.
But after Morgan fired wide from 12 yards it was they who finished the half in the ascendancy.
After the break, Rose rather fortuitously equalised direct from a free-kick immediately after Dunne’s dismissal, the young defender alleged to have elbowed Alfie Potter.
Substitute Dave Kitson headed wide minutes later, but the ten man of Wycombe fought back, Morgan bagging his second from the penalty spot after being tripped in the box by David Hunt.
From then on it was all Oxford, and the consistent pressure finally told seven minutes of injury time as Mullins drove home a right-footed effort into the far corner from 15 yards, to the relief of U’s boss Wilder.
“It’s a good point and it might be a valuable one at the end of the season,” he said. “That’s ten from four games and in my eyes that’s a good start.
“Credit to Wycombe as well. They scrapped and battled, which we knew they would, and got good support from the travelling fans.
“They got a point, some feel they should have got three but that’s the way the game goes.
“I was pretty disappointed that after we scored we didn’t go out and try for a winner, but if we’d have got beaten it would have been a disappointing afternoon.
“It’s not what we wanted at the start of the game – it’s not another win, but it’s a battling point.
“We want to win all the time.We’ve got players that will travel far to get results.
“Not just 60 miles down the road but up to Accrington and elsewhere and play with the same performance.
“We’ve got a tough run and a difficult start.
“This game was always going to tough, they were always going to come here make life difficult.” To comment on this match go to http://boards.footymad.net/
SPOT ON: Dean Morgan scores a penalty for Wycombe
HERE’S JOHNNY: Johnny Mullins scores the second goal for Oxford United