CHAIRBOYS SITTING ON THE BRINK
WYCOMBE boss Gareth Ainsworth is refusing to give up on his team’s Football League status which is now hanging by a thread after David Clarkson’s late strike for Bristol Rovers.
With fellow strugglers Northampton also claiming a win at Dagenham; Wycombe are now in the bottom two and relying on favours on the final day of the season.
Lee Brown gave Rovers an early lead but Matt McClure equalised for Wycombe with his eighth goal of the season before the break.
However Clarkson had the last laugh for Rovers, who still aren’t safe, and condemned the home side to just one win from their last 11 games.
And Ainsworth said: “I believe we’ve got enough to beat Torquay in our last game. I believe we’ve got enough to beat anyone in this league, we just haven’t done it consistently enough this year.
“The fans have a right to say whatever they want about me. I’m not naive enough to think in football that won’t happen, but get behind the team because they are working hard and have given their all.
“I’m devastated for them because they’re a young group and don’t deserve to be where they are. We have to do our job at Torquay and rely on someone else to get us out of jail.
“It’s not in our hands now, but we’ve done it before here at Wycombe Wanderers – the ‘Great Escape’. They did it at Lincoln many years ago and why can’t we do it again.”
Rovers broke the deadlock on 11 minutes, Brown stroking a stunning 25yard free-kick into the top corner.
McClure equalised on 20 minutes with a spectacular back-heeled flick from Sam Wood’s cross, which crept inside the far post to make it 1-1.
But Rovers won it – and in doing so moved three points above their hosts – against the run of play in the 74th minute, making their first meaningful attack of the half count.
Wycombe’s McClure diverted a cross into the path of Clarkson who could not miss from six yards, sending the travelling Rovers fans into raptures.
And Bristol Rovers boss Darrell Clarke said: “I’m pretty level-headed to be honest with you because I know there’s still work to be done.
“So it’s great to go and get three points as it stays in our hands for our final home game, but nothing is done yet and I don’t want people getting carried away thinking it is. We know what we require now at home to Mansfield, but it is a tough league and nothing is a given.
“It was a bit of a brave call as I changed it to a 3-5-2 as I knew all the other teams were winning at half-time so this was a game we had to win.
“We needed to be aware of the other scores.
“I’m not doing my job properly if I don’t do that out there. I knew the others were all winning at halftime so I had plan B ready in the changing room.”
KEY MOMENT: David Clarkson scores the Bristol Rovers winner
MOBBED: Fans pile on to celebrate with Clarkson
STAR MAN DAVID CLARK