TEARS OF JOY FOR WYCOMBE
GARETH Ainsworth celebrated Wycombe’s great escape by swinging from the crossbar in front of 929 ecstatic Chairboys fans – before insisting he never wants to do it again.
Goals from Sam Wood, Steven Craig and Matt McClure – coupled with Bristol Rovers’ home defeat against Mansfield – preserved Wycombe’s 21-year stay in the Football League.
It led to wild scenes of joy, with players in tears and Ainsworth performing acrobatics after his side engineered a final twist in the battle to avoid the drop.
And once emotions had simmered a touch, Ainsworth admitted he had learned some valuable lessons from his side’s brush with relegation.
“We can’t let this happen again,” he smiled.“This is the best thing I have ever done in my career.
“The players are crying tears of joy and this is just such a special day.
“Anyone who considers being a football manager should think seriously about it because it can play havoc with your heart.
“But you can’t buy moments like this.
“There is all this fantastic stuff going on in the Premier League, but fairytales like this are why people watch the lower leagues.
“Everyone had written us off but we always stayed positive and I just knew we were going to do it.
“I just lost it for ten seconds and I am sure I will be embarrassed by the pictures of me hanging from the crossbar.”
Wycombe flew out of the traps and took the lead after five minutes. Matt Bloomfield delivered the ball into the box and Wood had two bites before hooking a scuffed volley past Martin Rice.
Wycombe opened a two-goal cushion in the 42nd minute as Craig atoned for his earlier miss.
Krystian Pearce got caught trying to play his way out of trouble and McClure raced into the box before Anthony O’Connor brought him down and Craig sent Rice the wrong way from the spot.
Torquay were reduced to ten men five minutes into the second half after O’Connor picked up a second yellow for bundling into the back of Craig.
McClure rubbed salt into Torquay wounds after latching on to keeper Matt Ingram’s long clearance and lifting the ball over the advancing Rice.
The crushing defeat meant Torquay finished bottom and manager Chris Hargreaves groaned: “That wasn’t good enough and I apologise on the players’ behalf.
“This show how many cracks there are and how many people need not to be at this football club.
“I accept all the flak from the fans because the players are my responsibility but those who I inherited are not good enough.”
STAR MAN MATT McCLU
be CRUCIAL: Sam Wood, right, scores the first goal for Wycombe. Inset: Gareth Ainsworth celebrates safety