Murphy almost snatches late win

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Ed Lang­ford

FOOT­BALL is in­vari­ably about fine mar­gins and Gareth Ainsworth knows that more than most after his Wy­combe team’s goal­less draw with Bury.

Peter Murphy’s in­jury-time headed ef­fort looked to have bounced over the goal line, only for the of­fi­cials to wave away the home side’s late ap­peals.

That was the third of Murphy’s gilt­edged goal-scor­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties against a pro­mo­tion-tipped Bury side – who hit the bar them­selves early on through An­drew Tutte.

Steve Craig’s sus­pected con­cus­sion was the only neg­a­tive for Ainsworth, who knows how far his side have come after only avoid­ing rel­e­ga­tion from League Two on goal dif­fer­ence last sea­son.

“The boys tell me it was across the line, but then again I would have said that as a player,” said boss Ainsworth, who re­tired in 2013.

“We’ve made huge strides from last sea­son both on and off the pitch. We’ve had a good start but I see th­ese as build­ing blocks.

“We’re still fo­cus­ing on get­ting those points to keep us in the league, then see where we can get after that.

“Ste­vie [Craig] is my main con­cern at the mo­ment. The re­ports are it’s a con­cus­sion, so he may have to have some time off and I’m not about to risk any­one’s life. He was typ­i­cal of the per­for­mance, putting him­self there for the team and I think you saw that from all the play­ers.

“The ap­pli­ca­tion and ef­fort I’ve seen this year is bril­liant and par­tic­u­larly against pos­si­bly the league favourites.

“I think the fans would have left here buzzing after a great point at home.”

It was a bright open­ing at Adams Park as Tutte struck the Wy­combe cross­bar from just inside the area in the third minute.

But the hosts grew into the contest, and Sam Wood’s left-footed 20-yard drive was well par­ried by Rob Lain­ton soon after.

Murphy should have then given the Chairboys the lead on 14 min­utes, but the for­mer Ac­cring­ton man scuffed his ten-yard ef­fort with the goal at his mercy.Yet it was Bury who pro­duced the move of the half as neat build-up play be­tween the Shak­ers’ front­line set up Danny Mayor, only to see Matt In­gram save well low to his right.

Bury looked to be in the as­cen­dency after the break too, but a lengthy de­lay due to an in­jury to Craig al­lowed Wy­combe to re­group.

Murphy was soon back among the goal­mouth ac­tion again, but his closerange header was su­perbly saved by Lain­ton.

In­deed, Wy­combe should have stolen the points at the death but Matt McClure and Murphy again squan­dered chances inside the six-yard box as Bury desperately held on for a point in 14 min­utes of in­jury time.

Bury boss David Fl­itcroft was re­lieved to come away with the point given the late drama and was de­lighted by a clean sheet against an en­er­gised Wy­combe side.

“Any point away from home is a point well-earned and I’m happy with that. Wy­combe show just what Gaz [Ainsworth] is about and what he was about as a player,” said Fl­itcroft.

“They’re one of the most hard­work­ing teams in the league – they’re fit and they will press you and keep go­ing.

“They’re a tough team and not many teams will come out of here with many points.

“I was sens­ing a change in the game up to the in­jury. I think that lengthy beak re­fu­elled them.

“The plan was to wear them down in mid­field be­cause of their high tempo but the break came at just the wrong time for us and gave them another burst.

“They had the chances at the end and it was heart in the mouth stuff for us and whether or not it’s gone over I’m not so sure.

“But still, Pablo Mills’ per­for­mance war­ranted a clean sheet and that’s what I’m most pleased about.”

WORRY: Wy­combe’s Steven Craig is stretchered off after fall­ing awk­wardly on his neck


TI Wy­com


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