IT WAS WORTH IT, SAYS GARETH

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Matthew Hill

GARETH Ainsworth be­lieves Wy­combe’s pro­mo­tion dream can be­come re­al­ity – af­ter his side made a night­mare ten-and-a-half hour jour­ney worth­while with a dra­matic victory at strug­gling Carlisle.

The Chair­boys pow­ered into a three-goal ad­van­tage with goals from Aaron Pierre, Fred Onyed­inma and Matt McClure, but were left to cling on for victory af­ter Kyle Dempsey and Danny Grainger strikes nearly led a Carlisle come­back.

Yet the young boss was full of praise for his side, af­ter travel is­sues dis­rupted their prepa­ra­tion.

“We had a blow out with our bus on the way up so it took us over ten hours to get to Carlisle,” said Ainsworth.

“It wasn’t ex­actly ideal prepa­ra­tion, but we’ve man­aged to come here and earn what is a great three points.”

Ainsworth wasn’t con­vinced with ref­eree Dar­ren Han­d­ley’s penalty call which gave Carlisle a life­line.

He added: “The ref­eree has made it in­ter­est­ing with a very soft penalty, but we have held firm through a tough fin­ish.”

Matt McClure wasted two great op­por­tu­ni­ties from close range, first nod­ding Sam Wood’s cross over be­fore blaz­ing a wild ef­fort sky­ward from six yards.

The vis­i­tors were soon ahead how­ever, af­ter Carlisle failed to deal with a free-kick, and de­fender Pierre beat debu­tant keeper Raphael Spiegel to the loose ball to bun­dle home.

Wy­combe spurned fur­ther chances be­fore the half was out, as Ainsworth’s men failed to build fur­ther on their dom­i­nance.

It seemed to mat­ter lit­tle as Wy­combe found their shoot­ing boots af­ter the break.

The bril­liant Onyed­inma dou­bled their ad­van­tage when he cut in­side past Matt Young and fired a glo­ri­ous ef­fort into the far top cor­ner.

And mo­ments later it was three, when McClure fi­nally got on the score-sheet af­ter run­ning on to a through ball and drilling low past Spiegel.

But the Cum­bri­ans – now win­less in three – mus­tered a late fight-back to en­sure a grand­stand fin­ish.

Mid­fielder Dempsey got the ball rolling by play­ing a one-two off his own short cor­ner, be­fore his loop­ing shot found the cor­ner with the help of a de­flec­tion.

The home crowd ral­lied, and were soon re­warded with a sec­ond goal when Char­lie Wyke was brought down in the area by Al­fie Maw­son.

Cap­tain Danny Grainger con­verted the Blues’ first penalty of the sea­son, but it was to prove too lit­tle too late.

Sub­sti­tute Mark Beck com­pounded Carlisle’s mis­ery with a straight red card just 45 sec­onds af­ter com­ing on for a reck­less chal­lenge.

Cum­bri­ans boss Keith Curle said: “It is a dis­ap­point­ing per­for­mance, and what is most frus­trat­ing is the in­con­sis­ten­cies in our per­for­mances.

“We had a good week of train­ing, a good warm up, good prepa­ra­tion - then we start the way we did. It is very frus­trat­ing. I thought we were sec­ond best ev­ery­where.”

PIC­TURES: UK Sport Pics

HEAD BOY: Wy­combe Wan­der­ers’ Aaron Pierre heads them in front

MY BALL: Carlisle United's Raphael Spiegel col­lects a cross

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