AINSWORTH SALUTES HIS WONDERFUL WANDERERS
Awesome Mawson levels late on
GARETH Ainsworth believes the point earned by Alfie Mawson’s late goal at Southend could prove crucial for promotion-chasing Wycombe come the end of the season.
The Shrimpers dominated proceedings and Barry Corr gave the hosts a deserved lead at Roots Hall, but Steven Craig’s strike sent the sides in level at the break.
Corr scored his second of the afternoon as an impressive Southend regained the lead in the second half, but Mawson’s late header rescued a point for Ainsworth’s side.
“We didn’t play too well but we’ve got a point,” said Ainsworth, whose side remain third. “The character of the boys to come back and take a point away from Southend is a great result, not many people go to Roots Hall and take a point.
“It’s tough here, they’re really going for it and they’re very direct.We dealt with a lot but there were a couple of scrappy goals that I was very disappointed to concede.
“This team, however, doesn’t know when they’re beat and that’s a great trait to have. Who knows how far we can go but it’s a great point away from home when you don’t play to well.
“It could be a huge point. Last year we were scrambling for points and they were all big.
“We’re at the other end of the table now and every point’s a big point
now.” Wycombe started poorly and with just 14 minutes gone Southend opened the scoring as a long ball found Corr and he managed to direct the ball into the path of Joe Pigott.
His shot was well saved by Matt Ingram, but Corr was on hand to head in the rebound off the underside of the bar.
Wycombe finally broke into life with 20 minutes gone. Sido Jombati’s lovely through ball found Paul Hayes and he crossed for Craig, but the striker could only guide his effort wide of the post.
And the Chairboys levelled proceedings when Jombati’s deep cross found Sam Wood, and his volleyed shot deflected off Craig to loop over the head of Ted Smith and into the back of the net. The Seasiders dominated for the remainder of the first half and continued in the same vein after the break.
They should have retaken the lead when on-loan Charlton striker Pigott was clear through on goal, but he slipped at the vital moment, allowing the ball to roll comfortably into Ingram’s hands.
But they did retake the lead just two minutes later. Ben Coker weaved his way in to the box and crossed for Corr, who calmly slotted home his second of the afternoon.
And they almost doubled their lead when David Worrall crossed to Kevan Hurst, but his header hit Jombati before he pushed the rebound agonisingly wide.
The Blues continued to press and the Chairboys looked out of the game but with just six minutes remaining they found themselves level.
Substitute Hogan Ephraim’s superb cross picked out Mawson, and the centre-back rose highest to earn a crucial point for Wycombe.
And the goal left Blues boss Phil Brown frustrated that his side could not convert their dominant perform- ance into three points.
“As far as I’m concerned we gifted them a point,” Brown said. “It’s two points dropped without a shadow of a doubt.
“The quality of our play was by far better than Wycombe’s, but you can’t gift goals the way we did and not score goals from the chances we created in the second half.
“It’s poor play, we should be walking away with possibly four, five or six goals.
“It was good play from us in terms of the team but what a waste of time when you don’t put them chances away and just get a point against a side that you’re clearly better than.”
FIST OF AUTHORITY: Wycombe keeper Matt Ingram punches clear a Southend attack
ALL SQUARE: Alfie Mawson scores Wycombe’s equaliser to make it 2-2. Inset: Mawson jumps for joy after leveller
STAR MAN BARRY CORR Southe