TENSE? NOT ME IN­SISTS DE­LIGHTED AINSWORTH

Chair­boys go sec­ond in the ta­ble

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

GARETH Ainsworth re­fuses to feel the pres­sure, de­spite his Wy­combe side tak­ing an­other step closer to au­to­matic pro­mo­tion with a win over ti­tle ri­vals Shrews­bury.

Sam Wood headed the only goal of the game af­ter just 40 sec­onds as the Chair­boys leapfrogged the Shrews into sec­ond spot and have a chance to go top if they beat Ac­cring­ton on Tues­day.

Shrews­bury looked lack­lus­tre in front of goal and failed to muster a clear cut chance de­spite pe­ri­ods of good pres­sure in the sec­ond half.

The win leaves Wy­combe un­beaten in five and Ainsworth can­not get enough of his squad’s per­for­mances this year af­ter nar­rowly es­cap­ing rel­e­ga­tion back in May.

“There’s still no pres­sure on us and I’m not feel­ing it at all. We have this squad that no one fan­cied and we’re still in there,” said Ainsworth.

“It’s a big win and one I thought we de­served.We came at them in the first half with a high tempo and lots of pres­sure. We sti­fled the way they played and that was the plan all week.

“We got the early goal, which was great, but credit to Shrews­bury, af­ter the break they re­ally came at us and put us un­der a lot of pres­sure.

“They made a few changes but we were able to match them and saw the game out re­ally well.

“I’m kick­ing ev­ery ball out there

with them and I’m lov­ing it. We’re still de­fy­ing ev­ery­one and play­ing this at­tack­ing, ex­pan­sive foot­ball. They’re a great bunch to work with.”

Shrews­bury barely had a touch be­fore they were be­hind when Wood meet Nico Yen­naris’ cross to head past Jayson Leutwiler for his fifth of the sea­son.

And it was al­most two mo­ments later when Fred Onyed­inma’s 20-yard drive was tipped over bar by the busy Shrews stop­per.

The vis­i­tors were strug­gling to pose an at­tack­ing threat and Ty­rone Bar­nett’s 42nd-minute drive straight at goal­keeper Matt In­gram was their only ef­fort in the open­ing half. A triple sub­sti­tu­tion sparked life into Shrews­bury though and a close-range block from In­gram stopped James Collins lev­el­ing the game shortly be­fore the hour mark.

But de­spite the pres­sure it was Wy­combe who looked the more danger­ous in front of goal as Leutwiler was in ac­tion again, this time tip­ping over Paul Hayes’s ef­fort.

The striker came close again mo­ments later, fir­ing wide when well placed in the area on 78 min­utes.

Aaron Holloway was in­tro­duced late on and the sub­sti­tute al­most capped off the win with a sweet late strike, only to see it come back off the bar as the clock ran down.

Shrews­bury will be ner­vously look­ing over their shoul­der af­ter one win in five games means they are just three points above Southend in fourth.

Manager Micky Mel­lon in­sisted he wanted more from his play­ers if they are to turn their form around as the sea­son en­ters its fi­nal stretch with just ten games re­main­ing.

“I ex­pect a re­ac­tion from the lads. We’ll learn the lessons and look to move on very quickly,” said Mel­lon.

“We will heed the warn­ings from this and hope­fully we’ll go again in an­other big match on Tues­day night.

“First-half in­ten­sity and bat­tling were is­sues. It’s quite ba­sic, you’ve got to come and com­pete on th­ese bob­bly pitches. We never met that chal­lenge in the first half and found our­selves a goal down.

“The pitch was the same for both teams, we just didn’t ad­just to it quickly enough and they got the goal.

“Once they get them­selves in front you see how they slow the game down.

“To give your­self a chance you have to score and we tried to keep our­selves in it for as long as pos­si­ble.

“From the lads who played you couldn’t say there wasn’t any­body who could cause is­sues and do the job. So it’s just un­for­tu­nate that they weren’t able to do it.”

HERO: Sam Wood is mobbed af­ter his win­ning goal

PIC­TURES: Andy Row­land/UK Sports Pics Ltd

SLAM­MIN’ SAM: Sam Wood heads in to give Wy­combe the lead

STAR MAN SAM SAUND

ERS Wy­com

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