The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Raj Man­gat

WY­COMBE boss Gareth Ainsworth ad­mit­ted his side has been forced to dig deep af­ter victory over Da­gen­ham opened up a seven-point gap in the battle for au­to­matic pro­mo­tion.

Aaron Pierre stabbed home from close range mid­way through the sec­ond half to stretch the Chair­boys’ un­beaten run to eight league games – their 12th away win of the sea­son.

The re­sult moves Wy­combe level on points with sec­ond-placed Shrews­bury, and just two be­hind league lead­ers Bur­ton and Ainsworth praised his sides’ re­silience.

“The per­for­mance wasn’t what we’ve set the bar at lately but to win when you’re not play­ing your best is re­ally im­por­tant for our pro­mo­tion push,” he said.

“We were gritty and determined, Jamie Cure­ton missed a glo­ri­ous chance but that was their only clear-cut op­por­tu­nity and I thought we had the best of it all-in-all.

“There were tired legs in the team, but we’ll be re­cov­ered for a big Easter pro­gramme and that’s a big three points and cush­ion from Bury.

“There’s no pres­sure on us, af­ter what we went through last year to be in this po­si­tion is fan­tas­tic and as long as we keep that at­ti­tude, who knows what we can achieve.”

The Dag­gers had the first sight of goal af­ter six min­utes, Luke How­ell fir­ing over from dis­tance.

The vis­i­tors hit back and al­most went ahead four min­utes later, but Sam Saun­ders’ wicked cross from the right nar­rowly evaded Sam Wood at the back post.

Da­gen­ham looked danger­ous on the counter and nearly went ahead be­fore the break, but Matt In­gram pro­duced an ac­ro­batic stop to deny vet­eran striker Cure­ton

Wy­combe al­most snatched the opener just short of the hour but Nico Yen­naris’ danger­ous cross had too much on it for Wood at the back post.

But the vis­i­tors’ pres­sure was re­warded on 64 min­utes when Pierre opened the scor­ing.

The big cen­tre-half re­acted quick­est to stab home from in­side the six-yard box af­ter a scram­ble from a cor­ner – his third league goal of the sea­son.

Da­gen­ham pushed in search of an equaliser but Wy­combe al­most dou­bled their ad­van­tage 11 min­utes from time, but Joe Ja­cob­son’s free-kick can­noned off the cross­bar.

And the Dag­gers should have a stolen a point three min­utes from the end, but Cure­ton missed a sit­ter from close range af­ter latch­ing onto Cousins’ long punt for­ward.

Da­gen­ham re­main 15th in the ta­ble, 11 points above the rel­e­ga­tion zone, but first-team coach War­ren Hack­ett was left frus­trated.

“We’re dis­ap­pointed, we’ve set our stall out over the past sev­eral weeks and achieved pos­i­tive re­sults, but we strug­gled to get the ball down and play,” he said.

“There wasn’t too much foot­ball played and Wy­combe were very di­rect, but they kept knock­ing on the door and got their re­ward.

“It was a poor goal to con­cede, the ball bob­bled around in the box and we failed to clear it.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Images

MATCH WIN­NER: Wy­combe’s Aaron Pierre en­joys scor­ing

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