PIERRE IS THE MAIN MAN FOR GARETH
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.”
MATCH WINNER: Wycombe’s Aaron Pierre enjoys scoring