OX­FORD’S WIN RAISES THE ROOFE

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

GARETH AINSWORTH re­fuses to feel the pres­sure at the top of League Two de­spite see­ing his side’s eight-game un­beaten run ended at home to lo­cal ri­vals Ox­ford.

Ke­mar Roofe proved the dif­fer­ence as the West Brom loa­nee scored twice and set Danny Rose up for the other as Ox­ford de­servedly headed back down the M40 with all three points.

Paul Hayes had pulled a goal back for Wy­combe at 2-0 and Aaron Holloway set up fran­tic, but ul­ti­mately fruit­less, fi­nale for the hosts with his 90th-minute fin­ish.

With just six games to go and a trip to top-of-the-ta­ble Bur­ton on Mon­day, Ainsworth is determined to en­joy the ride even af­ter Good Fri­day’s re­sult.

“The re­sult is not a huge dent at all in our am­bi­tions. There are no nerves and no worry from me,” said Ainsworth.

“We’re af­ter pro­mo­tion but it’s been a great sea­son and a real suc­cess. Let’s fin­ish the job - it would be fan­tas­tic.

“Fair play to Ox­ford, they’ve changed al­most their en­tire team since we played them at their place and it looks like Michael Ap­ple­ton has got a good out­fit there, they seem in a false league po­si­tion for me.”

An open start from both sides saw Ox­ford take the lead when Roofe tucked in Rose’s left-wing cross from close range – his first goal for the club.

And on 22 min­utes Roofe re­turned the favour, pulling the ball back from the by-line on the right flank for Rose to slide his shot home past the help­less Matt In­gram and dou­ble the vis­i­tors’ lead.

Wy­combe cre­ated chances through Sam Wood and Aaron Pierre but were un­able to find the tar­get as frus­tra­tion grew around Adams Park and the home sup­port.

Hayes fi­nally found the net from two yards out on 48 min­utes, but the twogoal ad­van­tage was re­stored on the hour mark as Roofe stroked home his sec­ond af­ter good play from Danny Hyl­ton.

Sub­sti­tute Holloway pulled one back in the 90th minute from Fred Onyed­inma’s cross but it was too lit­tle too late for Wy­combe who will now look ner­vously over their shoul­der at in-form Bury.

And Michael Ap­ple­ton wants his Ox­ford side to de­liver on their prom­ise to fin­ish the sea­son in style af­ter an agree­ment be­tween him­self and the play­ers.

“I asked the lads to pro­duce a per­for­mance be­cause we want to fin­ish the sea­son re­ally strongly,” said Ap­ple­ton.

“We sat down a while ago and made a pact that we would do that and make peo­ple feel con­fi­dent about go­ing for­ward.

“It was a mas­sive game and the fact that we’re only down the road from each other makes it that lit­tle bit spicier.

“We should have gone on to win the game quite com­fort­ably. “We missed a cou­ple of great op­por­tu­ni­ties to put the game to bed and late on we switched off, mak­ing the game a lit­tle bit edgy.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Images

ROOFE JUS­TICE: Ke­mar Roofe slides in his sec­ond goal

DOU­BLE HEADER: Al­fie Maw­son and Pa­trick Hoban col­lide

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