OXFORD’S WIN RAISES THE ROOFE
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.”
ROOFE JUSTICE: Kemar Roofe slides in his second goal
DOUBLE HEADER: Alfie Mawson and Patrick Hoban collide