HAPPY GARETH BEATS HOODOO
GARETH Ainsworth was thrilled to avoid the dreaded manager of the month curse as Wycombe Wanderers kept their title hopes alive with a narrow victory over bottom club Cheltenham Town.
Goals from central defenders Aaron Pierre and Alfie Mawson in each half were enough to end a run of two defeats for the Chairboys.
Named League Two’s top boss for March, Ainsworth admitted it was a relief to return to winning ways against the battling Robins.
“That was a huge three points,” Ainsworth said. “We’ve put the last two defeats to bed and avoided the manager of the month curse.
“We’ve shown fantastic character because forget about the league table, that was a tough game against Cheltenham.
“They’ll beat teams this season definitely in their remaining four games so to not lose was very important and to win was excellent.
“Our two centre-halves are having a goalscoring competition and they were both very solid too.
“We responded to their goal immediately and then saw it out very well so I am very pleased.
“We lost Joe Jacobson to a nasty tackle, we lost Alfie Mawson to an ankle injury and Aaron Holloway had cramp.
“We’ve been stretched to the limit and the next three weeks are going to be tough.”
Cheltenham boss Gary Johnson is refusing to give up hope that his side can still climb out of the bottom two, with four matches left to play and Hartlepool and Tranmere also failing to pick up any points on Saturday.
“I’ve said the same things I’ve said every week, if we want to win a football match we have to do a bit more than kick it and chase it,” Johnson said.
“We need to get it down, have some guile in our play and we need our strikers to hold it up, wingers to put crosses in, midfielders to pass it and defenders to win the day in the penalty area. Unfortunately that’s still not there. “I was pleased with our goal which was our only bit of play really, but it didn’t take long for them to score again, which was disappointing.
“We keep conceding set plays and our only hope is that there are two teams worse than us at the moment.”
Trevor Carson denied Fred Onyedinma with a one-handed save in the 21st minute as Wycombe controlled the first half.
They were millimetres away from opening the scoring when Nico Yennaris’ shot cannoned off the underside of the bar.
Wycombe were close again when a scramble in the area saw Jack Deaman deny Mawson with a block, but from the resulting corner the ball was cleared as far as Pierre, who fired through a crowded box to put Wanderers in front.
Cheltenham levelled when Durrell Berry capitalised on a mistake from Paul Hayes and found the bottom left corner.
But less than two minutes later Wycombe deservedly regained their lead when Mawson headed in Sam Saunders’ corner and Cheltenham never threatened to equalise for a second time as their losing run was stretched to five in a row.
HEAD DOWN: Aaron Pierre scores for Wycombe STAR MAN AARON PIERRE