The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Jon Palmer

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.

PIC­TURES: UK Sport Pics

HEAD DOWN: Aaron Pierre scores for Wy­combe STAR MAN AARON PIERRE

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