MULLIN’S WINNER WRECKS THE PARTY
WYCOMBE’S promotion chase took a severe blow with this defeat, but boss Gareth Ainsworth is keeping the faith.
Paul Mullin’s header in the 86th minute stole the points for the Shrimpers and the result sees Wycombe slip out of the top three and three points off promotion heading into the final weekend.
Chairboys goalkeeper Matt Ingram kept his team in the game with some excellent saves but, offensively, Wycombe’s sole chance was Alfie Mawson’s header that hit the bar.
They now need Southend to lose and Bury not to win, plus a victory of their own at Northampton next week, to earn automatic promotion – and all of this while coping with an injury crisis.
But Ainsworth, who navigated the club to safety in dramatic fashion last season, believes the chase is not over yet. “Look at last season, not last week,” he said. “Obviously I’m disappointed we’ve lost the game.We didn’t do enough going forward to win and we didn’t defend set plays well at all.
“But, with the makeshift team we put out, I thought the back four were superb.
“I’ve learnt some good stuff about some of my players today.
“One player who wasn’t off his game was Ingram.
“It was an awesome display of goalkeeping and I hope there weren’t too many Premier League scouts here today.
“We have to rely on two other games on the last day of the season away from home. I think I’ve been there before, but we’ll see what happens.
“No matter what happens next week it’s still in our hands because, if we are in those playoffs, you win three games and you’re promoted.
“But next week I will be going for the win because we need a win to get above the other two.
“We need favours from other teams, but I’ll be hoping that happens, and if it doesn’t then we re-address where we are and we go again.”
Ingram made a string of saves to ensure Morecambe didn’t run away with a comfortable victory, but they got there in the end and manager Jim Bentley enjoyed what he saw.
He said: “It was a solid away performance and we’ve been good away from home this season.
“We knew we were coming into a big occasion today for Wycombe but we’re professionals.We want to win every game and it will be exactly the same next week when we play Southend.”
“We hit them on the break a couple of times, and if it wasn’t for the keeper pulling off some outstanding saves we probably should have been one or two goals up before we got the all-important one.
“There was not much between us and I thought they took a few chances because they had to as they knew Southend were winning.
“Our set plays were excellent. I thought our movement, our desire to get on the end of it, the blocks, too.
“We could have easily scored from two or three corners today.”
LEAVING IT LATE: Morecambe players celebrate Paul Mullin’s winner towards the end STAR MAN PAUL MULLIN