The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Ge­orge Thorpe

GARETH AINSWORTH be­lieves his Wy­combe side “ex­or­cised some demons” in beat­ing Bris­tol Rovers at Adams Park.

It was the third time the sides have met this sea­son with the Pi­rates win­ning 2-0 in the John­stone’s Paint Tro­phy be­fore a Matty Tay­lor hat-trick saw them beat the Chair­boys 3-0 in De­cem­ber.

How­ever, Luke O’Nien’s header five min­utes from time proved the dif­fer­ence here as he got on the end of Joe Jacobson’s free-kick from just in­side Rovers’ half to hand the hosts three points.

“The last three games we’ve played against Rovers have been dis­ap­point­ing for us, so we have ex­or­cised some demons,” said Ainsworth.

“It is a huge three points to get and the best team won as well, I re­ally do be­lieve that.

“We re­duced them to be­com­ing a long-ball team. I’ve watched Bris­tol Rovers a lot and I know they can knock it about a lot, but we re­stricted them.

“It’s ironic re­ally that the only goal came from a set piece be­cause there was plenty of good foot­ball on show.

“Our sup­port was great and we showed that even though we’re a small club, we can make as much noise as any­one.”

In the open­ing 20 min­utes Mar­cus Bean, Paul Hayes and Stephen McGinn all failed to find the tar­get with de­cent chances for Wan­der­ers.

Bean had the best of three op­por­tu­ni­ties, get­ting on the end of a neat pass­ing move only to fluff his lines when the mo­ment came.

Home fans had to wait 30 min­utes be­fore vet­eran goal­keeper Steve Milden­hall was tested as he pushed wide a Jacobson free-kick.

Rovers did ven­ture for­ward but found the home de­fence dif­fi­cult to break down with An­thony Ste­wart and Ja­son McCarthy keep­ing for­mer Chair­boys star Jer­maine Easter and Rory Gaffney in their back pock­ets.

Hav­ing been lim­ited to a cou­ple of half-chances in the first pe­riod, the Pi­rates looked more dan­ger­ous af­ter the in­ter­val with Ryan All­sop hav­ing to stop goal-bound ef­forts from Lee Mansell and Ol­lie Clarke.

Wan­der­ers weath­ered the storm and fi­nally got their re­ward five min­utes from time through their 21-year-old mid­fielder’s header into the bot­tom left-hand cor­ner of the net.

Pi­rates boss Dar­rell Clarke cut a sor­row­ful fig­ure af­ter the match, say­ing he was dis­ap­pointed to leave with noth­ing.

“It was one of those days, it was an ugly game of foot­ball and I knew it was go­ing to be that way,” he said. “I picked a team who would be de­cent on se­cond and third balls and we de­fended well ex­cept for one ball into the box. We just switched off, the ball came be­tween the lines and it cost us.

“We didn’t deal with that and now the chang­ing room is frus­trated and flat, but we’ve got to pick our­selves up and dust our­selves off.

“In the se­cond half we were on top but it counts for noth­ing if you switch off.”

PIC­TURES: Prime Me­dia Im­ages


SON Wy­com

be GHOST BUSTER: Luke O’Nien leaps to cel­e­brate scor­ing Wy­combe’s win­ning goal In­set: Wy­combe keeper Ryan All­sop pulls off a great save

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