Cool Luke fires Gaz’s boys up to eighth

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Chris Mar­shall-Bell

WY­COMBE boss Gareth Ainsworth heaped the praise on match-win­ner Luke O’Nien, with the mid­fielder’s fifth goal of the sea­son con­sign­ing Steve­nage to a fourth con­sec­u­tive loss.

O’Nien’s se­cond-half goal sees the Chair­boys move within a point and a place of a play-off spot.

Steve­nage, who re­main 21st, are seven points above se­cond-bot­tom York and the pres­ence of Mark Cooper sparked spec­u­la­tion he could be close to be­com­ing Teddy Sher­ing­ham’s suc­ces­sor, al­though The FLP un­der­stands the ex-Swin­don boss was there on scout­ing duty.

The day be­longed to 21year-old O’Nien. “Luke’s goal was a fan­tas­tic fin­ish and a fan­tas­tic bit of skill from him,” Ainsworth beamed.

“He’s one of the hard­est work­ing pros I’ve ever come across and he’ll be part of my plans as long as he keeps that ethic, be­cause he’s got some great skill to add to that.”

Jamie Jones kept the hosts at bay early on, first deny­ing O’Nien’s drilled shot through a crowded box and then par­ry­ing away Garry Thomp­son’s curl­ing strike.

The waste­ful Rowan Liburd spurned three glo­ri­ous chances for Wy­combe early in the se­cond half. Michael Har­ri­man threaded a ball through the Boro de­fence into Liburd’s path but his shot was blocked. The striker then had two tame head­ers from six yards.

Steve­nage briefly roused, Ben Kennedy go­ing clos­est with a dip­ping vol­ley.

But on 70 min­utes Ja­son McCarthy’s re­bounded shot fell to O’Nien who tricked Fraser Franks and Dean Wells to stab home be­yond the stop­per. Ryan All­sop then saved well from Dean Par­rett to pre­vent a late equaliser.

Ainsworth added:“I thought we de­served the win.We didn’t just get a lucky win.We had a game plan which the lads ex­e­cuted well.

“We want to con­vert a few more chances.We cre­ated, which is good but it’s just that fin­ish­ing touch that needs work. If we can per­form with the free­dom and de­sire that we showed, we won’t go far wrong.”

Steve­nage care­taker man­ager Dar­ren Sarll was dis­sat­is­fied with his side’s dis­play. He said:“My big­gest dis­ap­point­ment is that de­spite know­ing and un­der­stand­ing what we were fac­ing, we didn’t get to grips with that.

“When you do that against a team like this and at a place like this, you come up short.

“We were a lit­tle bit for­tu­itous to come in at half-time 0-0. I ral­lied the troops and we def­i­nitely had more af­fir­ma­tive ac­tion about us in the se­cond half.We just started to open them up, have a cou­ple of chances, but that’s when you can be at your weak­est de­fen­sively. The goal is dis­ap­point­ing.”

PIC­TURES: TGS Photo

STAR MAN SEAN CLOHE

SSY Ley­ton

Ori­ent JOB DONE: Jobi McAnuff scores the win­ner (in­set) and cel­e­brates

STAR MAN GARRY THOMP

SON Wy­com

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