Cool Luke fires Gaz’s boys up to eighth
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.”
STAR MAN SEAN CLOHE
Orient JOB DONE: Jobi McAnuff scores the winner (inset) and celebrates
STAR MAN GARRY THOMP