17 December 2022

Gareth Ainsworth delighted as Wycombe knock Ipswich off summit with win

17 December 2022

Manager Gareth Ainsworth was delighted as Wycombe continued to defy their critics and battled their way to a narrow 1-0 League One victory over deposed league leaders Ipswich.

After coming so close to a second promotion to the Championship in three years last season, there were some who thought the Chairboys’ bubble had burst after an indifferent start to the current campaign.

However, their latest win over one of the division’s big boys lifted them up to seventh in the table, just two points off the play-offs, as Brandon Hanlan’s superb individual effort settled the contest at Adams Park.

Ainsworth said: “When I first signed here, we used to go to the ex-players’ dos and the teams like Sunderland and Ipswich were massive occasions for this football club.

“Now we’re delivering really good games to fans because of the way the league’s gone – Ipswich, Sunderland, Portsmouth, Charlton, former Premier League teams coming to Adams Park, and it’s brilliant to see.

“We only ever wanted to be in League One, but I think everyone’s wildest dreams have been exceeded and that brings expectation, and everyone thinks we should be competing for the play-offs.

“It’s just a real nice feeling sometimes that everyone is still massively shocked that Wycombe have turned Ipswich over at home, everyone except the personnel in that dressing room.

“We believe in ourselves, we know what we’ve got and we’re a match for anyone in this league.”

Wycombe went ahead five minutes before half-time when Hanlan dribbled his way past two defenders and cut in from the right before lifting the ball over the advancing Christian Walton.

Ipswich dominated the second half territorially and came close to levelling when George Edmundson’s header from Cameron Humphreys’ cross dropped just wide.

But the closest they came was when Freddie Ladapo’s deflected shot in stoppage time was tipped away by Max Stryjek, as the Tractor Boys were replaced at the summit by Plymouth.

Ipswich boss Kieran McKenna said: “I thought there were lots of good things in the performance.

“It’s a difficult place to come and control the game, but I thought we did that.

“They’re a team who want to put the ball in your box at every opportunity and if you give them opportunities to do that, they’re a big goal threat, but we limited them really well.

“We dominated the ball and we had moments where we played through them with our quality, but we weren’t good enough to take those big moments that we had.

“They had very little in the game at the point when they scored, but their forward’s waiting for one big moment and obviously produces a great run that we didn’t defend well enough – and that made the game all the more difficult.”

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox