Gareth Ainsworth’s Wycombe sit fourth in League One (Tim Markland/PA)
20 November 2021

Gareth Ainsworth hails Wycombe’s League One win over Bolton as a ‘good scalp’

20 November 2021

Wycombe manager Gareth Ainsworth was pleased to see his side end a tough week by picking up a “good scalp” in edging past injury-hit Bolton 1-0 following what was a tight League One contest.

Sam Vokes’ strike proved decisive at Adams Park as the Chairboys ended their first sticky spell of the campaign and kept themselves fourth in the table, just two points behind leaders Plymouth.

Wycombe’s three points were timely as they had not won in their last six matches in all competitions and had lost their previous four home games.

That included going out of the FA Cup to League Two Hartlepool in midweek, which was also the third game in a row they had drawn a blank, a drought Vokes ended with his perfectly-placed header.

Ainsworth said: “I think finishing let us down in the last two games. We had some good opportunities, but we just didn’t capitalise on them.

“The players all work on their own individual bits and they are what matter in games where it is so tight.

“Bolton came here and we knew that they’d tire in the second half, after what they went through in midweek.

“They’re probably a bit weaker than they have been, but (boss) Ian (Evatt) is a good friend and he’ll have them going, so for me this is a good scalp at home.

“But these boys have practiced, day in, day out, these little bits that don’t seem that important. They’d rather do shooting every day (but) all these games matter when it comes to a game like this.

“We felt a tiny bit of pressure because we want to achieve this year.

“We have one of the best squads in the league, I believe, and I want them to stay around the top of the table for as long as they can.”

Wycombe fans will have been wondering what it was going to take for their team to score when Vokes’ shot struck the inside of a post before running along just in front of the goal line and going behind.

The Chairboys then had a penalty awarded when Anis Mehmeti went over following MJ Williams’ challenge, only for the youngster’s tame spot-kick to be comfortably saved by Bolton goalkeeper Joel Dixon.

The deadlock was finally broken after 72 minutes when Vokes brilliantly looped a header from Jason McCarthy’s cross into the top corner.

Bolton boss Ian Evatt has now seen his team win just won of their last seven league games and go out of the cup to non-league Stockport, but he found positives in their performance.

He said: “Half our first team are missing and the lads that have come in – the lads who have started today – have given everything.

“I was disappointed and defected after Wednesday because that wasn’t us and it isn’t what we’re about.

“Today was much more like it and in a difficult situation, scenario and fixture, I thought we were excellent.

“I’m not going to sit here and moan about injuries – we’ve got loads, of course, and a lot that we couldn’t have avoided, but that’s football, people get injured.

“We do feel like the world is against us, but it’s important that we stick together as a group.

“We have belief, we know what we’re about, we know what we can do and today I thought we showed that.

“Hopefully, the fans will be understanding of the situation.”

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