05 November 2022

Gareth Ainsworth knows he has work to do at Wycombe

05 November 2022

Gareth Ainsworth admits the buck stops with him after Wycombe slumped to a shock 2-0 FA Cup defeat against League Two Walsall at Adams Park.

Jacob Maddox and Isaac Hutchinson’s strikes did the damage on an afternoon where Wycombe striker Brandon Hanlan missed a penalty to draw his side level.

Maddox’s first-half opener came from a Liam Gordon corner and Ainsworth, whose side sit 12th in League One, insists the time has now come to cut the errors out.

He said: “Another set play? I know. That’s down to me, and I’ll put things in place to ensure that doesn’t happen again.

“It was very frustrating. It was a dull day both weather wise and performance wise.

“I didn’t think we had the spark we had in previous games and we didn’t create the chances we have in previous games.

“We didn’t look threatening. Walsall overpowered us and looked physically stronger. Ultimately that’s down to me as the manager, that wasn’t good enough and I’ve told the boys that.

“We huffed and puffed too much today and there wasn’t much blowing the house down, let’s be honest.

“Walsall definitely deserved that. Their fans had plenty to shout about and fair play to them. We’ve got to play better than that, that wasn’t good enough for me.”

Striker Sam Vokes thought he had given the hosts a ninth-minute lead but the Wales international saw his thunderbolt tipped superbly over the bar by goalkeeper Owen Evans.

Maddox rifled the visitors ahead four minutes before the break with a sweet strike inside the bottom right post from Gordon’s corner.

Keeper Max Stryjek got a hand to the shot, but he could not prevent Maddox’s second goal in four games.

Forward Sully Kaikai was felled by striker Tom Knowles immediately after the restart, but Hanlan’s spot-kick was brilliantly saved by Evans.

Hutchinson then doubled the lead shortly after the hour mark with a smart finish from Maddox’s assist to make sure of a memorable cup victory.

Walsall boss Michael Flynn said: “All the credit has to go to the players. They were fantastic from the first minute.

“My only negative is we didn’t score more goals. That’s as good as an away performance as you’ll see from a League Two club.

“They were superb. The box we played in midfield gave them problems and they wouldn’t have expected us to do that.

“It was great to see the fans, they were superb today from the first minute to after the game. They didn’t shut up and it was a real pleasure to play in front of them.”

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