Gareth Ainsworth was delighted to see his side go top (Tim Markland/PA)
15 January 2022

Gareth Ainsworth prefers to focus on his side’s performance as Wycombe go top

15 January 2022

Wycombe manager Gareth Ainsworth preferred to focus on the football after his team went top of League One following a 2-0 victory over Oxford on a fiery afternoon at Adams Park.

The Chairboys may be relative minnows in the third tier, but they can enjoy looking down on the rest of it after taking advantage of slip-ups by Rotherham and Sunderland, the previous top two.

However, there were a couple of unsavoury incidents during the game, with homophobic chanting being reported while a home supporter later ran on the pitch and confronted Oxford’s Steve Seddon before taunting the away end.

Ainsworth said: “It shows how far this club has come, in regards to the standings in League One.

“We’re on top tonight, which is brilliant – there’s a long, long way to go but with the names we’re amongst, I think it’s phenomenal.

“It was a very even first 15 minutes, a great clearance off the line by (Ryan) Tafazolli and (Anthony) Stewart between them, a good save from Stocko (David Stockdale), but after that I thought we were a real value for our win today.

“I thought the boys played superbly well.

“We lost Sam Vokes yesterday to suspected Covid and people probably wondered ‘how are they going to play now, without a big man?’

“We had a big man on the bench and we didn’t need to bring him on today. Some of the football we played I thought was outstanding.”

Oxford had the better of the first half hour, with a combination of Tafazolli and Stewart clearing Nathan Holland’s shot off the line and the same player was then denied twice in the space of a minute by Stockdale saves.

Wycombe then went ahead when a corner was cleared as far as Curtis Thompson, who controlled before firing a superb strike into the bottom corner from just outside the area.

Their lead was doubled when Brandon Hanlan finished through Simon Eastwood’s legs after being put through by Garath McCleary on the counterattack.

The one-man pitch invasion soon followed and Oxford boss Karl Robinson said of the incident: “It’s funny how we can be a constant scapegoat for people to criticise and throw things and, all of a sudden, when we try and intervene, we’re in the wrong.

“The geezer is an idiot, it’s that simple. That’s not a problem to me.

On the alleged chanting, he added: “Is that from our fans or their fans in the corner?

“There were other things chanted at me today that were homophobic and there were other things that were chanted.

“You can’t blame our fans – how do we know that it was from behind the goal?

“Whoever has done it is in the wrong, it’s not acceptable.”

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox