Stephen Crainey (left) felt there was a foul in the build-up to Wycombe’s late winner (Nigel French/PA)
15 March 2022

Stephen Crainey criticises decision to allow Wycombe’s last-gasp winner to stand

15 March 2022

Fleetwood manager Stephen Crainey was unhappy Wycombe’s last-gasp winner was allowed to stand.

Both bosses agreed a foul should have been given against Sam Vokes on Fleetwood goalkeeper Kieran O’Hara in the build-up to Jason McCarthy’s goal in the fourth minute of stoppage time.

The decision of referee Josh Smith to let the goal count could have repercussions at both ends of Sky Bet League One, as Wycombe moved within one point of the play-offs while Fleetwood remained above the relegation zone on goal difference only.

Crainey said: “It’s a foul on the goalkeeper, it’s as simple as that.

“That’s just our luck at the moment. We’re not getting decisions, but I thought in terms of the performance, it was an outstanding performance.

“There was real grit and real determination to see the game through and try and get a clean sheet, then the luck doesn’t go our way.

“Vokes backs in – he’s a real physical player and that’s a big, strong part of his game, but you can clearly see he fouls the goalkeeper and we never got the decision.

“Obviously, Wycombe are going to be delighted about winning the game, but to lose the game in that manner is really, really disappointing.

“It’s a one-on-one duel – it’s not like there were loads of bodies about, but he’s not given the decision.

“It’s really disappointing but I’ve been really pleased with the group’s determination and effort.”

There were chances for both sides in an open first half, with Wycombe goalkeeper David Stockdale saving from Dan Butterworth and Paddy Lane and O’Hara then denying Garath McCleary.

Just when it looked as though the game would end in stalemate, a hopeful cross by Jack Young found its way to McCarthy, who forced in his first goal of the season at the back post.

Wycombe manager Gareth Ainsworth said: “The way that we finished the game was very strong.

“The second half was very similar to Saturday (against Rotherham) in that we really took it to them in the second half.

“I felt the first half was pretty even – they had some chances and David Stockdale has made a couple of really good saves, but overall, I thought there was one team that edged it, and that was us.

“We got our goal – I think we had other chances to get it – and looking at the goal now, it’s potentially harsh on their goalkeeper, but you get those decisions sometimes and you’ve got to take them when you can.

“It’s a home win, it’s three points. I’m pleased we got them.

“It was right to the end and I thought the boys were fantastic again.”

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