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Wycombe Wanderers 1
Northampton Town 1
Friday 18th April 2014
Football League Two
Wanderers' relegation showdown with Northampton Town ended 1-1 after Aaron Pierre's 18th minute header cancelled out The Cobblers opener six minutes earlier when Matt Ingram could only help Ricky Ravenhill's cross from the right into his own net.
Pierre's goal, his first in senior football, came after Matt Bloomfield floated in a free-kick from the right and helped settled Wanderers after a nervy opening. In front of a season best crowd of 7,004 at Adams Park, it was then Wanderers who had the better chances to win the game. None more so than during the final minute of ten additional minutes at the end of the ninety when Max Kretzschmar's free-kick struck the woodwork before Leon Johnson stabbed the rebound goalwards and Dean Morgan followed the ball into the back of the Valley End net - it looked like a dream winner but the assistant flagged for an offside, ruling out the goal and leaving things still nip and tuck at the foot of the table.
The result came after Gareth Ainsworth made four changes to the side that had lost at Newport the previous Saturday - Leon Johnson, Matt Bloomfield, Jo Kuffour and Paris Cowan-Hall returning to the side in place Nick Arnold, Marvin McCoy, Steven Craig and Max Kretzschmar. Cowan-Hall was returning following a spell out through injury but his bad luck continued on the half-hour mark when he twisted an ankle and was replaced by Morgan. Goalscorer Pierre was also forced off during the second period when he fell awkwardly and injured his shoulder. Prolonged treatment to Northampton's Zander Diamond and Leon Johnson led to the extended added time by referee Andy D'Urso. It was Wycombe who pushed most for the winner and they were nearly rewarded but for the offside flag.
It's now onto promotion chasing Fleetwood Town on Easter Monday, before the home clash with fellow relegation battlers Bristol Rovers on Saturday 26th April.
Full-time - Wycombe 1 Northampton 1
Post match reaction:
Commenting after the game, Gareth Ainsworth centred on his side being denied a late winner, "It was a goal. Itís legitimate, which is the hardest thing to take. The officials have got to be better. They have just killed 3,500 Wycombe fans, and myself, and the players. It was a fantastic save by the keeper, the reboundís fallen to Johnno and as Johnno has shot, the linesmanís told me coming off the pitch thatís the offside. Looking at the replay, Deanís not offside. Itís a totally legitimate goal. We had one up at Accrington earlier in the season and we could be looking at that saying thatís four points weíve been robbed of and weíd be on 51 points, which would be nice. Itís a tough job. I think they should be professional, they should all be professional across the board. Thereís enough money in football to do that. They talk about all these millions of pounds in the Premier League Ė letís get these officials professional from the Premier League right down to League Two. Weíre a professional league and you have part timers doing the officiating. Itís not right. Thatís my two penneth and Iím sure people will have their opinions. We have to accept it because the refereeís given it. They need to be better at this level. I thought [referee] Andy DíUrso did OK, but the linesman has cost us a couple of points today that could be huge at the end of the year."
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