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Torquay United 0
Wycombe Wanderers 3
Saturday 3rd May 2014
Football League Two
Wanderers retained their Football League status after an emotionally supercharged final day of the season. Close to 1,000 travelling Wycombe fans saw already relegated Torquay United beaten 3-0, while confirmation of Bristol Rovers 1-0 home defeat to Mansfield Town just prior to the final whistle at Plainmoor sparked amazing scenes amongst the Wycombe followers. Moments later the players and staff joined as the full-time was called in Torquay. Few would have predicted the sequence events that led to this amazing escape from Gareth Ainsworth's side. A goal after just six minutes from Sam Wood set the wheels in motion. A minute later news had come through that Northampton were trailing 1-0 at home of Oxford United. Wycombe were out of the relegation zone. However, Oxford goalscorer Ryan Williams was sent off on 20 minutes and The Cobblers took advantage by taking the lead through John Marquis (29 mins) and Ivan Toney (33 mins). Wycombe were back in the relegation zone. However news on 36 minutes from the Memorial Ground set off more celebration in the stands following Colin Daniel's crucial goal for Mansfield. Wycombe out of the relegation zone again. Steven Craig then made it 2-0 to Wycombe from the spot on 42 minutes after Matt McClure had been fouled by Anthony O'Connor before the half-time break offered a temporary ease to the building tension in the air. O'Connor was red carded for Torquay on 52 minutes for a second bookable offence and when McClure lobbed the ball home from Matt Ingram's long ball on 62 minutes to make it 3-0, the events on the pitch at Torquay were secondary to what was happening in Bristol. BBC Three Counties presenter, and Wycombe fan, Phil Catchpole came onto the terraces in the final five minutes to relay live news from The Memorial Ground. He held up fingers to indicate the time remaining and then dramatically the confirmation of the final whistle that sent Rovers out of the Football League. The terrace errupted, quickly followed by those Wycombe fans in the stands and the staff on the bench. Seconds later Wycombe's game ended and the real celebrations could begin. An amazing day!
Full-time - Torquay 0 Wycombe 3
Post match reaction:
Commenting after the game, Gareth Ainsworth said, "It's incredible. This ranks amongst the best things I've ever done in my career - to get a club like Wycombe Wanderers, a small club that everyone wrote off, and to survive on the last day of the season in some great fashion is fantastic. I'm so proud to be Wycombe manager, but I played a small part. Those boys on the pitch gave their everything. The likes of Matt McClure who was in tears after the game last week has come and worked his socks off, scored the winner and after that, all we needed was Mansfield to hold on. I said to them (the players), can we effect the other games? They said no. I said that we could. We score an early goal and that will filter through, just like it filtered through here. And sure enough Sam Wood took his goal brilliantly. They say don't get too high, don't get too low. I think I'll leave that one tonight - I'm going to stay as high as I can because that was a special day."
The Wycombe boss also said, "Last Saturday (losing at home to Bristol Rovers) was one of the worst days in my career. Monday morning I made an absolute concerted effort to be a positive guy and get everyone buzzing and get the place really rocking. I said give me everything and I will support you – you’re my players. They have paid me back tenfold today. It’s a special day I won’t forget for a very long time. There’s teams who’ve finished in mid table who haven’t had a day like this. It’s a nice way to stay up but I might need to go and get my heart tested after this. I love my job and it can be hard and you can have dark times, but there’s a lot of good people around me supporting me. They’ve got me through this. I want it never to happen again, that’s the message, but go out and given me what you’ve given today in every single game and we’ll be fine. A lot of managers probably would have lost their jobs with some of the runs I went through, but hopefully that goes to repay a little bit of faith. We can’t paper over we’ve had a bad season but to finish it like that is really special.”
Also see - What the Papers Said - Staying Up Special
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