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Oxford United 3
Wycombe Wanderers 0
Saturday 7th May 2016
Football League Two
Wanderers' season ended on a low following a 3-0 defeat at Oxford United, with the hosts also confirming promotion to League One in front of capacity 11,800 attendance - with some of those unable to get tickets using grass banks and behind the open end of the ground
Defeat and results elsewhere also saw Gareth Ainsworth's side fall to 13th place in the table - the lowest place of the season - having topped the table after ten games and remained in the play-off places until a run of no wins from the final eight games saw the season peter out in disappointing fashion.
Ainsworth made two changes to the side that had lost at home to Accrington Stanley - Ryan Allsop returning in goal in place of Benjamin Siegrist, with Stephen McGinn coming into midfield with Jerell Sellars moved to the bench. United, needing victory to guarantee promotion, were frustrated by Wanderers for close to an hour. Kicking towards the open end, the U's had a couple of half chances during the opening 45 minutes, while Wanderers best chance came when Michael Harriman shot was blocked on the edge of the box a few minutes before the break. Preceeding that, a brief torrential downpour, on an otherwise sunny day, threatened to turn the game into farce.
Joy for the home following came on 54 minutes when an inswinging corner from the left saw Chew Dunkley stoop in to send a header past Allsop.United had chances to add to their lead before being awarded a penalty on 72 minutes for a clumsy challenge by Aaron Pierre on Kemar Roofe. It was a soft decision but when Chris Maguire converted the resulting spot-kick - sending Allsop the wrong way - there was no way back for Wanderers.
Wycombe's goal scoring problems throughout the season were summed up on 78 minutes when substitute Gozie Ugwu struck an effort from the right side of the box into the side netting.
Substitute Callum O'Dowda rattled in a stoppage time shot from the right of the box to make the final scoreline a flattering one for United, although nobody could say they didn't deserve their victory.
The final whistle signalled a pitch invasion from the home support, while Wycombe and their supporters were left to reflect on a second-half of a season that failed to live up to the high expectations left by the previous season's trip to Wembley and a start to the season that had fans dreaming of an even better campaign in 2015/16.
Full-time - Oxford 3 Wycombe 0
Speaking after the game, Wanderers Manager Gareth Ainsworth told the press: "We capitulated in the second half and I think the first goal is too soft, we donít seem to score goals as easy as that from set plays. The second goal, the referee has given them a [penalty], but there is no blaming him, and the third goal is poor again. I am just sorry to the fans who came up and wanted an upset, we should have been better than that."
The boss added: "We havenít been beaten 3-0 in a long time, I canít remember the last time [*], so that really hurts me. I know it hurts the fans and I am going to make sure it hurts the players because that wasnít good enough. Oxfordís resources are much bigger than ours, but when it comes down to it itís 11 against 11. We matched Aston Villa at home and they have better players than Oxford. I was disappointed today that we didnít match them for the last 30 minutes because for the first 60, until they scored, I thought it could have gone either way and Oxford were getting quite nervous."
* - Wanderers' previous 3 goal loss prior to the meeting with Oxford United was the 3-0 defeat at Bristol Rovers on 1st December 2015.
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