Magnanimous Ainsworth singles out Holmes after Cobblers edge out Wycombe

Gareth Ainsworth. Picture by Sharon Lucey

Gareth Ainsworth. Picture by Sharon Lucey

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Wycombe Wanderers manager Gareth Ainsworth felt his side more than held their own in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to table-topping Northampton but he also had praise for the Cobblers, in particular Ricky Holmes.

Holmes was instrumental in the game’s only goal when he got away down the right before pulling the ball back to Lee Martin, who teed up Danny Rose to place a shot into the top corner.

Northampton had other chances too with James Collins, John-Joe O’Toole and Holmes himself all close to scoring but Wycombe were far from outplayed and would have taken something from the game had Jason McCarthy or Ryan Sellers been more clinical in front of goal, while Adam Smith pulled off a fine save from Anthony Stewart.

“I thought we gave a good account of ourselves,” said Ainsworth. “We were huge underdogs and we knew that but to see the Wycombe fans in their numbers and to see my boys give absolutely everything out there against a top side who have just broken a record, I’m a proud man today.

“It’s a brilliant achievement for them and the day belongs to Northampton but there wasn’t much in the game and it boiled down to a little bit of magic.

“I was disappointed with the goal because it was an overload for them that we’ve been working on in training but Ricky Holmes is a great player.

“He’s a match-winner on his day and he’s produced some more magic to win them the game and he’s a great player.

“The day belongs to Northampton and Chris (Wilder) has done a fantastic job. He’s a dignified guy and I wish him all the best and I’m pretty sure they’ll be in a league above next year.”

Ainsworth was pleased with his side’s performance despite the result, particularly given they were missing two key players in Aaron Pierre and Paris Cowan-Hall.

“It was a headache because they’re two huge players and were big misses for us but I’m not going to take anything away from my boys.

“If you had been here today you saw two really good teams battling it out.

“I think it was a game of counter-attacks on both teams and it seemed to swing on that. The goal was disappointing because it was in our half and they’ve created a four on three overload. We’ll dissect on that in the week.”

“We’ll brush ourselves off and get going again because we’re still in the hunt.”