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Gareth Ainsworth happy to celebrate Adebayo Akinfenwa in style

Gareth Ainsworth, right, paid tribute to Adebayo Akinfenwa (Kieran Cleeves/PA)
Gareth Ainsworth, right, paid tribute to Adebayo Akinfenwa (Kieran Cleeves/PA)

Gareth Ainsworth stressed the importance of celebrating Adebayo Akinfenwa’s career in style after Wycombe defeated Doncaster 2-0.

Garath McCleary and Anis Mehmeti both scored for Wanderers as they prevailed over relegation-threatened Rovers to boost their League One play-off chances.

The result made it a day to remember for the striker known as “The Beast”, who received a guard of honour prior to kick off after the 39-year-old announced he will retire at the end of the season.

And after Akinfenwa made a late cameo, Ainsworth insisted it was only right that Wanderers’ highest ever EFL goalscorer was celebrated in what the club described as his “last dance”.

“I got the big man some minutes on his final day, but it was all about the win,” said Ainsworth.

“I said that before the game. We need to celebrate these days, celebrate these people but get the win and that’s what we did.”

Albanian youngster Mehmeti provided the cross for McCleary to head home the opener in the 18th minute before the former put the game to bed with 16 minutes left.

“It’s job done,” Ainsworth said. “We’ve probably played better than that and not won so you take that all day long.

“I thought for 20 minutes in the first half we were sensational. We really were and I thought we could have had three or four in that period.

“The boys saw it out really well. When we have the days off, and this always happens, we always have a dodgy one.

“We’ve lost them in the past but that was good, they have been rested and we go into the next game. It’s brilliant to get the win and give them the days off.

“It’s pleasing to get another clean sheet. David (Stockdale) had to make a couple of great saves.”

Rovers are now seven points adrift of safety, with their relegation rivals having games in hand, and boss Gary McSheffrey could not hide his frustration.

“It’s a disappointing result for us. We’ve come here trying to get something out of the game, but it wasn’t to be in the end,” he said.

“They started quite slowly and unfortunately we couldn’t take advantage of that. The first goal is so important in games of football. They got the first goal and then we have to try and get back into the game.

“It’s disappointing to concede fairly early in the game. If we can just hang in games a little while longer then we might get something from it. Once we concede the second we’ve got a mountain to climb then really.

“We have to start picking up points, we understand the situation we’re in.”

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