Gareth Ainsworth hailed Adebayo Akinfenwa’s game-changing intervention after Wycombe beat Tranmere 3-1 to maintain their Sky Bet League One automatic promotion hopes.
The Chairboys took the lead on the brink of half-time through Anthony Stewart before relegation-threatened Tranmere equalised just after the hour through James Vaughan.
But Akinfenwa rose to the occasion to head Wanderers back in front after 71 minutes and Joe Jacobson wrapped up the three points from the penalty spot in stoppage-time.
And after Akinfenwa equalled Wycombe’s Football League goalscoring record with his 53rd goal – to sit alongside Nathan Tyson – Ainsworth praised the 37-year-old’s latest match-winning contribution.
He said: “The bit of brilliance for the second goal has changed the game. Akinfenwa, what a player, what a man.
“What a day. It reminded me of our League Two days with the conditions. To be honest the pitch isn’t great here, we’ve had a lot of football on it.
“We couldn’t take it up in the summer because of financial reasons. We rode the battle really well in the second half. First half we did well.
“I’m sure Tranmere will point towards the referee but we were the better team. You always worry when you’re dominant and you don’t score that the chance has gone.
“Second half was key to me. I told them at half-time there would be a big onslaught from them. They’ve got two big guys and go really direct to them.
“If there’s a way we’ve played in the last seven years that’s it – so we know how to play it.
“The penalty was a tight one on the edge of the box but you need those to go your way sometimes.”
The result leaves Tranmere in the bottom three but – despite being frustrated by their latest defeat – manager Micky Mellon took plenty of encouragement from his side’s fighting spirit.
“It’s a disappointing defeat for us,” he said. “We’ve come to one of the best sides in the league and matched them at times and we can be pleased with that.
“But what we need is results and it’s tough at the minute. Conditions made it difficult. It was a windy afternoon.
“They had to work hard to keep us out and on another day we get something from that game. We’re working really hard to try and get results. We’re putting in a lot of effort on the training pitch.
“We know it’s frustrating and the fans pay their hard-earned money to watch us. They had a lot of decisions go their way today from the referee.
“The penalty could have been given as a free-kick it was that close to call. When you’re struggling, those things go against you.
“Sometimes you need luck on your side and today it wasn’t.”