Port Vale boss Darren Moore blamed his relegation-threatened side’s dramatic 2-1 home defeat to Wycombe on a lack of concentration at the back.

Vale’s League One existence now hangs in the balance after a late Nigel Lonwijk strike means they are three points from safety with just two games left.

Wycombe took the lead in the fourth minute when David Wheeler was first to react after Connor Ripley had saved a close-range header from Sam Vokes.

Wanderers could have been two ahead just moments later as Wheeler again found himself free with just Ripley to beat, only to see his effort drift wide.

Vale’s only real effort of the first period fell to Ethan Chislett, whose long-range volley was spectacularly pushed over by Franco Ravizzoli in the Wycombe goal.

The home side began the second period brightly and were level just two minutes after the restart when Chislett slotted past Ravizzoli after finding himself in acres of space.

But with Vale pushing for that all-important winner in their battle to beat the drop, it was Lonwijk who popped up at the other end to win it for Wycombe and heap more misery on Moore’s men.

Moore said: “It was disappointing because you don’t want to lose a game in that manner.

“I really felt like we were in the ascendancy and if we kept our concentration we could get a chance to win the game, but we fell to a really late goal that absolutely knocked the stuffing out of the boys.

“We gave ourselves a mountain to climb after conceding that early goal and got back into the game early in the second half through Chislett to really give ourselves momentum and hope.

“I still felt that a chance was going to drop our way but what I didn’t envisage was our lapse of concentration at the back that has led to their goal.

“We’ve got two games remaining and we know what to do, we’ve got to dust ourselves down and get ready for another tough game on Saturday.”

Wycombe claimed a second consecutive away win.

Boss Matt Bloomfield said: “I’m disappointed we weren’t further ahead if I’m honest. We could have been three-up after 10 minutes and could and should have been out of sight.

“We knew it was going to be a tough game as Port Vale are fighting for their lives and have got some really good players, so to find an early goal and a late winner, I’m delighted.

“We needed to start the game on the front foot and the game plan was coming off and it wasn’t until the second half that they managed to break us down, but to find the character to go and get the winner was really pleasing.

“I stood on the touchline thinking this was a war of attrition and it was tough to get out at times, but we had fresh legs on the bench so I’m really pleased with the performance of the whole squad.”

Port Vale are right up against it as they battle to avoid relegation from League One following a 2-1 defeat to Wycombe at Vale Park.

Ethan Chislett cancelled out David Wheeler’s opener for the visitors before Nigel Lonwijk scored a late winner, leaving Darren Moore’s side three points from safety with two games of the season left.

Dale Taylor could have opened the scoring for Wycombe after just 40 seconds when he pounced on a defensive error and slid the ball wide from the edge of the area.

Wanderers were ahead just three minutes later, however, when Wheeler was in the right place to blast the ball home after Connor Ripley denied Sam Vokes.

The home side responded well after the early setback and would have been level in the ninth minute had Franco Ravizzoli not made a great save to push Chislett’s effort over the bar.

It was Vale who started brightest after the break and were level just two minutes into the second half when Chislett found himself in space before slotting the ball past Ravizzoli.

The closing stages saw Vale going all out for the win with Jensen Weir coming close on a couple of occasions before Lonwijk sealed victory for Wanderers with only four minutes remaining.

Wycombe boss Matt Bloomfield blamed his side’s ill-discipline for their 4-2 loss to promotion-chasers Barnsley.

The Chairboys twice let a lead slip before substitute David Wheeler was sent off as the Reds completed a resounding comeback.

Dale Taylor and Kieran Sadlier twice put Wycombe ahead, only for Sam Cosgrove and Donovan Pines to respond each time before Corey O’Keeffe and Conor Grant secured the victory.

“Where was it lost? Slight lack of discipline, I think,” Bloomfield said. “There were a couple of soft goals that were entirely preventable from our side, so that feeds into it, and obviously the sending-off doesn’t help.

“I still fancied us at 3-2 down, but obviously with 10 men it’s tough.

“A few things contributed, maybe a slight bit of fatigue crept in with some of our decision-making at times defensively.

“I thought we started the game extremely well. For 30-35 minutes to play like we did against a team that’s looking to try and get up automatically, we have to be pleased with that, but we’re not pleased because we want to win the game.”

Taylor’s 16th-minute opener was cancelled out by an equaliser in first-half stoppage time from Cosgrove, who netted the rebound from a Luca Connell free-kick.

Sadlier then tapped home after good build-up play from Garath McCleary to restore the hosts’ lead, but only for four minutes.

Pines bundled the ball home before O’Keeffe put Barnsley into the lead for the first time with 65 minutes gone.

Wheeler saw red less than a minute after coming on for a heavy tackle on O’Keeffe and the Tykes made certain of their win with a thumping effort from Grant.

Barnsley boss Neill Collins said: “The resilience they’ve shown after going behind and then going behind again, to come back was fantastic.

“The quality of our play when we put it together caused Wycombe real problems. We created some really good moments and the quality of a couple of our goals was excellent.

“So I think overall, coming away from home against a team that’s made it really difficult for teams at home recently is all positive.

“I think we were the victims of our downfall with respect to the two goals we gave away and then when we did go 4-2 in the lead we contrived to give up two or three chances just from poor choices.

“But in the end we regrouped and saw it out pretty comfortably. There’s more positives than negatives of course.”

Peterborough manager Darren Ferguson backed goalkeeper Nicholas Bilokapic to learn from an error-strewn display in his side’s damaging 5-2 defeat at Wycombe.

Bilokapic, 21, was directly at fault for two of Wycombe’s goals, with Kieran Sadlier and David Wheeler both capitalising.

Ferguson mounted a passionate defence of his young goalkeeper and refused to criticise the Australian.

He said: “It was a tough day for the boy, he knows he’s made mistakes but I have to stick by him.

“I’m not coming here to criticise him, he needs my help. A big part of my job, especially with a squad with young players, is to stick by them.

“A lot of the criticism he’s got has been unjust, but that’s happened before at this club. There’s something about young goalkeepers fans don’t like but I have to stick by him.”

Posh fell behind through an own goal from Archie Collins and the hosts doubled their lead on the cusp of half-time through captain Jack Grimmer’s low finish.

Sadlier added a third before David Ajiboye and an own goal from Ryan Tafazolli threatened to turn the game on its head.

But the hosts held firm to score two more through substitutes Sam Vokes and Wheeler late on.

Ferguson added: “Sometimes it’s easy to play at 3-0 down, the pressure was off. But what I will say is that at least we had a bit of a goal for that short period.

“We had the momentum in the game and then we concede one more right after.

“It would knock any team and we kept huffing and puffing, we had one or two other opportunities to make it 4-3.

“You have to give credit to Wycombe, they were ruthless with the way they took their chances.”

Ferguson’s promotion-chasers have now lost three in a row, while his opposite number Matt Bloomfield was delighted after securing back-to-back wins which have taken his side six points clear of the bottom four.

Bloomfield said: “I told the boys before the game today that I have huge belief in them.

“I see what they do, I’ve seen the pain that they’ve been through at times this season.

“I’ve seen the moments that have gone against them, but that hasn’t altered my belief in the group and what we’re trying to achieve here.

“It means a great deal because we’ve had a tough time over the winter. It has been really important as leader of the group that I remain positive because I have massive faith in the group.

“I’ve been convinced there are good times around the corner, but obviously in testing moments it really stretches you.

“To enjoy a day at home in front of our supporters against an incredible team and celebrate five goals is lovely.”

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