Wycombe boss Matt Bloomfield hailed January signing Matt Butcher’s brilliance after his second-half brace sealed a 2-0 win over Northampton.

Butcher’s double – his first goals for the club – also completed a hat-trick of victories for Wycombe, although he waited until the 69th minute to break the deadlock.

Bloomfield insists the win is a wider reflection on Wycombe’s positive direction, though he remained fully focused on Sky Bet League One despite the fact they have a Wembley final against Peterborough next month.

He said: “As soon as I heard a whisper he (Butcher) was available I knew we had to get him.

“He’s been fantastic since coming to the football club and exactly what we needed.

“There’s been a lot of exciting news lately. There’s been too much talk of Wembley for my liking because I want to focus on these league games.

“The board have been amazing in their support and the hard work behind the scenes to provide better times ahead for this football club.

“I always felt our performances weren’t far away and now the work the boys have put in all season is being rewarded with wins.

“It was a stop-start first half, but in the second we found a spark and fresh energy.

“The boys that came on off the bench did that for us and that’s their job.

“I’m really pleased with the performance and the result. We’ve started to get the results that our performances have deserved.”

In contrast, one win in seven games makes for poor reading in the latter part of Northampton’s season.

Boss Jon Brady insisted he does not want the defeat to signal an end to his side’s campaign as their dismal recent form leaves little to fight for.

He said: “I said to the boys I think it’s a mindset. I don’t want the season to drift, I want to finish strong.

“The game was scrappy. You come to Wycombe and you know you’ll have to battle and fight.

“I thought there was nothing in the game until the first goal and it was a very soft goal, as was the second.

“We come away very frustrated on the day.

“The second one was looped into the back corner and it should be saved, but there you go.

“We had little half chances, but not much more than that. The differences are in both boxes. We shouldn’t concede those two goals.

“Even if we aren’t scoring at the other end, we should come out of that game 0-0.

“We got ourselves in a good position, but we need to be better and get our edge.

“I feel that we’ve lost our edge in our mindset and our play as well.”

Wycombe manager Matt Bloomfield saw his faith in Franco Ravizzoli repaid in his side’s 1-0 victory over Wigan in what turned out to be a tale of two goalkeepers.

A mid-table clash in Sky Bet League One was decided by an own goal from Sam Tickle, who has been enjoying a successful first season as Latics’ first choice.

His opposite number, Ravizzoli, then made sure the Chairboys won for the third time in four games with three fine saves in stoppage time.

The Argentinian was preferred to Max Stryjek despite his availability after suspension, and Bloomfield said: “I feel like my words to the players are ‘if you’re in possession (of your place) and you perform well, then you deserve to stay in’.

“So I had an opportunity tonight to back up my words with my actions and I felt like it was the right thing to do.

“Franco was fantastic on Saturday at Reading, he really helped us get the victory and there was no way he deserved to be left out tonight.

“Maxie was fully respectful of that, he’s obviously been fantastic for us this season and last season as well, but as with anything in sport you respect when someone’s performed well.

“He’s backed him up well tonight and he’s really played his part, as have all the squad. I thought Franco was excellent.

“I have to be really pleased with the resilience – I think it was a very ‘Wycombe’ defensive display.”

The home side’s winner came after 19 minutes when Josh Scowen’s mishit low cross was fumbled into his own net by Tickle at his near post.

Wigan grew stronger the longer the match wore on but were frustrated three times at the death as Ravizzoli denied Thelo Aasgaard, Charlie Hughes and Jordan Jones.

Latics boss Shaun Maloney said: “Second half we did everything but score, I can’t fault the players in the second half.

“I’m sorry for the fans that I can’t give them at least something to head back with.

“I think they could see the players’ performance and the team’s performance, but the first half cost us.

“The second half was excellent, really good, that’s how I want a Wigan team to play.

“The first half was opposite: everything was slow, everything was comfortable.

“It was a big mistake from our goalkeeper but Sam’s been incredible this season. I’ve said this numerous times, so that’s just an incident that can happen.

“Our general play was really poor, I was really unhappy at half-time, but the players that came on were excellent.

“It’s difficult to sit there after the game with how we played second half and not win the game, but also understand it was the first half that cost us.”

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.”

Wycombe manager Matt Bloomfield praised his players for not letting their heads drop after being thwarted on a number of occasions before two late goals gave them a 2-0 victory over Cheltenham.

The Chairboys ended February the way they started it by defeating the struggling Robins, but they were frustrated for 86 minutes by a terrific performance by Cheltenham goalkeeper Luke Southwood.

Eventually, goals from Joe Low and Beryly Lubala gave them a first win in four games in League One and condemned the visitors to a first defeat in five, leaving them three points adrift of safety.

Bloomfield said: “I was really pleased with their resilience in terms of the disappointment of the penalty miss, which has happened at times this season, the disappointment of that not going in and then maybe a bit of edginess about the place.

“I felt like Cheltenham’s substitutions gave them a bit of fresh energy and the gaps were getting a little bit too big between our units, so we had to try and bring fresh energy on ourselves.

“So, for our boys to show that resilience, and I’ve said it a couple of times, they’ve had a lot to deal with this year in terms of late knocks, and bits and pieces.

“Slowly but surely, the tide’s turning in our favour and that’s another clean sheet which we’ve got to be really pleased about – I’m really pleased for Franco [Ravizzoli] in goal, I thought he was excellent.”

Southwood tipped Dale Taylor’s volley onto the bar in the first half and after the break kept out a Freddie Potts penalty before making another superb stop from Garath McCleary.

But he was finally beaten when Low blasted in from close range from a McCleary corner before Lubala sealed the points with a stunning strike from distance into the top corner.

Cheltenham boss Darrell Clarke said: “No complaints from me [about the result], we were miles off with our performance.

“I thought all game we were miles off. We were searching for answers on the sideline, we never felt comfortable.

“Wycombe were by miles the better team on the day and we got what we deserved: nothing.

“I don’t want to be too critical of my boys, they’ve been excellent, but tonight we were nowhere near the standards and the level we needed to win a League One game, that’s for sure.

“I don’t want to repeat myself but whenever we’re playing these games in the league, in the division we’re in, I can’t afford to have only two or three players be on the top of their game. I need nine or 10 players and tonight we didn’t have that. We need a reaction.”

Wycombe manager Matt Bloomfield felt his team should have earned more than a goalless draw against play-off contenders Oxford after spurning a number of first-half chances.

This was an afternoon when the Chairboys renamed their stadium Adam’s Park as a tribute to 17-year-old supporter Adam Ankers, who died earlier in the month after suffering a cardiac arrest while playing for the club’s Foundation Under-19 team.

It was dominated for the best part of an hour by the hosts before Oxford improved and came close to making Bloomfield’s players regret their missed opportunities.

Bloomfield said: “We created more than enough chances to win the game, I believe, and it’s slightly disappointing not to come away with more than what we’ve got.

“But at the same time, I think I have to be pleased with the resilience because if you’re not going to score make sure that you don’t concede.

“Oxford had a couple of chances where we’ve made real big blocks, the back four were really brave in how they defended.

“I spoke before the game to the boys about this being one for our supporters.

“It’s something I was disappointed to not get all three points [from] earlier in the season and we really wanted to do that for our supporters today.

“We wanted to make sure we came out with energy and I feel like we did that first half.”

Wycombe’s first big chance came when Beryly Lubala played the ball through for Dale Taylor, whose shot was saved by the foot of Jamie Cumming.

The Oxford goalkeeper then denied Taylor again and the dangerous Kieran Sadlier sent a clear opportunity into the side-netting before his low ball was somehow put wide by Lubala from close range.

The U’s, who are now three points clear of seventh-placed Stevenage, almost snatched victory with 14 minutes left but home keeper Max Stryjek kept out Cameron Brannagan’s effort.

Oxford boss Des Buckingham said: “It’s an extremely hard-earned point against a team that have picked up some really good results of late and play a very difficult way at times.

“We lost Elliott Moore late last night, which was disruptive, but it was our first clean sheet in a while (12 league games), so to come here and match that, we just needed to be calmer on the ball at times.

“We showed that in the second half, we were calmer on the ball and we created a lot more in the second half.

“We should have had a penalty at the end as well to possibly come away with three points.

“It’s a good point away from home but we need to make sure we back it up on Tuesday with three [against Northampton].”

Ethan Erhahon’s late equaliser saw Lincoln salvage a point in a 1-1 draw with Wycombe.

Dale Taylor’s first-half goal had looked like being enough to win the game, only for Erhahon’s strike in the eighth minute of stoppage time to deny Wycombe victory.

The hosts were looking to mark Matt Bloomfield’s 50th game in charge with a win, while Lincoln were aiming to improve after four straight defeats.

Wycombe took the lead just before the half-hour as Sam Vokes headed Jack Grimmer’s cross to Taylor and his header just crossed the line before Adam Jackson could clear.

Taylor saw a low strike fall inches wide late in the first half, before Lincoln almost equalised when Dylan Duffy’s shot hit a post.

Imps debutant Joe Taylor had a goal disallowed before Wycombe saw a Vokes header go narrowly over the crossbar seconds later.

Substitutes Reeco Hackett and Jack Moylan forced good saves out of Max Stryjek before Erhahon’s lofted finish saw Lincoln snatch a point at the death.

Wycombe manager Matt Bloomfield admits he is starting to sound like a broken record after his side once again failed to hold on for victory.

The Chairboys have now gone 10 games without a win in Sky Bet League One, but this was two points they allowed to slip through their fingers after failing to kill off a match they had dominated.

Vale had offered precious little before Ben Garitty’s 90th-minute header cancelled out Kieran Sadlier’s goal and the visitors were far happier with a point.

Bloomfield said: “Everyone is going to get sick of me, if they haven’t already, talking about stats and talking about performances (because) it’s about results.

“We are so, so close in every single game and we have to retain that belief because this cannot go on forever where you can keep being in games and keep getting in winning positions and it goes against you, or come out of games where the shots, the stats, everything is in your favour.

“We have to make sure those moments go in our favour to equal results.

“The way we counter-attacked, we could have had those moments and we didn’t, but we didn’t feel any threat at any point.

“It was a long ball just hooked into our box, we had enough bodies but we have to see those big moments out.”

Wycombe deservedly led after 51 minutes when Sadlier got on the end of Garath McCleary’s superb cross.

But the visitors snatched a draw late on when Garitty’s header from Baylee Dipepa’s cross was adjudged to have crossed the line before goalkeeper Max Stryjek got down to it.

Port Vale manager Andy Crosby said: “I think it’s a good point in the end.

“We came here after winning our last two games and we found it difficult to get territory in the first half because of the conditions.

“Obviously we were playing against the wind and they had us on the back foot and we had to defend our box.

“It was good that we got into half-time at 0-0 and we changed things a little bit.

“We want more end product, obviously, and in the first half the times we got into the final third our final ball let us down a little bit.

“Wycombe play a certain way and they probably deserved to be in front, but we kept going, we found a way, we made positive changes and we got the goal.”

Matt Bloomfield understands fans’ frustration with his Wycombe side but insists they are not “desperate” for results.

Taylor Perry’s brilliant long-range strike earned Shrewsbury a 1-0 win and left Wanderers winless in eight League One games.

Bloomfield said: “I understand there will be criticism from the fans and rightly so because of the results. I’m in a results-based business so I get that but they are going against us at the moment.

“Barring the Morecambe performance (in a 2-0 defeat) when I told you guys how unhappy I was with it, we’ve played some very good stuff.

“Desperate is the wrong word if I’m honest as it sends out the wrong message.

“The lads gave me everything and I can’t question their application. It’s just finding that final touch.

“We cut through Shrewsbury but their one shot on target proved to be more than our five. They didn’t get in our box at all, as their goal came from outside the box from 20 yards.

“We also played most of the game in their half and that’s what is going against us at the moment. We need to be better in the opposition box, we need to find that killer instinct.”

Wycombe had started the stronger and could have taken the lead after 21 minutes, Luke Leahy’s free-kick tipped over the bar, before David Wheeler fired wide.

Instead, five minutes before half-time, Shrewsbury hit the front when Perry picked up the ball from distance and drove it home for his third of the season.

A hamstring injury had kept Perry on the sidelines but he showed no ill-effects on his return, with a scorching finish to secure all three points.

And for manager Matty Taylor, who has had to deal with an injury crisis in recent weeks, the performance showed just why he was so keen to get his midfielder back.

He said: “It was an unbelievable goal by Taylor Perry and we want more of that from him, that’s why it was so important for him to come back into the squad and he’s performed really well.

“He was exceptional as well as the rest of the group.

“I don’t actually remember (goalkeeper) Marko Marosi having to make an outstanding save in the game, but I did see everyone put their body on the line for this team.

“Wycombe may not have as many points as they want but to come here against a bigger team in the league and come away with that result, with the players they put on, it’s fantastic.

“I played with Sam Vokes in the Premier League (from 2014 to 2016 with Burnley), Lyle Taylor was at Nottingham Forest last year, and they’ve got a good squad of players.

“But we defended very well and I’m very happy for the fans that travelled here because it’s a long way for them.”

Wycombe manager Matt Bloomfield expressed his relief after their 2-1 first-round FA Cup win at Bradford.

The Chairboys had been in control of the tie with a two-goal lead at half-time.

But the League Two side came back strongly after the break to make Wycombe battle hard for their win.

Bloomfield said: “We’re really pleased to be through because it was an uncomfortable afternoon, if I’m honest.

“I thought Bradford were fantastic in the work they did and the way they passed the ball. They created some good opportunities and I’ve got to be pleased with the way we defended our box.

“The amount of blocks we got in was fantastic. There’s loads to improve on in terms of our in-possession stuff but the majority of those boys have done five games in the last two weeks.

“I think it possibly showed. We looked a little bit leggy in the last half an hour so fair play to them for digging in and making sure we got the result.”

Killian Phillips, on loan from Crystal Palace, scored Wycombe’s opener before Sam Stubbs headed into his own net to extend the lead.

Bloomfield added: “KP had been due one because his performance levels have been really high recently. He’s been top for us with his energy, the way he gets us moving forward and the amount he puts into the game.”

Jamie Walker pulled one back for Bradford after 64 minutes as the home team piled on the pressure. Wycombe keeper Max Stryjek made saves from Walker, Andy Cook and Tyler Smith.

Bradford caretaker manager Mark Trueman said: “It was difficult because you’re going in at half-time 2-0 down thinking that we’ve not done a lot wrong.

“I felt the way we started the game was positive but obviously goals change games. We knew that we would always create chances and felt like we were always causing them a threat.

“We’re disappointed in the manner we’ve conceded the goals with individual errors. They happen with the threat that Wycombe have got.

“But I think we dominated for long periods in the second half and were a little bit unlucky not to get another goal.

“We knew if we scored quite early then it might give us a chance of forcing a draw at least. I’ve got to praise the players for their performance.

“They felt the second half was one of the better performances they’ve had all season. We’re disappointed but we can take a lot of positives from today.”

Bradford have been without a manager since Mark Hughes was sacked a month ago.

“The players have applied themselves in the right way,” added Trueman. “Yes, they could say they are a little unsettled but the performance levels didn’t really show that.”

Wycombe boss Matt Bloomfield believes the 2-2 draw at Oxford confirmed what a good team he has after a week of three tough matches for the club.

He felt the Chairboys probably deserved more than just two points from their fixtures against Peterborough, Bolton and Oxford.

A dramatic clash between local rivals at the Kassam Stadium featured three second-half penalties.

Luke Leahy converted two for Wycombe after Marcus McGuane unluckily slipped and handled the ball, then when James Beadle brought down Brandon Hanlon.

Oxford, who had taken a 25th-minute lead through Ruben Rodrigues, snatched a point deep into stoppage time as sub Cameron Branagan converted from the spot when Leahy tripped Mark Harris.

Bloomfield was not prepared to criticise Leahy, a summer signing from Shrewsbury, for conceding the late spot kick.

Bloomfield said: “Luke is so disappointed in the dressing room but I’ve said to him to get his head up.

“To take that responsibility and have that calmness and surety – and especially with the second penalty to be able to repeat it again on what was a big occasion for our supporters and ourselves – is tremendous.

“Luke has been an unbelievable signing for us – both as a player and his influence as a leader and as someone who can contribute at both ends of the pitch.

“I’m really pleased that we’ve got him at our football club.”

Bloomfield added: “We wanted to come to Oxford and press and impose ourselves and we did that.

“It changed the balance of the game when Oxford scored and they then had a 10-minute spell where we had to hang on a bit.

“I thought Oxford’s penalty at the end was a bit soft. But it’s not easy for the referee in that situation with so much emotion in the stadium.

“We wanted to be on the front foot and play in attacking areas. I’m so proud of my players.

“We’ve played three top teams this week and we’ve been the better team in the second half in each of them.

“We’ve come away to top sides that have started the season well and we’ve shown that we’re a good team.”

Oxford boss Liam Manning was shown the red card for angry comments when Wycombe were awarded their second spot kick.

Under Football League rules he was not allowed to talk to the media after the match.

U’s assistant head coach Chris Hogg said: “It was a topsy-turvy affair. We’ll take a point at the end of the game and we were really happy with some of the play from the boys.

“And credit to the boys for the energy and attitude in getting back into it.

“But I think in general it’s quite sad now that, at every level we’re having to talk about key decisions rather than the football that was played.

“Both sets of players probably feel aggrieved at the end.”

Hogg felt it was important to have key midfielder Brannagan back in the fold after he had missed two games with illness.

“It’s been great to have Cameron back in the building again – he’s only been back in for a couple of days – and they were important minutes for him today.

“One thing you know about Cam is his enthusiasm and personality is big for the group, and big for the club.

“He’s definitely lifted the place the last 48 hours. I never had any doubt when he stepped up for that penalty – I had full faith in him that he’d score.”

Matt Bloomfield hailed his side’s summer signings after Wycombe hammered struggling Fleetwood 4-1.

All four goals were scored by new-season arrivals as the visitors blew away Lee Johnson’s side at Highbury.

Dale Taylor, on loan from Nottingham Forest, bagged a brace, whilst Freddie Potts and Luke Leahy also got in on the act against the 10-man hosts.

Jack Marriott scored a mere consolation moments before Ben Heneghan’s sending off for chopping down Brandon Hanlan.

“I really hope this is a sign of things to come,” beamed Bloomfield.

“It was a very good performance. I’ve felt like it’s been coming away from home.

“We spoke about how proud we were of the second-half performance at Charlton.

“I feel like this has been building and I’m really proud with how the boys brushed off our defeat in midweek and reacted the way they did.

“I’m really pleased the summer signings are gelling. We freshened that forward line up and we’re really pleased that squad’s coming together.

“I’ve been really conscious to emphasise it’s not all about the new signings and we already had top players already at the club.

“There’s two thank yous I really need to make sure I make. First is for the supporters who have travelled all this way, it’s a long way to come.

“The second thank you is to Rob (Couhig, owner) because he’s put his hand in his pocket for us to come up and stay Thursday night.

“I really feel like having that social time to bond has really helped us. He didn’t have to offer that.”

Johnson was brought in to replace Scott Brown after the ex Celtic midfielder was sacked due to Town’s terrible start to the season.

The Cod Army came into this game off the back of successive victories without conceding.

But after being blown away, Johnson said: “That was a big lesson for us. I’m disappointed if I’m honest with you.

“The risk was a third game in the week. The physical and mental question was whether we could produce again.

“Suddenly we started to have that belief in ourselves, but that was completely powder puff in the first half.

“We made so many poor decisions which were based on that level of fatigue. That’s not an excuse.

“The attitude and belief was the bit that was so disappointing for me. In terms of the body language, that’s been good over the last two games.

“It’s about having that will and skill on a regular basis. It’s a humbling loss for us and we’ve got to go back to the drawing board.

“The players have got to stake a claim again.

“We’ve got a real chance of being successful here. We’ve actually got enough in that dressing room. But what we haven’t got is a strong enough mindset at this moment in time.”

Wycombe manager Matt Bloomfield sang the praises of defender Joe Low after he played the role of local villain to perfection in a tense 2-1 victory over Bristol Rovers at the Memorial Stadium.

The former Bristol City defender put the Chairboys in command after 19 minutes when he headed in ex-Rovers skipper Luke Leahy’s free-kick, only to be booked for goading the home fans who greeted his celebrations with disdain.

Veteran striker Garath McCleary strengthened Wycombe’s grip on the game when he rounded off a swift counter-attack with a clever finish after 74 minutes only for Rovers’ on-loan Chelsea forward Harvey Vale to spark a tense finale with a deft strike 10 minutes later.

The Wanderers goal was under siege for most of the closing stages but 21-year-old Low showed off his defensive capabilities with a series of aerial clearances before his stoppage-time block to divert Tristan Crama’s goal-bound shot wide ensured a victorious return to Bristol.

“Joe said he enjoyed the block more than the goal, but I don’t want to go overboard about him,” Bloomfield.

“He’s done everything we’ve asked of him and we’re really proud to have him as one of us with the way he treats everyone and goes about his work.

“He’s going to be a very good player and we absolutely love him. We’ve got high hopes of Joe but at the time same time he’s got a lot to work on. He’s got to enjoy his football and keep improving.”

Bloomfield also leapt to the defence of the centre-back – whose father Josh started his career at Rovers – following his booking by referee Lee Swabey after scoring.

“When a local boy comes back against the team which is the opposite of the one he used to play for and then he scores, silly boy, and celebrates like that we’ll have to stop it,” Bloomfield added.

“But it’s all part of the emotion of the game and we’ve got to be careful we don’t take too much of that out. He enjoyed his moment, and you can’t hold that against him.

“These boys work extremely hard and sacrifice a lot in their lives and while we don’t encourage provocative behaviour in terms of inciting the crowd, you’ve got to be able to enjoy those moments.”

Rovers manager Joey Barton, who said defeat was “tough to take”, criticised the referee’s performance.

“We don’t get much out of that referee and we never tend to when he comes here and I’d quite happily never see him again,” Barton said.

“I don’t think he’s a fantastic referee for us. We’ve got this new directive to speed play up and he was constantly slowing play down to get himself a breather.

“He needs to get fitter. These are fit boys at this level and if a directive is coming from the EFL to drive more ball-in-play time then unfortunately the referees and assistants are going to have to get down and do a bit of work to keep up with the physicality.

“The little fella in there was gasping for air. He wasn’t the only one, there were a lot of W players doing the same.”

Wycombe manager Matt Bloomfield admitted to being put through the wringer during his side’s 3-2 win over Leyton Orient that gave them their first points of the season at the third attempt.

It was a frantic night at Adams Park as Orient had centre-back Dan Happe sent off in the second half in what was their third straight defeat in League One.

The incidents did not stop after the final whistle either as Orient head coach Richie Wellens and his assistant Paul Terry were both shown red cards for their protests towards the officials.

Bloomfield said: “It’s just a relief to get the first win if I’m honest.

“This job means the world to me, this football club means the world to me and it’s hurt a huge amount, losing the first two games in the manner in which we did.

“It’s really hurt and I’m desperate to do the right thing for this football club, I’m desperate to do a good job here.

“The emotion was up and down, we have to manage that at times and I felt like at times maybe we didn’t and we got a bit caught up in the game, but football is an emotional game.

“I know there are a lot of things trying to take the emotion out of the game at the minute, with all the new rules and everything, but we all love football because at times we love it and at times we hate it.”

Joe Low’s opener for Wycombe was cancelled out before half-time by Ruel Sotiriou, but momentum shifted five minutes after the restart when Happe was sent off for pulling back Dale Taylor when the last defender.

Low headed in Luke Leahy’s cross for his second to restore the Chairboys’ lead and Taylor then added a third for the hosts before Sotiriou’s second brought about a nervy finish.

Orient goalkeeping coach Simon Royce, speaking to the media because Wellens and Terry were barred from doing so, said: “I think with 10 men we were the better side.

“It’s nice to score a couple of goals away from home, but conceding three away from home is not going to win you many games.

“But the lads put in a great shift, the fans were unbelievable and they cheered us right to the end.

On Happe’s red card, Royce added: “He didn’t get close enough [to Taylor] to start with, he’s held his hands up in there, but we don’t say sorry in that changing room, we all stick together.

“He may have pulled his shirt a little bit, I haven’t seen it back.

“Whether it was a red card, I couldn’t see whether there was anyone coming around, but it did change the game a little bit.”

Wycombe manager Matt Bloomfield praised the impact of his substitutes after they helped see off MK Dons in the first round of the Carabao Cup.

Brandon Hanlan struck the opener for the League One Chairboys deep into the second half before setting up the second for Chris Forino after the visitors had to endure an uncomfortable first 45 minutes at Stadium MK.

Bloomfield said: “We had to abandon all good plans because we had a couple of knocks and had to make another couple of changes.

“We’re still maybe slightly behind in our fitness with some of the boys but I was really pleased in terms of how the finishers came on and really impacted the game tonight.

“I thought Brandon was fantastic, and Tjay (De Barr) and Luke (Leahy).

“I thought the finishers came on and really helped us get over the line, which was a good impact to see.”

Wycombe goalkeeper Max Stryjek made good saves to deny Warren O’Hora and Alex Gilbey in the first half, which was shaded by the League Two Dons.

The Chairboys broke through after 73 minutes when Hanlan pounced after Craig MacGillivray pushed out Freddie Potts’ cross before Forino nodded in to make the tie safe with eight minutes remaining.

Dons boss Graham Alexander said: “I thought we certainly played our part in the game and I thought it was about both boxes in the end.

“They were a little bit more clinical than us because we certainly had the opportunities to score.

“I was disappointed to concede at that stage of the game because I thought we were doing reasonably well.

“There was still time for us to get back into the game, but we conceded a second, although even after that we still had opportunities to get one.”

Matt Bloomfield admits his Wycombe players suffered a significant “reality check” after weeks of pre-season work went up in smoke against Exeter.

Two goals in the first five minutes fired Gary Caldwell’s red-hot Grecians to a comfortable 3-0 opening day victory as Jack Aitchison, captain Will Aimson and James Scott all netted at Adams Park.

Bloomfield says that left his players “shell-shocked” and the Chairboys boss urged them to deliver a rapid response when their travel to Lincoln next weekend.

He said: “It’s a reality check – if you look at the way we conceded those goals the lads were shell-shocked.

“It’s a disappointing scenario to find yourself in – there’s a lot of planning that goes over in over the summer and during this week, and then to find yourself 2-0 down.

“I think behind the scenes we’ve seen during pre-season that we have been missing bodies – we’ve had far too many of our top performers not being able to take part.

“The football league has a habit of throwing up these scenarios so unfortunately we were on the wrong end of one of those today. We have to make sure we are up to speed as quickly as possible.”

“We gave the ball away in a dangerous area early on, and unfortunately that ends up in the back of the net.

“There’s been plenty that’s happened at this football club that isn’t in our control, and in those situations where we are we have to make sure we’re better.”

Aitchison was one of 13 debutants across both sides and made the perfect start since joining from Motherwell, scoring after just 24 seconds.

A goalmouth scramble from a corner three minutes later then saw Aimson tuck home to double the lead.

Sam Nombe could have made it three from the spot, after Demetrii Mitchell was felled by Max Stryjek, but the Wycombe keeper saved superbly.

Wycombe rung the changes and had second-half penalty appeals waved away after substitute Josh Scowen was barged over in the box, but failed to muster a single clear-cut chance and Scott’s late goal saw Exeter seal victory.

Grecians boss Caldwell loved his side’s razor-sharp attacking performance and added: “It was an amazing start – I don’t think any of us would have thought we would have scored that early.

“I thought the intent and the aggression we showed in the first 15-20 minutes was incredible.

“We spoke a lot in the last couple of weeks about wanting to have a style of play and to play in a certain way, and we have to be a team that’s aggressive with and without the ball.

“And I thought the way we played in that early period, how we landed on second balls and when we ran forward – we called them so many problems.

“We looked a really dynamic front-foot football team, which is what we want to be. Every time we passed the ball forward today I thought we looked a real threat.”

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