GARETH Ainsworth said Wycombe Wanderers were the better side against Rochdale for 85 of the 90 minutes before being hit by a late sucker punch.

Bobby Grant’s deflected injury time winner snatched all three points for the visitors but Ainsworth was left to rue a number of missed chances and an inspired goalkeeping display from Dale keeper Josh Lillis.

He frustrated Blues time and again with a string of saves that left Wanderers thinking they might have to settle for just one point until Grant struck at the death.

A despondent Ainsworth said: “Their keeper would have been their best player and that speaks volumes of how far we’ve come. He’s earned [Rochdale manager] John Coleman his money today because he definitely kept us at bay.

“First five minutes probably belonged to them and I think 85 minutes belonged to us, then in the last couple of minutes they had a bit of luck.

“We definitely didn’t deserve to lose – in fact I think we might have edged it on chances and we could have won that one. We worked on attacking play this week and we showed it in bundles today.

“I said to the boys if they play like that for the rest of the season we’ll be nowhere near the bottom two.”

But Ainsworth – who was appointed Wanderers boss on a full-time basis on Thursday – added: “It got a bit basketballish second half – they attacked, we attacked, but we attacked better. The chances were there. The one thing I would say is when we do get our chances, we must take them. That can come and bite you right on the backside and it did today.”