WYCOMBE Wanderers were denied a spot in the League Two play offs despite beating Cambridge United 1 0 at Adams Park.
The Chairboys went into the game knowing they needed to win and other teams losing to get into the play offs, and despite a 65th minute header from Scott Kashket, both Carlisle and Blackpool won, leaving Wycombe in ninth place.
It was a good effort from Wanderers who were clearly the better side in front of a packed Adams Park, but it was a disappointing end to what has been a long and eventful season.
Ainsworth made three changes to the starting line-up, with skipper Matt Bloomfield, Myles Weston and Scott Kashket coming in for Luke O’Nien, Gary Thompson and Paul Hayes respectively.
Wycombe should have gone 1-0 up after just two minutes, when Scott Kashket missed an open goal from six yards out.
He raced onto a weak header back by Cambridge captain Leon Legge, and lofted the ball over the onrushing Will Norris, and with the goal at his mercy he amazingly scuffed his effort wide, with Wycombe’s fans all but celebrating.
Despite the miss, the Chairboys started the game the better and fans’ player of the year Adebayo Akinfenwa was causing the U’s defence all sorts of problems.
Cambridge 'keeper Norris parried away several free kicks and corners, and the Wanderers could not find a way through.
Kashket missed another great chance just after the half hour mark after his weak effort was well saved saved by Norris.
Wycombe were the better of the two sides with Cambridge struggling to create any meaningful chances.
Kashket missed another effort on the stroke of half time with a snapshot from the edge of the box going just inches wide, and the two teams went into half time 0-0.
The second half again started brightly, with Jombati and Saunders both going close.
Wycombe then deservedly went ahead on 65 minutes, with Kashket atoning for his earlier misses.
Jacobson floated in a corner, with Akinfenwa heading the ball back across goal from the far post, and Kashket kept his composure to nod home.
It sparked wild celebrations as the play off dream reignited.
There were several half chances for both sides, with Blackman saving well from McDonagh and Norris saving well from a Sam Saunders curling effort, but as the game petered out the atmosphere flattened as attentions turned to elsewhere.
At one point, Wycombe were outside of the play offs on just goal difference, but Carlisle managed to go ahead against Exeter, with Colchester going two-nil up against Yeovil, guaranteeing their spots in the side.
Cambridge, who also had their own play off dreams, almost grabbed a consolation as Legge’s effort was somehow turned round the post by Harriman, with the resulting corner coming to nothing.
But, it just wasn’t meant to be for Wycombe and as the game and the season drew to a close, Wycombe were left in ninth place, one point off the play offs.
It has been a successful season for the Chairboys, with a 16-game unbeaten run and a trip to Tottenham in the FA Cup the memorable highlights, and the majority of the fans stayed behind after the final whistle to applaud the players on a lap of honour.