Wycombe boss Gareth Ainsworth spoke of his immense pride with his players as they came so close to beating the mighty Sunderland before a heartbreaking late equaliser meant the Blues had to settle for a 1-1 draw.

Alex Samuel gave the Chairboys the lead in the 34th minute before Duncan Watmore equalised deep into stoppage time to break Wanderers hearts.

In truth, Wycombe were the better side for long spells of the match and Ainsworth reflected on his side's superb display at Adams Park.

He said: "It is hard to look through the result and look at what happened at the end of the game as I really did think we were the better side.

"It is harsh. It is a mistake for their goal and it happens and I have immense pride for the boys.

"We have some awesome players and hearts that beat like lions and they were magnificent from the first whistle to the last.

"It is unfortunate. It feels like a loss but a point against Sunderland, both home and away, is a real message that Wycombe are here to compete.

"We are hear to give it everything and I am really proud of the boys."

Club captain Matt Bloomfield, on his 500th appearance for the Blues, put in a tremendous performance and Ainsworth was quick to praise his impact, as well as goalscorer Samuel.

He added: "Lee Cattermole is a phenomenal player but you couldn't have split him and Matt.

"Blooms has really done his 500th game absolute justice. What a guy and what a player and what a great leader he was out there.

"It is unfortunate we couldn't hold on for him.

"Alex has gone from strength to strength and I think he is going to be worth a lot of money the way he plays.

"He is becoming a real asset for us and what a guy he is. He is a great lad and deserved to be on the winning side."

At the end of the game, a melee was sparked in the dugouts which resulted in Sunderland skipper George Honeyman and Wycombe forward Nathan Tyson both being sent off.

Ainsworth explained he didn't really know what happened to cause the fracas.

He said: "It seems to have erupted. I think the injury time went up. What I recall is a ball went over and one of the Sunderland staff tried to get the ball back in play quickly and I didn't see too much more than that.

"I was concerned with stopping my players getting involved but I am hoping it isn't anything more than a passionate response by both benches."