A moment of quality from Jason McCarthy inched Wycombe Wanderers closer to League One survival as they beat struggling Walsall 1-0 at a sunny Adams Park.

McCarthy curled home a glorious free kick from 25 yards on 53 minutes to send Adams Park wild.

Overall, the game had relatively few chances but Wycombe always looked in control of proceedings.

It was a quiet start to proceedings at a sunny Adams Park, with neither side creating anything of note in the early exchanges.

Walsall had the first half chance of the game on 11 minutes when the ball fell to Luke Leahy on the edge of the box but he scuffed his effort wide.

Wycombe had a sniff of a chance a minute later when Jason McCarthy’s excellent free kick found Adebayo Akinfenwa but, unsighted, he glanced his shot over.

The visitors were making life tough for Wycombe. On 20 minutes, they had another opportunity when Ryan Allsop’s punch found Isaiah Osbourne but his acrobatic effort was well held by the Blues keeper.

The Chairboys hit back on 24 minutes when another excellent ball by McCarthy found Akinfenwa but his header went inches wide.

Akinfenwa was beginning to make his presence felt and he saw a fierce strike well parried by Chris Dunn on 27 minutes after bringing down McCarthy’s raking cross with aplomb.

‘The Beast’ continued to give the Saddlers problems and on the half-hour, he saw his header claimed by Dunn, despite seemingly being manhandled by Scott Laird.

The game was certainly devoid of any real chances approaching the break with Walsall looking organised for the most part.

Walsall began the second half at a higher tempo and Leahy squandered a decent chance on 48 minutes when he blazed over from 10 yards after good work by Cameron Norman.

The Blues responded and Akinfenwa saw his cross-shot cleared away on 49 minutes before he had another shout for a penalty after it looked he was being held by Dan Scarr but referee Breakspear gave the free kick to Walsall.

Akinfenwa was now giving the Saddlers constant issues and he won a free kick on 53 minutes which was brilliantly dispatched by McCarthy past Dunn.

The Chairboys were continuing to look dangerous with Alex Samuel beginning to really threaten the Walsall backline.

The goal also forced Walsall boss O’Connor to bring on top scorer Andy Cook with half-hour remaining.

Walsall hadn't really threatened since the goal with the Blues looking very assured in defence.

The Saddlers were starting to build up a head of steam entering the final 10 minutes with substitute Zeli Ismail looking lively.

Despite an unchanged side for the third game in a row, Wanderers continued to press and snap into tackles until the end.

Samuel came close to making it two when he was put through by Akinfenwa in injury-time but Nicky Devlin made a thunderous challenge to deny the Welsh striker.

The final whistle was met with huge relief as the Blues made it to 50 points, four points off the drop zone with two games to go.

WYCOMBE WANDERERS: Allsop, McCarthy, Jombati, El-Abd, Harriman, Gape (sub: Bloomfield, 60), Thompson, Freeman (sub: Tyson, 60), Akinfenwa, Samuel, Kashket (sub: Cowan-Hall, 84). Subs: Ma-Kalambay, Jacobson, Stewart, Bean.

WALSALL: Dunn, Edwards, Devlin, Scarr, Norman (sub: Ismail, 69), Leahy (sub: Blackett-Taylor, 73), Johnson, Osbourne, Gordon, Laird, Oteh (sub: Cook, 61). Subs: Roberts, Dobson, Guthrie, Kinsella.

REFEREE: Charles Breakspear