Gareth Ainsworth had hoped for a dream homecoming, but it turned into a nightmare as Wycombe were torn apart by Blackburn Rovers, the club he has supported since growing up in the Lancashire town.

The Wanderers boss was looking forward to this game more than any other after guiding the Blues to promotion to the Championship, but it was a day he will want to forget as the Chairboys lost 5-0 at Ewood Park.

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Ainsworth was a season ticket holder at Ewood Park before he was signed on by Rovers after being spotted playing for a local junior team.

He went on to figure regularly in their youth and reserve sides before being released on his 18th birthday, which he described as ‘the worst day of my life’.

This crushing defeat will make him feel almost as bad.

Wycombe were second best in every department and the score line would have been even worse but for a string of fine saves by goalkeeper Ryan Allsop, one of a handful of Wanderers players who can be satisfied with their performance.

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They have now lost their first three games of the season in league and cup, and this hammering at Blackburn will have knocked the confidence of the players who were celebrating promotion just a couple of months ago.

Ironically, Wycombe looked the better side in the opening stages, forcing Rovers onto the back foot with some adventurous attacking play.

They had an effort cleared off the line and another saved by home ‘keeper Thomas Kaminski.

However, after Blackburn were gifted a penalty in the 16th minute – emphatically converted by star striker Adam Armstrong – Ainsworth’s team were under siege for the rest of the game.

A second goal followed just four minutes later, scored by Tyrhys Dolan, a teenager Rovers snapped up when he was let go by neighbours Preston North End, a decision they will surely regret as much as Blackburn did after rejecting the youthful Ainsworth. Dolan tormented Wycombe’s defenders throughout and looks an exciting prospect.

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Things got even worse for Wanderers just before half time when they gave the ball away after winning a corner, and found themselves outnumbered as Rovers broke clear in a lightning counter attack.

Armstrong scored his second goal and Blackburn’s third and it was a shellshocked Wycombe team that trooped off the pitch at the interval.

Any hopes of a second half revival by the visitors were dashed just before the hour mark when they were reduced to ten men.

Wanderers were once again hit on the break and when Darius Charles was outpaced by Armstrong, he hauled the Rovers player back and was shown a red card by referee Peter Bankes.

Ainsworth introduced new signings Ryan Tafazolli and Uche Ikpeazu for their Wycombe debuts, but Derrick Williams increased the home side’s lead and when Armstrong completed his hat trick, the rout was complete.

Blues fans knew their team would take time to adjust to the highest level the club has ever achieved, but time is something you don’t get in this unforgiving league.

Up next for the Chairboys is Swansea City at Adams Park.