ROTHERHAM lost a crucial clash with one of their League Two rivals but at least showed stomach for the fight ahead.
Second-placed Wycombe went into the game knowing a win would open a handy five-point gap on third-placed Rotherham and they set off with a fierce determination aimed at bagging those three points at all costs.
They edged in front in the first half when Rotherham were definitely second best and it seemed there was only one likely outcome. However, Rotherham came out for the second half with all guns blazing and had the home side hanging on throughout a rousing second half.
"We deserved to get something the way we played in the second half and would have done so but for an absolutely top class save by their keeper from Ryan Taylor," said Rotherham manager Ronnie Moore. "Wycombe had the better of the first half, we dominated the second half. A better end product and we would have been in."
The match-winning moment was a 28th-minute header from veteran winger Gareth Ainsworth, now 37, and this proved the difference and something for the home side to hang on to later on.
Ryan Taylor's header 20 minutes from time was brilliantly touched on to the underneath of the bar by Nikki Bull and in that moment Rotherham probably thought it wasn't to be their day.
As Wycombe defended defiantly Mark Randall, the midfielder who has extended his loan from Arsenal to the end of the season, brushed the Wycombe bar with a searing drive.
Wycombe could have finished Rotherham off on the break late on but Kevin Betsy hit a post. In stoppage time Rotherham's Jason Taylor was given a straight red card for a kick at Ben Strevons.
Wycombe Wanderers: Bull; McCoy, Winfield, Westwood, Sandell (Foster 24); Ainsworth (McClure 82), Lewis, Bloomfield, Betsy; Beavon, Strevons. Unused Substitutes: Arnold, Bennett, Pittman, Montrose, Donnelly.
Rotherham United: Warrington; Tonge, Mullins, Fenton, Green; Marshall, J Taylor, Randall, Law; Le Fondre (Pope 82), R Taylor. Unused Substitutes: Annerson, Newey, Ashworth, Harrison, Ellison, Warne.
Referee: D Phillips (Sussex)
Man of the Match: Nick Fenton.
Welcome to the Yorkshire Post's exciting match-day service, called Match Centre. Here you will find minute-by-minute updates, stats and team formations. Plus reports from every game in England, from the Premier League down to the Blue Square Premier.
Simply select your game from the pull down menu, then click on the 'i' information button on the right of the fixture and it will give you access to everything you need to know about your team.
So if you can't make it to a game, head for the Match Centre and we will give you the best seat in the house. Click the link below.
For the latest team news, score and commentary from your team check out our new Match Centre
For more build-up read Saturday's Yorkshire Post and for reports and analysis read Sports Monday, free inside your Yorkshire Post.