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League Two

Emotional Ainsworth hangs up his boots

28 April 2013

Wycombe player-manager Gareth Ainsworth admitted he was fighting back the tears at the final whistle against Port Vale.

The winger brought the curtain down on his career with a 600th and final appearance in the 1-1 draw.

The 39-year-old was off the bench by the time Lee Hughes cancelled out Dean Morgan's opener to rubber-stamp Vale's promotion. Ainsworth is already plotting next season's assault after taking the decision to hang up his boots.

He said: "I'm two weeks off 40 years old, I'm retiring, and I've got people like 17-year-old Kortney Hause. He who is an outstanding prospect at this place he is an absolute gem to work with and I think he'll go onto big things.

"And that's one of the reasons that I want to do it, I want to stop because I want to give these lads all I can and I'd love all of them to go on and play many more than 600.

"They did give me a standing ovation in the dressing room and I got a little bit choked up but it's brilliant, it's great to end it."

Vale should have taken the lead early on when Chris Shuker's free-kick fell to Ashley Vincent but he skied the ball over from just six yards.

Wycombe made the breakthrough on the half hour when Vale keeper Chris Neal was called up for holding Morgan in the box and he stepped up to slot home the spot-kick.

Kortney Hause headed over in the second half for Wycombe before Hughes leveled with 11 minutes to go, sealing a fourth straight draw for Vale, who finish the season in third.

Vale boss Micky Adams said: "I'm delighted for everyone connected with the football club that we've had a fantastic season. I can't pay the players high enough praise they've been absolutely terrific."

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