STUART Beavon scored ten minutes from time as Wycombe edged a five goal thriller at Bristol Rovers to hand themselves a relegation lifeline.

The 25-year-old midfielder struck the winner and his second goal of the season as Blues won 3-2 at The Memorial Stadium and won their first game in nine outings to move within five points of League One safety.

Gary Waddock's side were the only team in the bottom half of the table to collect all three points on what could be a crucial Saturday in their battle for survival.

Wanderers chief Gary Waddock handed on-loan Alex Revell a debut up-front with Jon-Paul Pittman only fit enough for a place on the bench.

Right-back Lewis Hunt missed out with a calf injury so John Mousinho slotted into the defence.

It was a cagey opening in the game with the Pirates looking to win their sixth home game on the spin and beat a 10-year club record.

But Wanderers took the lead on 15 minutes when Matt Harrold kept his cool to slot in his fourth penalty of the season.

Blues nearly doubled their lead on 25 minutes when Revell forced a save from Mikkel Andersen before Josh Payne fired a long range shot over.

Rovers levelled the scores five minutes before the break when Chris Lines fired a free-kick into the bottom left hand corner for 1-1.

It was double disaster for Waddock's side just four minutes later when Lines gave the home side a 2-1 half-time lead when he rifle in a shot from outside the box.

But Wanderers have shown some grit in recent weeks and pulled level three minutes after the break after the referee pointed to the penalty spot after Beavon was brought down by Danny Coles.

This time it was Revell's turn to keep his cool and send Arnesen the wrong way for 2-2.

Both sides pressed for a winner but it was Wanderers who would claim the vital three points when Beavon headed in Keates' cross on 80 minutes.

WANDERERS: Shearer, Woodman, Westwood, Hinshelwood, Mousinho, Keates, Beavon (Oliver 90), Payne, Betsy, Harrold, Revell (Pittman 81).

Subs (not used): Arnold, Green, Montrose, Phillips, Harris.

Booked: Harrold (42), Revell (56).

Att: 6.688