At one stage yesterday, Gareth Ainsworth was peering down the M6 rather than at three points.

As he loitered on the hard shoulder, the Wycombe boss would have willingly swapped a goal for a fresh tyre when the Chairboys coach suffered a puncture during their longest journey of the season.

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Eventually, and 10-hours plus later, Wanderers set about collecting three goals and the win at Carlisle, even if the gaffer was none too impressed with the journey or referee Darren Handley.

The Cumbrians reined in a 3-0 deficit to 3-2 with eight minutes left after Danny Grainger converted from the spot following the slightest of nudges from Wycombe’s Alfie Mawson on Charlie Wyke.

Scorer: Matt McClure

"The referee made it interesting and it was one of the softest penalties I have seen for a while,” said Ainsorth. “It was great for the game but not for my nerves."

Aaron Pierre, Matt McClure and Fred Onyedinma put title-chasing Wycombe firmly in control, but Kyle Dempsey and Grainger hit back for Carlisle, who had substitute Mark Beck sent off for a late lunge on Sido Jombati.

Ainsworth admitted the journey from hell was hardly ideal preparation.

"We had a ten-and-a-half hour journey up to Carlisle with a blow out on the motorway so our preparation didn't go well at all. But the players performed really well and it's a great three points to get us back on track.

Paul Hayes celebrates with Alfie Mawson (R) and Aaron Pierre (C)

"I want to chase this promotion dream we are having because we are good enough. We played really well and we could have been out of sight before half-time.

Striker McClure, missed first-half chances, but was still in the boss’s good books by the end when he scored Wycombe's third with a deft turn and hook past the keeper.

"Matt took his chance really well and it was a great goal," said Ainsworth. "He is a clinical finisher and it's important to show faith with people. He is young and has a lot on his shoulders, but plays well with Hayesey (skipper Paul Hayes)."