Wycombe Wanderers 1-1 Plymouth Argyle
Wycombe failed to make further ground on the play-off positions as Plymouth Argyle bounced back to draw 1-1 at Adams Park this evening.
After an encouraging first half punctuated by an excellent Myles Weston goal, a retreated second half performance was a disappointment and Argyle deserved their point that came courtesy of substitute Nathan Blissett’s looping header.
Gareth Ainsworth made two changes tonight with Dominic Gape restored to defensive midfield alongside Marcus Bean, and Myles Weston replacing Paris Cowan-Hall who dropped to the bench. The defensive midfield pairing allowed Luke O’Nien to play at the front of the midfield trio and for the first half it worked a treat as Wycombe played their best football for some time.
It was the Beast who nearly opened the scoring after just eight minutes but his clever and instinctive turn and shot from distance dipped just wide at the last moment with goalkeeper Luke McCormick stranded.
O’Nien was next to have an effort on goal after Weston had kept the ball alive but McCormick this time got down to save his effort. Harriman also saw a shot pouched low down before firing a rebound chance over as the chances continued to come.
The early dominance was deservedly rewarded after 18 minutes thanks to Weston. Harriman’s cross was just too deep for Akinfenwa but landed perfectly for Weston who drilled an excellent first time snapshot volley past McCormick at his near post.
After the goal, the goalmouth action dried up briefly and was replaced by some competitive midfield play, Gape always at the centre of things as Argyle struggled to find their fluency. Marcus Bean was also centrally involved in the breaking up of play but the midfielder’s distribution and quality of play was not in the same class as his midfield partner tonight.
The visitors almost equalised after 34 minutes when Muller’s lunge failed to intercept a Graham Carey pass and Jimmy Spencer saw his shot produce an excellent reaction save by Blackman, with the loose ball turned towards goal by Jake Jervis but deflected wide by Jacobson.
Some delightful close control and skill by Akinfenwa almost sent Southwell racing clear at the other end but it wasn’t quite falling for the ex-Boston United striker again tonight. Antonio Sarcevic was yellow carded for a late challenge and Akinfenwa kneed another half chance wide from a Weston cross as the half ended with Wycombe deservedly ahead.
The second half started with Plymouth pushing Wycombe deeper, and the trend continued. Jervis saw a first time effort saved comfortably low by Blackman and two Carey corners were cleared by Akinfenwa.
After 54 minutes Wycombe had a golden chance to give themselves a two goal cushion but Weston’s excellent cross was only headed straight at McCormick by an unmarked Gape stealing in late at the far post.
Cowan-Hall replaced the tireless Southwell immediately after, it had been a real shift by the striker but again there was no end product or quality to match the endeavour.
O’Nien was deservedly booked for halting an Argyle move down Wycombe’s right and Carey’s resulting free kick was devilish but missed everyone as it flashed across the face of goal. Carey was really starting to pull the strings and it was no surprise that it was his corner that led to the equaliser. A reaction shot had just been saved by Blackman from the previous move but huge striker Blissett, who had only just come on as a substitute for Sarcevic, looped a header across goal and in for the equaliser.
Plymouth had looked threatening from set pieces and their goal which came from one such delivery gave them a real boost, the increasingly involved Carey firing a shot just wide.
With 15 minutes Ainsworth reacted to Wycombe’s set piece issues by replacing Muller with Will De Havilland, a decision that was justified as the substitute won every challenge after coming on.
De Havilland was in fact almost the unlikely hero on 77 minutes from Cowan-Hall’s cross but the defender’s back-heeled effort was saved well by McCormick low down. It turned out to be Wycombe’s final attempt on goal in the match.
Cowan-Hall and Threlkeld traded yellow cards as the game became stretched and scrappier but Wycombe were struggling to create or indeed even fashion a passing move as players appeared to tire. Weston was replaced by Sam Saunders on 86 minutes but it was too late to make a difference.
A point apiece probably suits Plymouth better than Wycombe but 1-1 was a fair result in the end.
Ratings: Blackman (7), Harriman (7), Muller (6) (De Havilland 74′, 6), Pierre (7), Jacobson (6), Gape (7), Bean (5), O’Nien (7), Southwell (6) (Cowan-Hall 54′, 5), Akinfenwa (7*), Weston (7) (Saunders 86′, N/A)
It’s a point apiece for Wycombe and Plymouth
Wycombe Wanderers 1-1 Plymouth Argyle