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Report: Blues 0-1 Argyle

11 March 2014

Conor Hourihane scored the only goal as Wanderers’ six-match unbeaten run came to an end with defeat to play-off chasing Plymouth Argyle.

Gareth Ainsworth was forced into two changes from Saturday’s victory over Hartlepool United.

Out went the injured Paris Cowan-Hall and suspended Josh Scowen, with Matt McClure and Jesse Kewley-Graham their replacements, the latter making his first appearance of the season.

Reece Styche returned from injury, but Stuart Lewis (hamstring), Matt Spring (groin), Gary Doherty, Charles Dunne and Tommy Fletcher remained sidelined.

Argyle arguably started the better of the sides and saw more of the ball, but neither team looked threatening in a cagey opening 10 minutes.

Max Kretzschmar had the game’s first effort, but his 17th-minute free-kick was blocked by Curtis Nelson and the visitors comfortably cleared.

Nelson had Plymouth’s first half-chance three minutes later, but he headed Luke Young’s free-kick into the ground and the ball flew harmlessly wide.

Great work from Morgan and McClure saw the latter power past his man, but his low cross was hacked away with Matt Bloomfield lurking in a dangerous position. Morgan was becoming increasingly influential and his teasing 24th-minute cross was scrambled away with Kewley-Graham sliding in.

Durrell Berry fired wide from the edge of the area in the 28th minute, but both sides were still struggling to trouble the keepers.

Neat build-up play from Wanderers brought about their first shot on target in the 35th minute as eventually Marvin McCoy’s hanging cross was headed goal wards by McClure, but a back-pedalling Jake Cole comfortably claimed.

Bloomfield and Kewley-Graham saw efforts blocked in quick succession with time in the first half running out, and from the resulting corner, Wood’s set-piece was tipped on to the bar and over by Cole.

Half-time: Wanderers 0-0 Argyle 

Both sides would have been looking for greater attacking intent at the start of the second half, and Argyle were out of the traps quickly, taking the lead three minutes after the restart.

Chairboys failed to deal with a corner and the ball fell to Plymouth skipper Hourihane, who expertly controlled a volley past Ingram from 10 yards.

Blues responded well and McClure drilled a shot narrowly wide of Cole’s right-hand post in the 54th minute after Arnold’s ball forward had been flicked on by Morgan. McClure took a heavy knock in the process and had to be replaced by Steven Craig.

Ingram did brilliantly to parry away Reuben Reid’s powerful drive after the former Wanderers loanee had been allowed to cut in on to his right foot in the 58th minute.

Morgan continued to look the most likely to make something happen for Ainsworth’s men and his low cross was only parried by Cole, but neither Kretzschmar nor Bloomfield could head goal wards.

Bloomfield headed Wood’s cross over as the game reached the hour mark, but the visitors were still looking a threat in the second half and Ingram had to be alert to divert Reid’s goal bound strike away from danger after the striker had broken clear on Wycombe’s left.

Ainsworth shuffled his pack with 15 minutes remaining, bringing on Styche and Jo Kuffour at the expense of Morgan and Nick Arnold.

Blues were becoming increasingly frustrated at their lack of chances and McCoy blazed over the bar from 30 yards with five minutes remaining.

Substitute Tope Obadeyi should have wrapped up the points in the 89th minute after being played though on goal by Reid, but he fired over from inside the area.

It didn’t matter though, as despite late pressure and five minutes of added time, Wanderers were unable to find a way through.

Wanderers: Ingram, McCoy, Wood, Johnson, Stewart, Arnold (Styche 75), Kewley-Graham, Bloomfield (c), Kretzschmar, Morgan (Kuffour 75), McClure (Craig 57).

Subs: Horlock, Pierre, Jeffrey.

Plymouth: Cole, Berry, Parsons, Blanchard, Trotman, Young (Wotton 90), Hourihane (c), Blizzard, Nelson, Alessandra (Obadeyi 85), Reid. 

Subs: Dawson, Thomas, Gurrieri, Boco, Morgan.

Attendance: 3,042 (612 Plymouth)

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