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Club News

Report: Plymouth 2-3 Wycombe

9 May 2015

Blues take a slender advantage into the second leg after Plymouth fought back from a stunning attacking display from the visitors.

Paul Hayes nudged Wycombe into an early lead before Aaron Holloway doubled the lead from a crisp finish from just outside the box, and Steven Craig made it three with a smartly-taken strike after the interval.

However, Argyle's substitutions helped turn the game in their favour and Zak Ansah fired home from distance before Jason Banton found the net late on to make it 3-2.

The big talking point before the game was whether Matt Ingram would recover from injury in time to take his place between the sticks for the Wanderers, but the teamsheets revealed the name of Alex Lynch in goal for the 20-year-old’s first ever professional start. Meanwhile, Sam Saunders came back into the side in place of Peter Murphy, making two changes to the side that won 3-2 on the final day of the regular season.

Plymouth’s 3-5-2 formation enabled them to use the flanks effectively as they looked to test the young keeper early on, but the opening goal came at the other end via the trusted source of Paul Hayes, who netted a virtual carbon copy of his strike in the same net in September.

Joe Jacobson’s corner was headed goalwards by Alfie Mawson and although Luke McCormick made the save, Hayes was on hand to tuck home the rebound from close range to send the visiting fans wild.

And they were in dreamland midway through the half when Aaron Holloway lashed home the second from the edge of the box after Steven Craig chested the ball down into his path from Jacobson’s free-kick, although Argyle appealed in vain for a handball.

Argyle came back strongly and only a fine Sam Wood tackle inside the box denied Kelvin Mellor a shooting opportunity, but generally the visiting defence held firm to frustrate the home crowd who took their displeasure out on the referee at the interval.

Blues were forced into a change when Paul Hayes came off for Matt Bloomfield, having earlier suffered a head injury, but the visitors continued to impress and saw Sam Wood shoot wide from 20 yards at the end of a fine move.

Then came the third goal courtesy of Steven Craig, who was the only man alert to Sam Saunders’ quickly taken free-kick and tuck the ball home past McCormick for his third of the season.

A fourth goal almost came about in bizarre circumstances when Joe Jacobson’s corner beat everyone, bounced in the six-yard box and just evaded any contact before flying to safety.

The nature of Wanderers’ lead enabled them to knock the ball around with confidence, looking the more likely to stretch the lead as Bloomfield and Holloway had shots off target after fine flowing moves.

But it was Plymouth who gave themselves a lifeline with a superb hit from substitute Zak Ansah, who collected the ball 25 yards out and unleashed an unstoppable drive into the net, lifting the mood significantly around a previously subdued Home Park.

And the roars got louder as the clock ticked towards 90 when Jason Banton cut onto his right foot and smashed home from 15 yards, giving the unsighted Lynch no chance to make it 3-2 and ensure Argyle were well and truly back in the tie.

Six minutes of stoppage time came and went with no further drama, setting up an unmissable second leg at Adams Park on Thursday night.

Wycombe: Lynch, Bean, Jacobson, Mawson, Pierre, Saunders, Yennaris, Wood, Craig (Onyedinma 71), Holloway (Murphy 76), Hayes (Bloomfield 45).

Unused subs: Horlock, Fletcher, Kretzschmar, Ephraim.

Plymouth: McCormick, Mellor, Nelson, McHugh (Ansah 54), Hartley, Holmes-Dennis, B Reid, O’Connor, Jones (Banton 54), R Reid (Brunt 61), Alessandra.

Unused subs: Bittner, Purrington, Blizzard, Harvey.

Referee: Mr P Bankes

Attendance: 14,175 (813 from Wycombe)

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