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Report: Plymouth Argyle 0-3 Wycombe Wanderers

The Chairboys take the wind out of the Pilgrims' sails.

23 November 2021

Wycombe turned on the gas in the second half as a goal from Sam Vokes and a brace from youngster Anis Mehmeti sealed three sought after points at Home Park.

Just two points separated the two sides going into the fixture and Gareth Ainsworth made only one change to the side that beat Bolton Wanderers at the weekend, with Joe Jacobson coming back into the side to replace Sullay Kaikai.

A red-quartered Wycombe kicked off the match, but it was Plymouth with the first sniff of goal, as Danny Mayor was given a little too much time on the ball and was able to drive a shot towards David Stockdale inside the 18-yard-box. Luckily for the Chairboys, Ryan Hardie got in the way of his teammate's shot, with Jason McCarthy able to clear to safety.

Anis Mehmeti was next to get an opportunity up the other end in the 6th minute; The young Chairboy managing to turn out of trouble, create space for himself to drive into the box and take on two more players, before driving a shot low and hard towards Michael Cooper in the Plymouth goal. Cooper was wise to the threat, however, and scooped up the ball with relative ease.

It was Wycombe with the ball in the net first, as Sam Vokes deftly flicked the ball over the defence and into the path of Brandon Hanlan, who slotted home - the linesman’s flag eventually denying the Chairboys the opening goal.

This chance seemed to galvanise the Chairboys, and they battered the Plymouth goalmouth with some bright play. Jacobson came closest to joy as he forced Cooper to punch away from an inswinging cross-shot in the 13th minute.

The Pilgrims were awarded a potential opportunity in the 16th minute, as David Wheeler pulled down his man on the counter attack. Plymouth’s looped free kick delivery was nodded on, but Stockdale made his first save of the game, gathering the lacklustre header into his gloves.

Stockdale was given a let off in the 23rd minute, as Ryan Hardie managed to wriggle past Jason McCarthy, unleashing a low shot across the goal. Sighs of relief rippled through the travelling Wycombe faithful as the ball zipped straight out of play for a goal kick. 

The Chairboys responded with a chance of their own. Some individual brilliance from Mehmeti in a tight corner on the right-hand side saw him deliver a good cross to the edge of the area. Curtis Thompson, who found his goalscoring boots earlier in the season, slashed at the ball, sending it high into the air. David Wheeler tried to take advantage of the situation, rifling a half-volley just off target. 

Vokes nearly put the Chairboys up just after the half an hour mark, as a long Jacobson ball was allowed to bounce too many times by the Argyle back line, with the Welshman pouncing on the opportunity to outmuscle his man and get away a shot - tipped away by Cooper.

There was a long break in play as Brendan Galloway received treatment for the Pilgrims after falling awkwardly - the number 22 eventually having to be stretchered off for the hosts.

The closing minutes of the half were all about Wycombe, as Plymouth made block after block to deny Mehmeti, Wheeler and Vokes in quick succession. A battling half from the Chairboys, but no advantage for either side at the break.

Half time: Plymouth Argyle 0-0 Wycombe Wanderers

After a slow start to the second half due to a head knock for Hanlan, it was Plymouth with the first sight of goal. A nifty through ball playing in substitute Macaulay Gillesphey, whose dribbled shot drew shouts of frustration from his own fans behind Stockdale’s goal.

Wycombe fans were on their feet in the 63rd minute as Hanlan outpaced his man down the right hand side, before Panutche Camara recovered. Camara’s pass back to Cooper was chased down by Mehmeti, who blocked the clearance - the ball flew high into the air, dropping inches from the goalline before nestling on the top of the Argyle net.

It was the Chairboys that broke the deadlock in the 62nd minute. McCarthy did exceptionally well to win back the ball from the hosts before a neat one-two saw Mehmeti feed in Vokes. The number nine dispatched a blistering shot on the half turn, catching Cooper off guard and finding the back of the net.

Plymouth Argyle 0-1 Wycombe Wanderers

The goal spurred the hosts into action, and despite some good attacking play from the Chairboys, it was the Pilgrims who enjoyed the better possession and chances. 

Gareth Ainsworth looked to sure up the centre of the park, and Olly Pendlebury was the manager’s first substitution of the night in the 72nd minute, replacing a struggling Thompson.

Plymouth continued to create chances, and it was Conor Grant who went eye wateringly close for the hosts before Wycombe could regain their foothold on possession.

Another change in the 77th minute saw captain Joe Jacobson replaced by Garath McCleary, giving the Chairboys some fresh attacking legs.

Play was paused as McCarthy took a knock to the head and received treatment before, thankfully, he was able to continue.

Wycombe were quick off the blocks, catching Argyle napping, after a long ball forward to Hanlan was masterfully brought down and played through to Mehmeti. The Albanian international made no mistake in driving into the box and sending the ball across Cooper and into the back of the net.

Plymouth Argyle 0-2 Wycombe Wanderers

Mehmeti made it three on the 90th. Vokes headed down a Stockdale free kick to McCleary, who fed in the young Chairboy. Some characteristic quick feet saw Mehmeti grab a few inches away from his man to slam a shot into the bottom right corner.

Plymouth Argyle 0-3 Wycombe Wanderers

A final substitution saw Adebayo Akinfenwa take the place of Vokes, as Wycombe looked to see out the game.

Stewart gifted the Pilgrims a last ditch opportunity in stoppage time, and received a yellow for his trouble, as the hosts were awarded a dangerous free kick. They couldn’t capitalise on the opportunity, and with the wind well and truly out of their sails, it was the Chairboys that continued to push into the dying minutes.

Full time: Plymouth Argyle 0-3 Wycombe Wanderers

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