Wycombe 1 Argyle 0: Match report
YANN Songo’o own-goal condemned Argyle to a narrow 1-0 Sky Bet League One defeat against Wycombe Wanderers at Adams Park.
The solitary decisive goal, which came from a corner on the 24th minute, handed Argyle their first defeat in 2019, ending a five-game unbeaten run in the process.
Argyle manager Derek Adams kept faith in the starting eleven that had won their last four games. In an interesting statistical quirk, the Greens arrived for their fixture at Adams Park outside of the relegation zone for the first time since their home tie against the same opposition, on Tuesday, August 21.
Meanwhile, Wycombe, coming off back-to-back victories, made two changes, with Matt Bloomfield and Adebayo Akinfenwa replacing Scott Kashket and Alex Samuel. The Chairboys’ side also included former Pilgrim Paris Cowan-Hall, while new signing, Luke Bolton, on loan from Manchester City, had to make do with a spot on the bench.
Akinfenwa, who had two goals and three assists in his last five appearances against the Pilgrims, was, unsurprisingly, the focal point of Wycombe’s attacks, and Argyle had to rely on last-ditch stops from Niall Canavan and Letheren to deny the hosts’ big man early on in Buckinghamshire.
Space out wide on a narrow Adams Park pitch was at a premium, and Argyle had to adapt away from the play that has epitomised their good run of late, with direct balls into the channels for top-scorer Freddie Ladapo to chase the main feature of their play in the opening stages.
The Greens grappled to get a foothold in the match against a physical home side, and their first opportunity came from a Graham Carey set-piece, not too dissimilar in location to the first of his brace of assists against Walsall on the previous Tuesday. This time, though, a green shirt failed to get on the end of it.
Wycombe responded a few minutes later, their attack once again direct in nature. Letheren punched the ball clear from a looping ball into the box, and Nick Freeman met the rebound, cracking a left-footed half-volley just wide of the far post.
Moments afterwards, the hosts were in front. A Joe Jacobson in-swinging corner looked destined to find Akinfenwa six yards out. Songo’o, desperate to divert the ball away from the striker, inadvertently turned it past Letheren from close range to hand the hosts the lead.
Wycombe, buoyed by their opener, continued to press, and only a brave block from David Fox denied the hosts a shot at doubling their advantage. A fired-up Foxy earned himself a booking on 36 minutes for illegally halting a Wycombe counter.
As the game became a little more stretched, Cowan-Hall had the opportunity to net against his former club. Fortunately, Letheren made a miraculous one-on-one save to deny the former Pilgrim, despite slipping just before the winger took aim.
Argyle responded when Songo’o, who had endured quite a first-half, won a free-kick 25-yards from goal, centrally placed. Carey lent back a little too much and curled his effort a few feet over Allsop’s bar, which had summed up Argyle’s response since the opener. A lot of effort, but not quite the final moment of quality to bring themselves back into the game.
As half-time arrived, that moment seemed to have appeared, as Lameiras came within a lick of paint of equalising. After good play between Sarcevic and Carey, who was fouled, Lameiras curled a left-footed effort over a rooted Allsop and on to the crossbar. Jacobson was booked for the late challenge on Carey in the build-up, which felt like little consolation for a great move that came agonisingly close.