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Wimbledon match report
09 April 2016 18:17 Post ID: #71658
Wimbledon beat the Greens 2-1 to put a huge dent into any hopes of automatic promotion.

On what was billed as Armed Forces Day at Home Park Argyle meekly surrendered and waved the white promotion flag.

So it's League Two football for another season because you cannot see this group of demoralised players getting through the play-offs.

While other teams around us in the league battle back to come from behind and win or at least grab a draw we just collapse and lose.

The team look a totally different set of players who stormed to the top of the league in those halcyon days before Christmas. Remember that feeling after we won game after game playing attacking football? It's all gone now, all we are left with is frustration, annoyance and anger.

We were all dealt a blow before the game when Reuben Reid was ruled out because of injury, just when he looked to be back to his best.
Adams kept two strikers by playing Jervis alongside Matt but he did change the midfield by playing a diamond formation with McHugh at the base, Carey at the tip and Boateng and Houghton operating on the left and right.

We nearly had a great start when in the first minute Jervis layed the ball off to Carey who had time to pick his shot but from 15 yards out he hit the crossbar, the ball bounced down and was cleared. What a costly miss, it was also Jervis' last meaningful contribution to the game.

Sawyer picked up an early injury, Purrington was warming up ready to come on but the left back soldiered on.
It was Sawyer and Forster who provided the width because with the midfield diamond formation there was no players in the wide areas, Sawyer got through a lot of work but usually crossed from deep positions while Forster is not the most attack minded full back.
Wimbledon exploited the space in the wide areas when Sawyer and Forster pushed forward.

That said, we were playing well and just lacked a goal. We forced several corners and Carey had a couple of long range shots and as we have seen in the last few matches we just couldn't find the final killer ball.

After winning four corners in succession and camped in the Wimbledon area we conceded!
From the fourth corner Wimbledon broke away, Reeves placed slide rule pass through our defence and Taylor slotted past McCormick, although most fans thought he was offside and the linesman made a mistake.

Doom and gloom descended on Home Park but after a quick check on FotMob on the phone showed that Portsmouth, Bristol Rovers and Oxford were losing while Accrington were drawing so it wasn't the end of the promotion campaign, how different it would turn out to be at the final whistle.

Hartley got a lecture from the ref after telling the linesman, who had just made another offside mistake, to "switch on and do your f***king job", which received several cheers from the fans.

Adams persisted with the midfield diamond formation for the second half despite the lack of width, he also sent his players out five minutes early for the start of the second half.

We looked more up for it and forced Wimbledon onto the back foot and finally got the goal we deserved and what a cracker it was!
A Sawyer cross found Carey at the back of the penalty area and he fired in a low first time shot into the far corner. 1-1 and a contender for goal of the season.

Wylde replaced the anonymous Houghton after several chants from the fans and finally we had some width.
As usual Wylde's crosses with have a success rate of 3 out of five but he did cause problems.
Hartley headed over from a corner when he really should have headed downwards.

Wimbledon's pace and power upfront still caused us problems and McCormick made two good saves to keep us in the game.

Mellor replaced Forster to give the team more attacking width and Wimbledon brought on Akinfenwa.

Boateng was clearing running out of steam and was replaced by Tanner.

Disaster struck in the 88th minute and with it the whole season when Akinfenwa battled with Nelson for a loose ball and out-muscled the Argyle skipper and headed over McCormick. 2-1 to Wimbledon and automatic promotion just about over.
McCormick looked to be too far off his line, the fans didn't believe the players could come back from that and left the stadium in their droves.

Can we recover from this and mount a play-off challenge?

It looked to me that Adams had to get Boateng into the team and keep the two strikers and Houghton in the team, it was a mistake. There was no width and Jervis had a poor game as the second striker.
It would have been a brave manager to drop Houghton but it needed to be done, his best games from what I've seen is in away games, he's not suited playing in a must win game with two other similar midfielders next to him.

That said, we still did enough to win the game but lack of concentration in the closing minutes has cost us dearly over the last two months.

McCormick's standard of play lately is to make good saves followed by a mistake.
Boateng had a good first half but tired badly during the second half.
Forster was good in the tackle often when he and Sawyer had the ball there was no-one to pass to further up the wing.

Matt had another good game but he clearly missed Reid and had to do a lot of work.
Carey had his best game for a while and scored a cracking goal.
McHugh was steady and broke up a lot of play, he does sometimes take too long to spot a pass.

Can we hold onto a play-off place after two cruel defeats?

A look at other results at the final whistle showed our rivals had the fight and desire to claim the crucial points.

Man of the match: Carey.

McCormick 5, Forster 6, Nelson 6, Hartley 6, Sawyer 7, McHugh 6, Boateng 5, Houghton 5, Carey 7, Jervis 4, Matt 7. Subs. Mellor 6, Wylde 6, Tanner n/a.
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