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Wycombe Wanderers 2
Plymouth Argyle 1
Thursday 14th May 2015
Football League Two - Play-off Semi-Final 2nd Leg
There were joyous scenes at Adams Park on the evening of Thursday 14th May 2015 as Wanderers reached the 'League Two' play-off final at Wembley following a 2-1 victory over Plymouth Argyle - giving Gareth Ainsworth's side a 5-3 aggregate win over the West Country side.
There was tension all around prior to kick-off but Paul Hayes' close range goal after just 8 minutes set the ball rolling on a night where Alex Lynch continued in goal for the injured Matt Ingram, while Hogan Ephraim replaced Steven Craig, injured from the 1st Leg. Wycombe restored their three goal aggregate lead in the 35th minute when Joe Jacobson swung in a corner from the right for Alfie Mawson to boss in and head home despite being surrounded by three Argyle defenders.
Plymouth boss John Sheridan made three changes at the break but Wycombe proved to be a tough side to break down. The crossbar came to Wycombe's help just before the hour mark when a dipping effort from the left eluded Lynch. But the young 'keeper was called into his first serious action of the tie on 69 minutes when he gathered a shot from Bobby Reid. But Argyle did pull a goal back two minutes later when Jason Ansah was adjudged to be onside down the right channel and his low cutback was turned into the net by Ryan Brunt's back-heel. The 2,300 strong Green Army went crazy, while the home fans hoped there wouldn't be a repeat of the late drama the previous week at Home Park.
Lynch pulled off the save of the night on 75 minutes when he blocked an Ansah effort at his left-hand near post. Hayes came close to sealing the tie on 80 minutes when he directed a shot from the right of the box just wide of the opposite upright of the Valley End but by now the home fans were sensing that Wembley was on the horizon. Lynch tipped over an awkward bouncing shot in the the second of six added minutes in what was another crucial save as Wycombe ran the clock down. The final whistle signalled relief and celebrations amongst the home following. Wanderers will now go to Wembley on Saturday 23rd May to face Southend United for the right to play in League One for season 2015/16.
Full-time - Wycombe 2 Plymouth 1
Post match reaction:
Commenting to the press the game, Gareth Ainsworth said, "You don't get lucky in these two games, you earn what you get and after two tough legs I want to pay tribute to my players because I felt they handled the situation extremely well. I thought the mental side was the most important thing today after what happened down at Home Park, with Plymouth ending in the ascendency. I had to get the mental side right before the game because the physical side is there due to it being May. We did something a little bit different – I’m not going into it, so don’t ask – so it was really important we got that right and the first goal was crucial. I had players out there today who were far from being fully fit but that is what I have here; I have characters and players who want to play not just in the big games but at the likes of Accrington or Morecambe away. They would play through anything for me and as a manager that is special." He added: "We played really well in the first half, it was a complete performance which got us a lead that was a mountain to climb for Plymouth in the second half. But again the scare came - they scored and worked a good goal, but I thought we defended really well."
Video Links - Match highlights and Interviews:
Sky Sports - Garerth Ainsworth Interview
YouTube - Official Highlights
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