Writer: Benny & Len
Date:Monday October 1 2012
Life under caretaker boss Gareth Ainsworth started on a low as Wycombe Wanderers were comfortably beaten 3-0 by Dagenham and Redbridge at Victoria Road on Saturday.
Ainsworth will have had no illusions about the task that faces him but might now be wondering whether this really is the right time to take his first permanent job as manager. There will have been some other candidates amongst the 1,618 crowd who were thinking along the same lines as the visitors proved to be no match for the home side. Again set-pieces were the Chairboys downfall as they fell behind to Dwight Gayle's 26th minute tap-in after debutant goalkeeper Jordan Archer had saved Sam Williams' header.
Danny Foster inexplicably handled Billy Bingham's corner to gift the hosts a penalty, which was duly converted by Michael Spillane. Bingham then wrapped things up in the final minute to earn them their first league win of the season. Wycombe meanwhile were left looking like a sorry collection of kids and experienced journeymen / mercenaries. This team appears incapable of winning football matches and there's a very real possibility that the clubs' 125th anniversary season will include an almighty battle to save its prized Football League status.
Ainsworth made three changes to his starting line-up in his first game in charge with goalkeeper Jordan Archer handed his full debut after joining on a seven day loan from Tottenham Hotspur. He replaced goalkeeper Elliot Parish who has returned to parent club Cardiff City following the end of his seven-day loan. Midfielder Josh Scowen also made his full debut after being recalled from his loan with Eastbourne Borough whilst striker Oliver Taylor became the third player to make his full debut.
Ainsworth dropped himself to concentrate on management whilst striker Richard Logan and winger Lee Angol were left out of the 18-man squad altogether. Defenders Adam Thompson and Matt Parsons were both dropped and have since returned to their parent clubs following the end of their one month loans. Defender Anthony Stewart returned to the bench after recovering from a dead leg and was joined by winger Joel Grant who overcame a hamstring strain. Teenage winger Junior Morais made his debut as a second half substitute after being included in the squad for the first time. Midfielder Stuart Lewis was able to continue after a stomach injury.
The defeat leaves the Blues second bottom of League Two, three points behind a trio of sides and just two points ahead of bottom side Barnet. Midweek opponents Plymouth Argyle faced a similar struggle last season and just managed to pull themselves clear. They currently sit in 16th place in the table having drawn 1-1 at home to Southend United at the weekend. They have won one, drawn two and lost one of their four away games so far this season.
Incredibly the Chairboys haven't hosted the Pilgrims at Adams Park for almost exactly nine years. Ironically it was John Gorman's first game in caretaker charge following the sacking of manager Lawrie Sanchez. The game ended in a rather uninspiring goal-less draw. It was the last of a half-a-dozen meetings between the two sides in Buckinghamshire with the Blues having won three, drawn two and lost just once.
That defeat came in April 1995 when Argyle ended the Wanderers play-off hopes with a 2-1 victory at Adams Park. It would prove to be Martin O'Neill's last home game in charge of the club as he left to take over Norwich City in the summer. Despite taking the three points Plymouth were relegated to the basement division with AFC Bournemouth pulling off a great escape.
Goals from Steve Brown and Miguel De Souza sealed a 2-1 victory in November 1996 and the Chairboys handed out a 5-1 drubbing to the visitors in March 1998 with a brace from Mark Stallard and goals from Keith Ryan, Dave Carroll and Keith Scott. An F.A. Cup second round tie in December 1998 ended in a 1-1 draw when Paul McCarthy's own goal cancelled out Andy Baird's first half header. There was also a 2-1 victory in September 2002 courtesy of a brace from Darren Currie.
Gareth Ainsworth was again unable to call upon midfielder Matt Bloomfield. His groin injury has now kept him out for five weeks and he remains very doubtful. Given that Archer's loan expires after Tuesday evenings game, one presumes that goalkeeper Nikki Bull may be fit to face Torquay United at the weekend after resting a pulled thigh muscle. Goalkeeper Matt Ingram is recovering from knee cartilage surgery and will miss the next fortnight.
Midfielder Sam Wood and striker Dennis Oli are both about two-to-three weeks away following knee and ankle ligament damage respectively. Full-back Marvin McCoy continues his rehabilitation after fracturing his left fibula and damaging ankle ligaments and will be hoping to return by the end of November. Full-back Grant Basey has had surgery after damaging his anterior cruciate ligaments and will miss the rest of the season. The starting eleven against the Pilgrims may look something like this...
Danny Foster - Leon Johnson - Gary Doherty - Charles Dunne
Stuart Lewis - Josh Scowen - Matt Spring
Joel Grant - Jo Kuffour - Dean Morgan
Subs: Lee Harrison, Anthony Stewart, Dave Winfield, Jesse Kewley-Graham, Junior Morais, Matt McClure, Oliver Taylor
Plymouth Argyle have enjoyed a steady if unspectacular start under manager Carl Fletcher. He was boosted by the return of left winger Onismor Bhasera and striker Nick Chadwick at the weekend after the duo both recovered from injury. The former earned a recall to the starting line-up but the latter had to settle for a place on the bench. Midfielder Ross Jenkins, currently on loan from Watford, lives in High Wycombe and will be hoping to be involved after missing the draw with Southend after picking up a knock.
Two players could be available to face the Blues in midweek with goalkeeper Rene Gilmartin back in training after a knee injury and striker Rhys Griffiths close to making a full recovery from a calf injury. Two players remain in the treatment room with midfielder Paul Wotton sidelined by a groin problem and left-back Jamie Lowry recovering from torn ankle ligaments. Plymouth are likely to line-up as follows:
Durrell Berry - Darren Purse - Maxine Blanchard - Robbie Williams
Alex MacDonald - Luke Young - Conor Hourihane - Onismor Bhasera
Guy Madjo - Warren Fenney
Subs: Ollie Chenoweth, Curtis Nelson, Andres Gurrieri, Ross Jenkins, Matt Lecointe, Nick Chadwick, Paris Cowan-Hall
The league table currently shows Wycombe in 23rd place with 4 points from 8 games and Plymouth in 16th spot with 10 points from 9 games.
Plymouth's Away Record (All comps).....Won 1 - Drawn 2 - Lost 2
Wycombe's Home Record (All comps)....Won 0 - Drawn 1 - Lost 2
Last Five league Games
Plymouth........DLDWD - 6 points (Rank-16)
Wycombe..........DLLLL - 1 point (Rank-21)
Plymouth's last five results (All Competitions)
Lg2: Torquay (A)..............Drew 0-0
Lg2: Port Vale (H)...............Lost 1-3
Lg2: Bristol Rovers (H)......Drew 1-1
Lg2: Morecambe (A)...........Won 3-2
Lg2: Southend (H).............Drew 1-1
Wycombe's last five results (All Competitions)
Lg2: Cheltenham (H)...........Drew 1-1
Lg2: Chesterfield (A)............Lost 1-3
Lg2: Exeter (A)....................Lost 2-3
Lg2: AFC Wimbledon (H).......Lost 0-1
Lg2: Dag & Red (A)..............Lost 0-3
Plymouth Goal Stats (11 games in all Competitions)
Goals Scored (Total)..........Lg: 10...Cups: 4...Total: 14
Goals Conceded (Total)......Lg: 13...Cups: 1...Total: 14
Goals Scored (Away).........Lg: 4.....Cups: 1...Total: 5
Goals Conceded (Away).....Lg: 4.....Cups: 1...Total: 5
Clean Sheets.....................Lg: 2.....Cups: 1...Total: 3
Wycombe Goal Stats (9 games in all Competitions)
Goals Scored (Total)..........Lg: 7.....Cups: 0...Total: 7
Goals Conceded (Total)......Lg: 14...Cups: 1...Total: 15
Goals Scored (Home).........Lg: 1.....Cups: 0...Total: 1
Goals Conceded (Home).....Lg: 3.....Cups: 0...Total: 3
Clean Sheets.....................Lg: 0.....Cups: 0...Total: 0
Plymouth's Goal Scorers - (All Competitions)
Wycombe's Goal Scorers - (All Competitions)
Plymouth Shooting (Top-3) - League Only
Conor Hourihane...6 on-target...13 off-target...0 against woodwork
Alex MacDonald.....6 on-target....5 off-target...0 against woodwork
Onismor Bhasera...5 on-target....6 off-target...0 against woodwork
Wycombe Shooting (Top-3) - League Only
Joel Grant.............2 on-target...6 off-target...0 against woodwork
Gareth Ainsworth...2 on-target...4 off-target...0 against woodwork
Matt Spring...........2 on-target...4 off-target...0 against woodwork
Shooting (Club) - League only
Plymouth.....51 on target...47 off target...3 against w'work (Rank-12)
Wycombe.....20 on target...25 off target...0 against w'work (Rank-24)
In 14 previous meetings there have been 6 wins for Plymouth, 3 for Wycombe and 5 draws.
At Adams Park the tally is 3 wins for the Blues, 1 for the Pilgrims and 2 draws.
1994/95 Lg1: Wycombe 1 Plymouth 2
1996/97 Lg1: Wycombe 2 Plymouth 1
1997/98 Lg1: Wycombe 5 Plymouth 1
1998/99 FAC: Wycombe 1 Plymouth 1
2002/03 Lg1: Wycombe 2 Plymouth 1
2003/04 Lg1: Wycombe 0 Plymouth 0
The Man In The Middle
Tuesday's referee is Gavin Ward from Surrey who was promoted to the National List of Referees in 2007. His most recent Wycombe game was a 3-1 win at Leyton Orient in August 2011. During the current campaign he's issued 2 red and 24 yellow cards in 8 appearances.
Benny: Wycombe 0 Plymouth 0
Len: Wycombe 1 Plymouth 1
Date:Monday October 1 2012
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