Argyle end 2012 with home defeat by Wycombe
PLYMOUTH ARGYLE 0 WYCOMBE WANDERERS 1
ARGYLE could not turn an abundance of possession into any goals as they lost to Wycombe Wanderers at Home Park today, writes Chris Errington.
It was their first League Two defeat in five games and sends the Pilgrims into 2013 with the threat of relegation hanging over them again.
Wycombe striker Matt McClure grabbed the decisive goal in the 11th minute with a cool finish.
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Argyle could not emulate that as the quality of their crossing and shooting repeatedly let them down.
It was a depressing way for the final fixture of 2012 to end for the Pilgrims, and there were loud boos from the home fans in a 6,983 attendance at the final whistle.
Argyle's starting line-up was the same as for their 1-1 draw against Torquay United at Home Park on Boxing Day.
There was one change among the substitutes, though, with Mark Molesley preferred to Jamie Lowry.
The on-loan Bournemouth midfielder had sat out the previous two matches because of a hamstring injury.
Wycombe welcomed back McClure and midfielder Matt Spring from suspensions.
There was a lot of early pressure from Argyle, with Paris Cowan-Hall firing over the crossbar and striker Nick Chadwick shooting against the base of a post.
Yet it was Wycombe who took the lead, totally against the run of play, in the 11th minute.
Skipper Stuart Lewis passed the ball to McClure and he beat Argyle 'keeper Rene Gilmartin with a shot into the bottom left corner of the net.
The Pilgrims lost some of their momentum after that goal but still had the better of the play.
Cowan-Hall cut across the top of Wanderers' penalty area before firing wide of the far post in the 21st minute.
Midfielder Conor Hourihane later had a goalbound shot inadvertently blocked by his team-mate Tyler Harvey after a left-wing cross from Onismor Bhasera.
Left-back Robbie Williams twice fired past the outside of the right post from long range as it remained 1-0 to Wycombe until the interval.
McClure's clinical finish for his seventh goal of the season only highlighted Argyle's inability to make the most of all of their possession and chances.
There was an early scare for the Pilgrims at the start of the second half when Spring's inswinging corner hit the outside of the near post.
Moments later, at the other end of the pitch, Cowan-Hall's cross-shot bounced off the top of the bar.
Chadwick then headed well wide from a Cowan-Hall cross in the 55th minute.
Soon afterwards, striker Warren Feeney was sent on as a substitute for Harvey, a switch which was greeted with boos from many supporters.
Argyle remained on top, with Wycombe rarely breaking forward, but still the hosts could not create chances.
There was a double substitution from the Pilgrims in the 70th minute as Molesley and Rhys Griffiths replaced Bhasera and Chadwick.
Wycombe were content to defend in depth and did so without too many alarms as Argyle ran out of ideas.
Six minutes of stoppage time were played by referee Brendan Malone but the Pilgrims could not draw level.
ARGYLE: Rene Gilmartin; Curtis Nelson, Darren Purse, Maxime Blanchard, Robbie Williams; Paris Cowan-Hall, Luke Young, Conor Hourihane, Onismor Bhasera (Mark Molesley 70 mins); Nick Chadwick (Rhys Griffiths 70 mins), Tyler Harvey (Warren Feeney 56 mins).
Substitutes (not used): Jake Cole (gk), Durrell Berry, Joe Lennox, Andres Gurrieri.
WYCOMBE: Jordan Archer; Marvin McCoy, Anthony Stewart, Kortney Hause, Sam Wood; Gareth Ainsworth (Junior Morias 86 mins), Stuart Lewis, Matt Spring, Bruno Andrade; Jo Kuffour, Matt McClure (Ade Azeez 71 mins).
Substitutes (not used): Dennis Oli, Lee Harrison (gk), Lee Angol, Georges Ehui.
REFEREE: Brendan Malone (Wiltshire)
ATTENDANCE: 6,983 (203 away)
GOALS – Argyle: None; Wycombe: McClure 11 mins