Plymouth Argyle boss left with no complaints about defeat
"WE GOT what we deserved." That was the blunt verdict of manager Carl Fletcher after Argyle's 2-1 defeat by AFC Wimbledon at Home Park on Saturday.
The Pilgrims trailed for most of the match after Byron Harrison put Wimbledon into an early lead. It looked like Argyle had rescued a point when striker Rhys Griffiths equalised in the 89th minute with his second goal of the season.
There was a late twist to the tale, though, as Rashid Yussuff scored a second goal for the visitors deep into stoppage time.
Argyle have tried to adopt more of a passing style this season, with some success, but it totally failed them against Wimbledon.
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As they chased an equaliser in the second half, the Pilgrims abandoned any pretence of playing constructive football.
They ended up with three strikers and two wingers, with only Luke Young in the centre of midfield.
And Alex MacDonald, whose preferred position is as a forward, finished the game at right-back.
Their 'route one' approach seemed to have paid off when Griffiths equalised, but Wimbledon were not to be denied only their third league win of the season.
Fletcher said: "We let ourselves down in the first half and in the second half we went more direct because we just weren't at the races with trying to pass it.
"We kept huffing and puffing and eventually got back into the game but then a deflected shot ended up in our net, which is hard to take."
Fletcher did not make his first substitution until the 58th minute when on-loan Aldershot Town striker Guy Madjo was sent on for Onismor Bhasera.
Madjo was paired in attack with Griffiths, while MacDonald and Paris Cowan-Hall provided attacking width for the Pilgrims.
Fletcher said: "We left it for five or 10 minutes at the start of the second to see how we got on. We weren't getting any joy with anything so we changed it and put Guy on."
Winger Joe Lennox and forward Nick Chadwick later came off the bench for Argyle as the manager threw caution to the wind.
Fletcher said: "Towards the end we had Guy, Griff and Chads up there. It was a case of trying to get it forward as quickly as possible and seeing what we could pick up.
"We had a few half chances and, eventually, good work from Guy got the penalty."
Argyle were awarded a hotly-disputed spot kick when Madjo and Wimbledon defender Yado Mambo competed for possession.
Griffiths, in his full Football League debut, took the penalty but it was saved by Brown.
However, the keeper could only push the ball out in front of him and Griffiths followed up to slot in the equaliser.
Griffiths had started the game with Cowan-Hall as his strike partner.
Fletcher said: "Paris and Griff were both in non-League football last season and you could see what it means to them to be where they are now.
"They worked their socks off non-stop. That was a positive point from our side."
Wimbledon were upset about the penalty decision which went against Mambo, and Fletcher had some sympathy with them about that.
He said: "Guy showed good determination to get in there and they were both going at it.
"It's probably one of those that could have gone either way but, thankfully for us, it went our way.
"Griff went and grabbed the ball and although the goalie saved it he popped it in."
Wimbledon hit back in the third minute of stoppage time as Yussuff's shot deflected off left-back Robbie Williams and looped over keeper Jake Cole into the net.
The goal consigned Argyle to their third league defeat at Home Park this season.
Fletcher added: "We were disappointed anyway with the way the whole game was, and the way we performed.
"To be honest, we got what we deserved."