League One
Saturday 30th April 2022
Plymouth Argyle FC
Milton Keynes Dons FC
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5
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Full Time - 98
Home Park
MATCH CENTRE DELIVERED BY
Match Details
Steven Schumacher

The stakes couldn’t be higher for Argyle’s final game of the regular Sky Bet League One season, against Milton Keynes Dons on Saturday.

The Greens head into the final weekend knowing if they equal or better Wycombe Wanderers’ result, they will finish in the top six and make the play-offs.

There are a few other permutations and scenarios that could see the Pilgrims successful but winning is the main priority for Steven Schumacher.

Everyone understands what’s at stake, so we just have to go an embrace it,” he said.

“I don’t think you can look into the permutations or outcomes because there are too many.

“If you do, you’ll get distracted by that, it’ll affect your game.”

The visitors also have a lot riding on the result. They still have a chance of not only automatic promotion, but also the title.

They would have to win and hope that both Rotherham United and Wigan Athletic lose, otherwise a third placed finish will be on the cards.

The fixture is the reverse of Steven’s first in charge of the Greens, just a day after he was given the job.

Conor Grant scored a second half equaliser to give the manager a point in his first game in charge.

Since then, both sides have gone on to have terrific seasons and have eyes on plying their trade in the second tier of English football.

Even though the game means so much for both sides, Steven is excited by the opportunity.

He said, “Everyone is looking forward to this game.

“Everyone is excited by it and wants to play in it and we’re ready to go for Saturday.

You can’t take away the emotion around this game, the players understand the situation, the fans understand it, there is no way to hide from it.

“We’ve performed well before, in big games, there is no reason why can’t go and do it again.”

Recent positive results against Sunderland and Wigan have kept the Greens in the play-off spots, a position they have held for the majority of the season.

Home advantage could count for a lot on Saturday, with Argyle unbeaten since a 1-0 loss to Rotherham in February at Home Park.

Since then, the Greens have gone almost 11 hours of football without conceding, picking up 18 points from their last seven home matches.

The game, which kicks off at 12.30pm on Saturday, will see Home Park sold out for a sixth time this season and Steven is hoping his players can use that energy.

He said, “I want us to get off to a good start, get the tempo going and get the energy from the crowd onside.

“We are going to need that energy against one of the best sides in the division, so we need to be at our best.

“League One has been that type of league where there have been twists and turns, that’s why the Sky cameras are here and that’s why the nation will be watching.”

The last meeting between these sides at the Theatre of Greens took place in December last season and saw Ryan Hardie score the only goal of the game.

TEAM NEWS

Captain Joe Edwards could be available again after missing the last three matches with an ankle problem.

Panutche Camara is unlikely to feature while Brendan Galloway, George Cooper and James Bolton are all out injured.

MK Dons will be without Mo Eisa, Tennai Watson and Jay Bird as all are still out with long term injury problems.

Connor Wickham could return though, he resumed full training this week.

TICKET NEWS

Saturday’s game is a complete sell out and no more tickets are available for purchase.

ARGYLE TV

With Saturday’s game being shown live on Sky Sports, there will be no streaming available on Argyle TV.

Audio commentary with Rob McNichol and Ian Stonebridge available to purchase for £2.50.

The pre match show will be live, as usual, from 11:30am.

Season Ticket Banner

 

Tough day for the Pilgrims

Argyle 0 

MK Dons 5 
Twine 17, 40, 60, 77 
Darling 43 

After nine months of thrills and spills, the Pilgrims missed out on the Sky Bet League One play-offs on the final day. 

Nothing went Argyle’s way, despite the outstanding support inside Home Park, but congratulations to MK Dons, who won the game with a superb four goals from Scott Twine and a Harry Darling header. 

On his 38th birthday, Argyle manager Steven Schumacher made two changes from the side that drew 1-1 at league leaders Wigan Athletic last weekend, with Jordon Garrick and Ryan Law replacing Ryan Hardie and Conor Grant.  

Garrick had the first shot in earnest, deflected wide by the body of Darling after tenacious work from Ryan Broom. The corner was cleared to Steven Sessegnon for a 30-yard speculator that was always drifting wide. 

The Dons responded with swift break from David Kasumu and it needed a brave block from Mike Cooper, diving at his feet to blunt the threat. The visitors then won a free-kick 25 yards from goal and Twine fired a dipping knuckle-ball on to the bar for a major Pilgrim reprieve. 

A cracking start to the game continued with a dart into the left channel from Garrick and his low cross was met first-time by Luke Jephcott, but steered inches wide. Law repeated the delivery delight with another wonderful pass across goal for Jephcott, who again flicked it just past the post. 

In response, the dazzling feet of Twine won a free-kick on the edge of the box and he duly clipped a lovely strike into the top corner for a Dons lead. Moments later, Kaine Kesley-Hayden shaved the side-netting in a terrific spell for the visitors. 

Captain James Wilson galvanised the Argyle troops with a fine downward header that was only just palmed away by the stretching Jamie Cumming before a shot from Kasumu was deflected wide by the left boot of Macaulay Gillesphey. 

Good play from Sessegnon resulted in a low cross flicked narrowly wide by Jephcott but the Dons immediately hit Argyle with a swift counter, Troy Parrott denied by an outstanding near-post save from Cooper. 

Unfortunately, the afternoon took another frustrating twist five minutes before the break, as Twine weaved into space from the left and lashed an emphatic finish inside the far post. The Greens were hit by another massive blow three minutes later, as Darling headed home from a routine corner. 

A nightmare first half took a further horrible twist when Jordan Houghton was dismissed for a second yellow card after a fairly innocuous tackle.  

The Pilgrims made two alterations at the interval, introducing Niall Ennis and Adam Randell for Gillesphey and Jephcott. A barnstorming run forward from Wilson fed Broom for a cutback to Mayor, who steered his 20-yard effort wide.  

Argyle had no choice but to commit men forward, subsequently leaving big gaps at the back, and only a great recovery from Randell and Dan Scarr prevented a fourth for the Dons following a Parrott break. 

The massively improbable became impossible on the hour, when slick play from the visitors culminated in a low Kasumu cross calmly slotted into the net for Twine to complete his hat-trick.  

Joe Edwards for Garrick was the next Argyle change, as Cooper produced a trio of fine saves to briefly delay further pain. Twine, however, curled a fine fourth in off the post to complete a tremendous individual display.  

There is no hiding from the fact today was a major disappointment but everyone connected with Argyle can still be proud of a thrilling season of football. There have been far more highs than lows and, through it all, the Green Army has been magnificent. 

Argyle (3-5-2): 1 Mike Cooper; 5 James Wilson (capt), 6 Dan Scarr, 3 Macaulay Gillesphey (20 Adam Randell H-T); 17 Steven Sessegnon, 7 Ryan Broom, 4 Jordan Houghton, 10 Danny Mayor, 27 Ryan Law; 31 Luke Jephcott (11 Niall Ennis H-T), 14 Jordon Garrick (8 Joe Edwards 65). Substitutes: 25 Callum Burton (gk), 9 Ryan Hardie, 33 Romoney Crichlow, 36 Finley Craske. 

Booked: Wilson 32, Houghton 42 

Sent-off: Houghton 45 

Milton Keynes Dons (3-5-2): 1 Jamie Cumming; 5 Warren O'Hora, 6 Harry Darling, 3 Dean Lewington (capt); 29 Kaine Kesler-Hayden, 8 David Kasumu (7 Matt Smith 81), 16 Josh McEachran (17 Dan Kemp 69), 14 Conor Coventry, 21 Dan Harvie; 9 Scott Twine (19 Connor Wickham), 20 Troy Parrott. Substitutes: 23 Franco Ravizzolli (gk), 15 Aden Baldwin, 18 Hiram Boateng, 11 Theo Corbeanu. 

Booked:  

Attendance: 1,5644 (1,313 away)  

Referee: Craig Hicks