Ahead of the Game - Wombley Way
AS the season draws ever-closer to its climax, Liam Spence takes a look at the next seven vital days at Home Park....
After a 2-1 victory launched Argyle back into the play-off places against a dogged Mansfield Town, attention now turns to the next season-defining double bill of fixtures against AFC Wimbledon and Carlisle United.
John Sheridan’s Argyle will be looking to consolidate their place in the all-important play-offs spots when they take on Wimbledon in the penultimate home game of the season on Tuesday night, at Home Park.
The last time we clashed with the Dons it ended in a stalemate as we were forced to sit back and absorb a flurry of chances create by the hosts, with Andy Frampton and Adebayo Akinfenwa coming closest to sending us back to Devon with nothing, at Kingsmeadow.
When the Wombles travel to the south west we will be looking to add another home victory to our name - in 24 home fixtures in all competitions, Argyle have lost just four games all season.
However, Wimbledon can take encouragement from the fact that they came away with a 2-1 victory the last time we locked horns at Home Park, with Conor Hourihane’s seventh-minute wonder strike being answered by goals from Jack Midson and Kwesi Appiah.
The Dons come into this game off the back of a frustrating 0-0 draw with Oxford United, and Ardley’s men have not had much success on their travels this season. His side have only managed to win four times on the road. They have also failed to win any of their last four matches.
Likewise, Carlisle have not boasted the greatest form with the Cumbrians only managing to win eight games at Brunton Park all season, as we look to take positives from the relegation-threatened side going into our 44th game of the season, on Saturday.
However, Keith Curle’s side can take positives of their own, with his team putting an end to a four-game winless streak after Jason Kennedy’s 55th-minute strike secured the strugglers a vital three points at home to Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday.
But all of this confidence could be drained out of them come Saturday as they have to do battle with table-topping Burton Albion at the Pirelli Stadium on Wednesday.
When we met the Cumbrians at Home Park, earlier this season, we came away with a 1-0 win thanks to Lewi Alessandra’s effort after 15 minutes, made possible by good work down the left-hand side from Dominic Blizzard.
The last time we battled it out with Carlisle at Brunton Park we were in League 1, and former Pilgrim Yannick Bolasie – scorer of an 11-minute hat-trick on the weekend against Sunderland in Crystal Palace’s 4-1 away win – ensured we made the long journey back to Devon with a point after he cancelled out James Berrett’s opener.
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