DEREK Adams did not mince his words after Argyle blew their chance of promotion by losing 2-0 to AFC Wimbledon in Monday’s Sky Bet League 2 Play-Off Final.
A goal 12 minutes from time by Lyle Taylor and substitute Adebayo Akinfenwa’s injury-time penalty beat the Pilgrims on only their second visit to Wembley.
They had reached the final after two exhilarating semi-final performances against Portsmouth, but never came close to emulating those displays in English football’s season’s denouement.
Derek said: “We didn’t perform well enough today; we didn’t pass the ball; we weren’t composed enough at times when we had possession. It’s a huge disappointment to come here and not show people what we can do.
“It’s a disappointment from the two Portsmouth games, where we played with a tempo and style that we have done all season; today, we didn’t.
“We didn’t perform well enough today; we didn’t play as well as we could do. But take nothing away from Wimbledon – they had more opportunities than us; they’ve been able to be in our final third, have more corner-kicks. We had more possession in the game, but that doesn’t really matter; the only thing that matters is goals.
“I’m disappointed not to have won. It wasn’t an exciting game and we probably played into Wimbledon’s hands. We probably hit too many longer-hit passes; we didn’t do well enough in the final third; and we didn’t trouble their goalkeeper enough.
“We didn’t do well enough when we had possession of the ball. I didn’t think we played with a tempo that was really going to hurt Wimbledon today.
“We could go on and on; we didn’t perform well enough, one to eleven; we didn’t do well enough collectively, a whole team performance. We didn’t pass the ball well enough; we didn’t open up Wimbledon in the wider areas or through the middle.”
The defeat was a second successive play-off heartbreak for Argyle who lost at the semi-final stage last season after finishing seventh.
This time, the Pilgrims improved to fifth position, having been automatic promotion candidates for much of the campaign
“We have come a long way,” said Derek. “As I’ve said many times, we’ve been working with a threadbare squad of 14 players throughout the season and it’s testimony to the players that we have been able to get here.
“We have had a lot of loan signings over the season to accompany what we have had and we’re delighted to be here today, but we’re obviously hugely disappointed that we haven’t won.”