Living the Cliche

ARGYLE manager Derek Adams was left to reflect on a match that was the epitome of a game of two halves after the Pilgrims allowed their first-half dominance against Wycombe Wanderers to be wrested from them.

The visitors left Home Park with their share of the Sky Bet League One points following a 1-1 draw in which Freddie Ladapo’s early opener was levelled late on by Matt Bloomfield. 

It was a second successive 1-1 home draw for the Pilgrims, who have also lost both their away league games. 

Derek said: “We started the game very well and controlled the first half of the game – we should have gone further ahead in the first half – and Wycombe were the better team in the second half. 

“In the first half, I didn’t see Wycombe troubling us too much. We regained possession, kept it, and went forward. In the second half, we went very deep and didn’t get out of our half, and they pegged us in. 

“We didn’t push out quick enough; we didn’t keep possession of the ball as well as we did in the first half; and we didn’t get up the pitch nearly enough times as we did in the first half.” 

Argyle went ahead in their second home game of the 2018-19 campaign when Graham Carey lobbed a pass over the heads of the Wycombe defence for Freddie to chase. 

Derek said: “It was a good ball down the side and Freddie can run beyond defenders. It was a very good finish from him. He ran down the side of [Adam] El-Abd and was able to chip the goalkeeper. 

“It was a very good start from us, but we didn’t continue to do what we had done to get that goal at times. But we kept possession of the ball; we still prodded away; and we created openings.” 

The second half saw Wycombe put Argyle under pressure in all areas, and, although a series of substitutions by the Pilgrims threatened to turn the tide, the Chairboys came again and got their equaliser.

Derek said: “You have got to give credit to Wycombe because they stopped us doing [what we had been doing], and, from our point of view, we didn’t keep the ball well enough. 

“When Wycombe had all the pressure that they did, we had to find a different way of doing things, but we didn’t. 

“Wycombe were trying and trying and they were knocking at the door. We weren’t able to keep possession of the ball when we regained the ball. 

“When we changed the team, it helped us. We did stop them, because they were flowing at us quite readily towards the end. We had to change something to give us a foothold in the game. 

“It did, but we lost a goal and we could have done better at it.” 

Part of Argyle’s first-half dominance was down to the midfield play of Antoni Sarcevic, who was recalled to colours for the first time this season, having suffered a groin problem and previously played only 45 minutes of a Carlsberg South West Peninsula League match. 

“He’s a fit boy,” said Derek. “He’s played 90 minutes tonight, longer than we had hoped, but that’s the way the game went. We had Jamie Ness out suspended. It gave us an opportunity to play him. He had been looking good in training and he’s come through the game. 

“He’s one of our fittest boys at the club. He gets up and down and he covered a lot of ground. He will be sore tomorrow but it’s good to have him back in the squad again. 

“He regained possession and kept the ball well and we did that really well in the first half; second half, we didn’t.”