Argyle v Wimbledon in La Manga Report

Argyle 2
Mayor 33, Joel Grant 40

AFC Wimbledon 0

A MEMORABLE first-half goal from midfielder Danny Mayor set the Pilgrims on their way to victory in their historic pre-season game at La Manga.

Joel Grant added a second soon afterwards as Argyle marked their first game against EFL opposition to be played on foreign soil with a pleasing win.

Under a blazing sun that was mitigated only slightly by a strong wind, Mayor slammed home a trademark long-range strike after 33 minutes to put the Pilgrims' Sky Bet League One opponents on the back foot.

The former Bury playmaker also laid on the second soon afterwards for Joel Grant, playing alongside Klaidi Lolos up front. 

The first opportunity of the game fell to Joel Grant, who got his head to a delivery into the six-yard box but could not quite keep the ball down.

Wimbledon then enjoyed their best spell of the opening half. Joe Pigott saw a shot well saved by Mike Cooper in the Argyle goal before a looping header by Shane McLoughlin, following a cross from out wide, clattered off the outside of a post.

As the tempartures rose, so the Pilgrims heated up, and a long-range effort from Conor Grant needed the close attentions of Nathan Trott in the Wimbledon goal.

Wimbledon responded with a free-kick from the edge of the Pilgrims' area, with Cooper saving well from Luke O'Neill, before Mayor grabbed proceedings by the scruff of the neck.

First, after cutting inside Scott Wagstaff, he unleashed a fierce right-foot shot from 25 yards, which flew into the top corner giving Trott no chance.

Then, seven minutes later, Mayor laid on the second for Joel Grant, driving to the edge of the penalty area before slipping in his team-mate, who curled the ball past Trott.

As half-time approached, Conor Grant came close to claiming a third, when his shot from long range was grabbed at the second attempt by Trott.

Wimbledon made wholesale changes at the interval - when Argyle introduced Alex Palmer, in goal, and Ash Smith-Brown, for McFadzean - and the Dons' fresh legs gave them fresh impetus which tested the Pilgrims' defence.

Antoni Sarcevic and Adam Randell followed soon afterwards, for Mayor and Joe Edwards, and Randell soon sent Smith-Brown away for a lovely cross to the far post, where Joel Grant skewed his shot wide.

With the Argyle defence standing firm, the Pilgrims were able to attack on the counter and a one-two between Sarcevic and Klaidi Lolos led to an opportunity for another substitute, Alex Fletcher, which he could not convert.

Wimbledon were not done, and Palmer had to look lively to keep them out late in the game as the Dons pressed.

Argyle responded with a sweet move between Fletcher and Cameron Sangster that ended with the latter pulling a save out of Trott, followed by a long-range shot by Randell.

Argyle (3-5-2): 31 Mike Cooper (13 Alex Palmer half-time); 25 Scott Wootton (28 Mike Peck 85), 14 Niall Canavan, 3 Gary Sawyer (30 Tom Purrington 87); 2 Joe Riley (22 Tafari Moore 64), 15 Conor Grant (26 Cameron Sangster 70), 8 Joe Edwards (20 Adam Randell 54), 10 Danny Mayor (7 Antoni Sarcevic 54), 17 Callum McFadzean (23 Ashley Smith-Brown half-time); 19 Klaidi Lolos (24 Luke Jephcot 78), 16 Joel Grant (29 Alex Fletcher 57).

AFC Wimbledon, first half: 1 Nathan Trott; 2 Luke O’Neill, 4 Rod McDonald, 6 Terrell Thomas, 7 Scott Wagstaff, 10 Adam Roscrow, 18 Nesta Guiness-Walker, 19 Shane McLoughlin, 30 Paul Kalambayi, 39 Joe Pigott, A Trialist. 

AFC Wimbledon, second half: 13 Nik Tzanev; 4 Rod McDonald, 5 Will Nightingale, 8 Anthony Hartigan, 9 Kwesi Appiah, 11 Mitchell Pinnock, 14 Kyron Stabana, 16 Dylan Connolly, 17 Mike Folivi, 40 Anthony Wordsworth, A Trialist (12 Jack Rudoni).