PREVIEW: Argyle vs AFC Wimbledon
Having collected four points from their last two games, the Greens are back on home turf this weekend to take on AFC Wimbledon.
Ryan Lowe’s Pilgrims were outstanding in spells on their visit to Bloomfield Road last time out, taking a deserved first-half lead through Ryan Hardie. Two second-half goals from the hosts looked to be consigning Argyle to a harsh defeat, before Joe Edwards’ sweetly-timed effort in stoppage time earned a draw on the road.
Mark Robinson’s men currently occupy the final relegation spot in Sky Bet League One, having picked up a crucial victory in a relegation six-pointer against Northampton Town at Plough Lane on Saturday.
16-goal marksman Joe Pigott turned home a scrappy but priceless winner in the 89th minute after the Cobblers failed to clear a set-piece, and the drama did not stop there.
A penalty was awarded to the visitors in stoppage time, which Sam Hoskins stepped up to take, only to be denied by goalkeeper Nik Tzanev.
Our reverse league fixture at the Dons’ temporary home ground, the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium, saw an eight-goal classic, with Argyle taking the lead twice through superb efforts from George Cooper and Conor Grant, before AFC Wimbledon fought back to lead 4-2. Two late efforts in quick succession from Niall Canavan and Dom Telford earned an epic draw in the capital.
AFC Wimbledon are without a number of their squad, including Callum Reilly and Darnell Johnson, who have been absent for the most recent two fixtures with ankle injuries.
The Dons are also reportedly without Sam Walker, Daniel Csoka, Terrell Thomas, Zach Robinson and Shayon Harrison. Adam Woodyard is suspended for the trip to Devon, having collected his 10th yellow card in the victory over Northampton.
For Argyle, George Cooper is the Pilgrims’ only long-term absentee, while Gary Sawyer was fit enough to travel to Blackpool with the squad last time out. Jerome Opoku will serve the second of his two-match ban against the Dons, but Kelland Watts has recovered from a hip injury to be eligible for selection.
The managers said:
Ryan Lowe: “We’ve got to respect Wimbledon. It’s going to be a tough encounter, they’re coming here off the back of a 1-0 win against Northampton, but we’re also going off the back of a late equaliser and a good win at home last time against Bristol Rovers, so we’ll worry about Wimbledon, but most importantly we’ll worry about what we do.”
Mark Robinson: “We’re getting back to two games a week. I keep going on about the intensity we want to play at, we’ve reached it in certain games, but haven’t reached it in others. If the players aren’t doing it, then they’ll come out, and I’ll put someone in who will.”
[On Ryan Lowe and Argyle’s style of play] “I’m an admirer of anyone who plays attacking football, it takes a certain amount of guts to play possession-based, exciting football. People say you can’t play it in the lower divisions, but there are lots of teams doing it now.”
ARGYLE AT HOME TO AFC WIMBLEDON IN THE EFL
The record: P 10 W 4 D 1 L 5 F 15 A 13*
* Note that these figures also include games against Wimbledon FC.
The first time: 15 September, 1979. Division Three. Argyle 3 Wimbledon 0
Debutant Dave Kemp scored either side of half-time for Bobby Saxton’s Greens. Mike Trusson added the third on 75 minutes.
The last time: 6 October, 2018. Sky Bet League One. Argyle 1 AFC Wimbledon 0
Freddie Ladapo scored on 75 minutes to secure our first league win of the season at the 12th attempt, moving Derek Adams’ Argyle above Oxford United at the bottom of the table.
Biggest win: The 3-0 victory in our first meeting, detailed above.
Most goals in a single game: Six, in a 4-2 win on 13 February, 2018.
Graham Carey opened the scoring on 16 minutes only for Lyle Taylor (37 minutes) to equalise. A rare thunderbolt from David Fox (40) restored our lead and Ryan Taylor made it 3-1 on the stroke of half-time.
Lyle Taylor (59) reduced the arrears with his second goal of the match, but Ruben Lameiras (67) restored our two-goal lead. Two minutes later, Wimbledon’s Taylor missed out on the chance of a hat trick when Remi Matthews saved his penalty.
This Sky Bet League One fixture kicks off at 3pm on Friday, and match passes are available worldwide on iFollow Argyle. Click here to purchase yours.