League Two - 2nd Leg
Wycombe2Plymouth1

Wycombe Wanderers 2-1 Plymouth Argyle (agg 5-3)

Paul Hayes opens the scoring for Wycombe
Paul Hayes hooked in his second goal of the tie to open the scoring

Wycombe Wanderers secured a League Two play-off final against Southend at Wembley after narrowly beating Plymouth at Adams Park to win 5-3 on aggregate.

Leading 3-2 after the first leg, the Chairboys extended their aggregate advantage when forward Paul Hayes scored from close range.

Defender Alfie Mawson headed in a corner to double the lead on the night.

Ryan Brunt's clever finish gave Argyle some hope, but Wycombe held out to claim a famous victory.

The result extends Plymouth's stay in the fourth tier into a fourth year, but represents a remarkable turnaround for Wycombe under manager Gareth Ainsworth, after needing a final-day victory over Torquay to stay in the Football League last season.

Ainsworth will want to replace his own Wembley memories, having lost to Wycombe as a 21-year-old midfielder for Preston in 1994 - the last time the Chairboys achieved promotion via the play-offs - with positive ones.

His side could not have had a better start to the second leg, when Argyle goalkeeper Luke McCormick failed to deal with Sam Saunders' corner, allowing Hayes to score on the turn.

Sam Saunders
Sam Saunders missed a chance at 1-0 - but it proved to be less important than he feared

It was Hayes' third goal this season against the club he failed to score for in seven games on loan, and he came close to a second, but McCormick did well to deny first Aaron Holloway and then Hayes' tame rebound.

The 31-year-old was causing all sorts of problems, and McCormick needed to be on hand to turn another scuffed effort wide.

But from the resulting corner Mawson headed in at the near post as the hosts stretched their advantage to three goals.

Plymouth boss John Sheridan used all three substitutes at half-time, bringing on forwards Brunt, Jason Banton and Zak Ansah in a bid for an unlikely victory.

Banton, who scored in the first leg, almost got his side on the scoresheet but his cross-shot hit the bar and bounced out.

Plymouth were pressing hard, and their pressure told when subs Ansah and Brunt combined for the latter to cheekily flick a shot home to bring them within two goals of Wycombe's aggregate score.

Ansah was then denied brilliantly by goalkeeper Alex Lynch, before Hayes curled just wide for the hosts.

Wycombe held on, despite Brunt wasting a late chance, to reach Wembley and set up a chance to end their three-year League Two stay, leading to a pitch invasion as the final whistle blew.

Wycombe boss Gareth Ainsworth:

"You don't get lucky in these two games, you earn what you get and after two tough legs I want to pay tribute to my players because I felt they handled the situation extremely well.

"I thought the mental side was the most important thing today after what happened down at Home Park, with Plymouth ending in the ascendency. I had to get the mental side right before the game because the physical side is there.

"We played really well in the first half, it was a complete performance which got us a lead that was a mountain to climb for Plymouth in the second half.

"But again the scare came - they scored and worked a good goal, but I thought we defended really well."

Plymouth boss John Sheridan:

"I'm just really disappointed in how we performed in the first half given the situation we were in. The first half was probably the worst performance from any team I've managed.

"We're in a position where we're going into the play-offs and we know the importance of it and we just did not get going.

"In the second half we had a go at it and tried to get something, we put three subs on at the same time and I thought in the second half their keeper's made some good saves.

"We're all down at the moment - it's hard to take the defeat because it's a great chance gone missing."

Alfie Mawson
Alfie Mawson's (r) goal took the tie out of Plymouth's reach
Anthony O'Connor fouls Sam Wood
The tackles flew in with so much at stake for both clubs
Aaron Pierre with Wycombe fans
It's selfie time for Wycombe defender Aaron Pierre as the Adams Park pitch is engulfed by joyous home fans

Line-ups

Wycombe

  • 21Lynch
  • 8Bean
  • 26Mawson
  • 6Pierre
  • 3Jacobson
  • 4Yennaris
  • 11Wood
  • 9HayesSubstituted forMcClureat 85'minutes
  • 7Saunders
  • 31EphraimSubstituted forOnyedinmaat 86'minutes
  • 25Holloway

Substitutes

  • 10Bloomfield
  • 15Murphy
  • 16Fletcher
  • 19McClure
  • 20Horlock
  • 22Kretzschmar
  • 23Onyedinma

Plymouth

  • 23McCormick
  • 5Nelson
  • 16McHughSubstituted forAnsahat 45'minutes
  • 29HartleyBooked at 90mins
  • 2MellorBooked at 79mins
  • 17Reid
  • 19O'ConnorBooked at 31mins
  • 11BlizzardSubstituted forBantonat 45'minutes
  • 13Holmes-Dennis
  • 7Alessandra
  • 9ReidSubstituted forBruntat 45'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Bittner
  • 3Purrington
  • 8Banton
  • 14Harvey
  • 20Jones
  • 27Ansah
  • 28Brunt
Referee:
Nigel Miller
Attendance:
7,750

Match Stats

Home TeamWycombeAway TeamPlymouth
Possession
Home49%
Away51%
Shots
Home12
Away13
Shots on Target
Home7
Away4
Corners
Home9
Away10
Fouls
Home5
Away6

Live Text

Match ends, Wycombe Wanderers 2, Plymouth Argyle 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Wycombe Wanderers 2, Plymouth Argyle 1.

Attempt missed. Ryan Brunt (Plymouth Argyle) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Bobby Reid with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Plymouth Argyle. Conceded by Joe Jacobson.

Attempt missed. Jason Banton (Plymouth Argyle) right footed shot from outside the box is too high following a corner.

Corner, Plymouth Argyle. Conceded by Sam Saunders.

Corner, Plymouth Argyle. Conceded by Alexander Lynch.

Attempt missed. Sam Saunders (Wycombe Wanderers) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left from a direct free kick.

Booking

Peter Hartley (Plymouth Argyle) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Peter Hartley (Plymouth Argyle).

Aaron Holloway (Wycombe Wanderers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Bobby Reid (Plymouth Argyle) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Peter Hartley.

Attempt missed. Ryan Brunt (Plymouth Argyle) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Bobby Reid with a cross.

Corner, Plymouth Argyle. Conceded by Sam Wood.

Substitution

Substitution, Wycombe Wanderers. Fred Onyedinma replaces Hogan Ephraim.

Substitution

Substitution, Wycombe Wanderers. Matt McClure replaces Paul Hayes because of an injury.

Foul by Jason Banton (Plymouth Argyle).

Sam Saunders (Wycombe Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Paul Hayes (Wycombe Wanderers) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Aaron Pierre.

Booking

Kelvin Mellor (Plymouth Argyle) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Kelvin Mellor (Plymouth Argyle).

Hogan Ephraim (Wycombe Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Plymouth Argyle. Conceded by Alexander Lynch.

Attempt saved. Zak Ansah (Plymouth Argyle) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Kelvin Mellor.

Attempt blocked. Ryan Brunt (Plymouth Argyle) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Lewis Alessandra.

Offside, Plymouth Argyle. Bobby Reid tries a through ball, but Zak Ansah is caught offside.

Goal!

Goal! Wycombe Wanderers 2, Plymouth Argyle 1. Ryan Brunt (Plymouth Argyle) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Zak Ansah.

Attempt saved. Jason Banton (Plymouth Argyle) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Lewis Alessandra.

Corner, Plymouth Argyle. Conceded by Alexander Lynch.

Attempt saved. Bobby Reid (Plymouth Argyle) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Tareiq Holmes-Dennis.

Bobby Reid (Plymouth Argyle) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Sam Wood (Wycombe Wanderers).

Corner, Plymouth Argyle. Conceded by Marcus Bean.

Corner, Wycombe Wanderers. Conceded by Anthony O'Connor.

Corner, Wycombe Wanderers. Conceded by Curtis Nelson.

Corner, Wycombe Wanderers. Conceded by Peter Hartley.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Joe Jacobson (Wycombe Wanderers) because of an injury.

Attempt missed. Jason Banton (Plymouth Argyle) right footed shot from long range on the left is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Bobby Reid.

Foul by Joe Jacobson (Wycombe Wanderers).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Burton462810869393094
2Shrewsbury462781167313689
3Bury462671360402085
4Wycombe462315867452284
5Southend4624121054381684
6Stevenage462012146254872
7Plymouth4620111555371871
8Luton4619111654441068
9Newport461811175154-365
10Exeter461713166165-464
11Morecambe461712175352163
12Northampton46187216762561
13Oxford Utd461516155049161
14Dag & Red46178215859-159
15Wimbledon461416165460-658
16Portsmouth461415175254-257
17Accrington461511205877-1956
18York461119164651-552
19Cambridge461312216166-551
20Carlisle46148245674-1850
21Mansfield46139243862-2448
22Hartlepool46129253970-3145
23Cheltenham46914234067-2741
24Tranmere46912254567-2239
View full League Two table

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