League One
Plymouth3Scunthorpe2

Plymouth Argyle 3-2 Scunthorpe United: Both sides relegated from League One after controversial clash

Lloyd Jones dejected
Home-grown defender Lloyd Jones (right) scored his first goal for Argyle after rejoining the club this season, but was devastated at the final whistle after relegation

Plymouth Argyle and Scunthorpe United were both relegated from League One after a controversial final-day game at Home Park.

Lloyd Jones and Freddie Ladapo put Argyle 2-0 up before Scunthorpe's Kyle Wootton pulled one back before the break.

But Argyle were incensed when Josh Morris made it 2-2 just before the hour - Pilgrims keeper Matt Macey threw the ball towards the sidelines to get treatment for an injury, but Morris kept the ball in play and chipped the stricken Arsenal loanee to score.

Graham Carey's powerful shot put the Pilgrims 3-2 up soon after, but with Southend beating Sunderland and AFC Wimbledon picking up a draw at Bradford City, Argyle finish in the relegation places on goal difference while Scunthorpe end the season second-from-bottom.

Plymouth Argyle Twitter
Plymouth Argyle's Twitter reaction left no doubt what they felt about Scunthorpe's equaliser

Argyle knew they needed another three goals if they were to overhaul AFC Wimbledon and snatch safety, and they hit the post twice in stoppage time, but Southend's late winner against Sunderland killed any realistic hope Plymouth had of survival.

A 5-1 loss to Accrington last week and a 3-0 defeat by Barnsley the week before - results which cost manager Derek Adams his job - meant Argyle's goal difference became inferior to their rivals.

Caretaker manager Kevin Nancekivell did lead Plymouth to a first win in nine games, while the loss was Scunthorpe's 10th in their last 14 matches.

But the game will be remembered for Scunthorpe's controversial equaliser which had shades of Leeds United's goal against Aston Villa six days earlier, only the Iron did not allow their opponents to walk in a goal in response like Leeds had done.

Relegation 'a huge setback'

Nancekivell would not comment on what he thought of Scunthrope's equaliser apart from saying he was "very proud" of how his players reacted.

But the long-serving coach was in no doubt how much of a blow relegation is to the club, which had only been back in the third tier for two seasons having almost gone out of business after successive relegations to League Two in 2011.

"It's huge setback, there's not point me sitting here and saying it's not," he told BBC Radio Devon.

"We fought so hard to get back to League One after the dark days of administration and second season back up we've failed to stay there.

"But the fans are superb, they'll stay with us, there's a new grandstand going up and we've got to dust ourselves down and come back stronger, which I'm sure we will."

The end of difficult seasons for Pilgrims and Iron

Both sides ended the season with caretaker managers in charge - Andy Dawson in his second spell minding the shop at Glanford Park this season, having seen Nick Daws sacked in August after just four games and Stuart McCall dismissed in March.

Scunthorpe moved up to ninth place at the start of October as a 5-3 win over Charlton saw them go on a seven-game unbeaten run that included three wins, but they won just twice more in 2018 as they dropped to second-from bottom.

Five wins in eight games between the end of December and mid-February propelled them back into mid-table, but just one win after that sealed their fate.

Meanwhile Plymouth had an awful start to the season - they were bottom for all of September and did not win a league game until 6 October.

They remained in the relegation zone until mid-January when they launched a comeback as they won six of eight games from 29 December.

However, they only won one more match before the final day - a record that ultimately sealed their fate and that of long-serving manager Adams, who was dismissed last Sunday after one game shy of four seasons in charge.

Line-ups

Plymouth

  • 1MaceySubstituted forCooperat 63'minutes
  • 26Threlkeld
  • 5EdwardsBooked at 36mins
  • 20Jones
  • 3Sawyer
  • 8FoxBooked at 18minsSubstituted forNessat 80'minutes
  • 4Songo'oBooked at 77mins
  • 10CareyBooked at 45mins
  • 7SarcevicSubstituted forCanavanat 84'minutes
  • 11Lameiras
  • 19Ladapo

Substitutes

  • 6Ness
  • 9Taylor
  • 13Anderson
  • 14Canavan
  • 23Smith-Brown
  • 29Fletcher
  • 31Cooper

Scunthorpe

  • 25Alnwick
  • 14PerchBooked at 21mins
  • 23McArdleSubstituted forvan Veenat 77'minutes
  • 5WebsterBooked at 19mins
  • 3Borthwick-Jackson
  • 11Morris
  • 15LewisSubstituted forThomasat 81'minutes
  • 7LundBooked at 78mins
  • 47HammillBooked at 74mins
  • 17Novak
  • 29WoottonBooked at 11minsSubstituted forHallamat 73'minutes

Substitutes

  • 10van Veen
  • 18Thomas
  • 21Burgess
  • 22Sutton
  • 26McGahey
  • 27Flatt
  • 30Hallam
Referee:
Roger East
Attendance:
11,907

Match Stats

Home TeamPlymouthAway TeamScunthorpe
Possession
Home61%
Away39%
Shots
Home17
Away10
Shots on Target
Home8
Away4
Corners
Home8
Away2
Fouls
Home9
Away15

Live Text

Match ends, Plymouth Argyle 3, Scunthorpe United 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Plymouth Argyle 3, Scunthorpe United 2.

Foul by Freddie Ladapo (Plymouth Argyle).

Josh Morris (Scunthorpe United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt saved. Kevin van Veen (Scunthorpe United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Corner, Scunthorpe United. Conceded by Lloyd Jones.

Graham Carey (Plymouth Argyle) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Kevin van Veen (Scunthorpe United).

Freddie Ladapo (Plymouth Argyle) hits the right post with a right footed shot from the centre of the box.

Attempt missed. Graham Carey (Plymouth Argyle) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left.

Ruben Lameiras (Plymouth Argyle) hits the left post with a left footed shot from the right side of the box.

Corner, Plymouth Argyle. Conceded by Cameron Borthwick-Jackson.

Attempt blocked. Ruben Lameiras (Plymouth Argyle) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Attempt blocked. Ruben Lameiras (Plymouth Argyle) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

Substitution

Substitution, Plymouth Argyle. Niall Canavan replaces Antoni Sarcevic because of an injury.

Hand ball by Matthew Lund (Scunthorpe United).

Antoni Sarcevic (Plymouth Argyle) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Lee Novak (Scunthorpe United).

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Antoni Sarcevic (Plymouth Argyle) because of an injury.

Substitution

Substitution, Scunthorpe United. George Thomas replaces Clayton Lewis.

Substitution

Substitution, Plymouth Argyle. Jamie Ness replaces David Fox.

Foul by Lloyd Jones (Plymouth Argyle).

Lee Novak (Scunthorpe United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Ruben Lameiras (Plymouth Argyle) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

Booking

Matthew Lund (Scunthorpe United) is shown the yellow card.

Substitution

Substitution, Scunthorpe United. Kevin van Veen replaces Rory McArdle.

Booking

Yann Songo'o (Plymouth Argyle) is shown the yellow card.

Corner, Plymouth Argyle. Conceded by Clayton Lewis.

Booking

Adam Hammill (Scunthorpe United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Antoni Sarcevic (Plymouth Argyle) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Adam Hammill (Scunthorpe United).

Substitution

Substitution, Scunthorpe United. Jordan Hallam replaces Kyle Wootton.

Freddie Ladapo (Plymouth Argyle) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Rory McArdle (Scunthorpe United).

Goal!

Goal! Plymouth Argyle 3, Scunthorpe United 2. Graham Carey (Plymouth Argyle) left footed shot from the left side of the box to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Ruben Lameiras.

Lloyd Jones (Plymouth Argyle) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Lee Novak (Scunthorpe United).

Attempt saved. Ruben Lameiras (Plymouth Argyle) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Substitution

Substitution, Plymouth Argyle. Michael Cooper replaces Matt Macey because of an injury.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Luton462713690424894
2Barnsley462613780394191
3Charlton4626101073403388
4Portsmouth462513883513288
5Sunderland462219580473385
6Doncaster4620131376581873
7Peterborough462012147162972
8Coventry461811175454065
9Burton461712176657963
10Blackpool461517145052-262
11Fleetwood461613175852661
12Oxford Utd461515165864-660
13Gillingham461510216172-1155
14Accrington461413195167-1655
15Bristol Rovers461315184750-354
16Rochdale46159225487-3354
17Wycombe461411215567-1253
18Shrewsbury461216185159-852
19Southend46148245568-1350
20Wimbledon461311224263-2150
21Plymouth461311225680-2450
22Walsall461211234971-2247
23Scunthorpe461210245383-3046
24Bradford46118274977-2841
View full League One table

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