Date: 16th September 2014 at 11:13pm
Written by:

A poor performance from Argyle ended with the first home defeat of the season against a strong and workmanlike Wycombe team.

Former Argyle loanee Paul Hayes scored the winner in the 38th minute.

Another game of two halves from inconsistent Argyle.

With Morgan and Alessandra missing Sheridan tried out a new formation, sort of a 4-2-2-2 with O’Connor and Norburn in front of the back four, Harvey and Banton infront of them but slightly wider and Reid and Smalley upfront.

From the early minutes Wycombe closed us down, hassled us and worked really hard to stop us playing. The result was that Norburn couldn’t get onto the ball and pass it and we were left with Nelson and Hartley hitting it long to Reid, this sometimes worked with Reid collecting the pass and creating his own chance but mainly Wycombe shut us down and did a job on us.

Any attacks we had petered out with Smalley often straying off-side, the player with the ball at his feet would look up to thread a ball through but had to stop, check and pass backwards and the momentum was gone. Poor from Smalley who seems to play better in the wide areas.

The goal was a soft one to concede from a corner and it had to be Hayes.

Sheridan changed it around for the second half and threw out Plan A. Mellor went to the right wing, O’Connor went to right-back and Purring replaced McHugh at left-back, while Harvey pushed forward to partner Reid in a 4-4-2 formation.

This proved a better option and finally we put Wycombe under pressure. We had two good shouts for a penalty, first when Reid was pushed and secondly when Harvey was physically assaulted but the ref gave nothing.

Mellor did produce some good runs, although he does better running from deep from his right-back position so I can’t see him playing again on the wing very soon.

The Wycombe players slowed things down whenever they could although they were not in the Stevenage league of time wasting.
Unfortunately we couldn’t convert our pressure into goals and McCormick still had to make a couple of saves.

Cox, who was booked soon after he came on, was lucky not to pick up a second yellow and instead he received a long talking to from the ref.

We ran out of steam and ideas and the game limped along to a predictable Wycombe win.

So much for an unbeaten home run.
We were poor in the first half and surrendered the game to Wycombe, perhaps the players were rocked by the absence of Morgan and Alessandra and the new formation.
Norburn had a poor game, he just couldn’t get on the ball to make things happen, although it was strange that he was replaced by Allen in a like-for-like substitution when Thomas would have been the better option when chasing a game.

Banton blew hot and cold, brilliant in one instance and a Sunday league player in the next instance, he’s very short on confidence.

If it wasn’t for Reid I doubt if we would have any shot on target, if only we had another Reid to score from the chances and crosses he created.

Harvey had a good 20 minutes of the second half but was a passenger for the rest of the game.
Our two best players were Nelson and Hartley but even they should shoulder some blame for gifting a soft goal from a corner.

Sheridan has proven this season that he can change tactics, the problem now is that he waits until half time and by then the damage has been done, including the mindset of the players. We need him to change things during the first half and react early.

Back to the drawing board.

McCormick 6, Mellor 6, Nelson 7, Hartley 7, McHugh 5, Banton 5, Norburn 4, O’Connor 5, Harvey 4, Smalley 3, Reid 7, Purrington 6, Cox 6, Allen 5.

Sheridan 4.

Entertainment 5.