On-loan Madjo salvages a point for Plymouth Argyle
Striker Guy Madjo scored his first goal for Argyle to save them from defeat at struggling Wycombe Wanderers last night.
The loan signing from Aldershot Town equalised in the 50th minute to cancel out a first-half header from striker Matt McClure.
Madjo was making his sixth appearance for the Pilgrims and his one-month loan is set to end after the home game against AFC Wimbledon on Saturday.
Both teams had excellent chances in stoppage time at the end of the evenly contested match to snatch victory.
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Managerless Wycombe, without a win in League Two since the first league game of the season, were denied by a stunning save from Jake Cole.
Midfielder Joel Grant unleashed a fierce shot which Cole pushed over the crossbar at full stretch. Argyle then almost stole it as midfielder Conor Hourihane saw his power-packed 30-yard drive hit the bar and rebound away to safety.
The Pilgrims have now won two and drawn four of their last seven league games.
They made a slow start at Adams Park and could not complain about trailing at the interval, but were better – without being brilliant by any means – after the interval.
Argyle had Curtis Nelson playing at right-back because Durrell Berry was serving a one-match suspension. Berry had been booked for the fifth time this season in the 1-1 draw with Southend United at Home Park on Saturday. Nelson was making his first start since the Capital One Cup second-round tie away to Burnley on August 28. On-loan Watford midfielder Ross Jenkins also returned to the Pilgrims' side after recovering from a groin injury.
Luke Young made way for Jenkins and was among the substitutes, along with goalkeeper Rene Gilmartin. Gilmartin had been on the bench for the first two matches of the season, after signing as a free agent from Watford in July, but he had not been involved in a matchday squad since then because of a knee injury.
It was Wycombe's second game with Gareth Ainsworth as their player-caretaker manager after the sacking of Gary Waddock. Ainsworth had not included himself in the squad for the 3-0 defeat at Dagenham and Redbridge on Saturday, but the 39-year-old was in the Wanderers' starting line-up last night, playing on the right of midfield.
Among the ranks of the Green Army at Adams Park was rower Greg Searle, winner of a bronze medal in the men's eight at the Olympics in London. Searle had previously seen Argyle this season in their 0-0 draw at Dagenham on August 21.
Wycombe had the first goal attempt of the game in the seventh minute, when McClure fired wide from 20 yards. It was a tame strike, though, and even had it been on target it would not have seriously troubled Cole.
The visitors threatened for the first time soon afterwards as Alex MacDonald picked up possession and ran at Wycombe left-back Charles Dunne. MacDonald went outside Dunne and then drove the ball low across the face of goal.
Wycombe then took the lead in the 12th minute when McClure headed home an excellent right-wing cross from Ainsworth. Cole came off his line to try to punch the ball clear, but McClure got the decisive touch. The Argyle 'keeper and centre-back Darren Purse had words with each other as McClure celebrated his goal.
It was a tremendous start for struggling Wycombe, but they could not build on it. Chances were few and far between for either team, although Argyle left-back Robbie Williams did send a long-distance drive over the crossbar shortly after the half-hour.
The match came to life in the 37th minute, when Wycombe almost extended their lead. Midfielder Stuart Lewis ran from deep, eluding a rash sliding tackle from Jenkins, and set up striker Jo Kuffour for a shot inside the penalty area. The ball was blocked by Nelson but it rebounded to Lewis, whose follow-up was beaten away by Cole. Argyle could not clear their lines and Lewis had another shot, but it went wide of the right post from 18 yards.
Before play restarted, Jenkins was booked by referee Gavin Ward for his attempt to tackle Lewis.
The Pilgrims then had a good spell before half-time, with Onismor Bhasera heading narrowly wide after a cross from MacDonald. Bhasera would have been annoyed not to equalise because he was in a good position, and it remained 1-0 until the break.
Madjo had an early chance for Argyle at the start of the second half when he fired wide from 20 yards. Wycombe responded with Lewis having a shot parried away by Cole and then striker Jo Kuffour stabbed the loose ball off target.
Argyle then equalised in the 50th minute, when Madjo headed home a right-wing cross from MacDonald. Madjo sent the ball back across Wycombe 'keeper Jordan Archer and into the far corner of the net.
Wanderers almost restored their lead in the 59th minute as centre-back Gary Doherty had a good chance. His powerful header from midfielder Josh Scowen's inswinging corner was superbly saved by Cole.
Argyle made their first substitution of the match in the 63rd minute when striker Warren Feeney hobbled off and was replaced by Paris Cowan-Hall.
Jenkins had a long-range shot blocked behind for a corner as the on-loan Watford midfielder started to become increasingly influential. The 21-year-old was getting on the ball a lot as Argyle pushed on for a second goal.
Wycombe right-back Danny Foster was booked in the 75th minute for a scything mistimed challenge on Bhasera.
Argyle's second substitution came soon afterwards, with Madjo making way for Rhys Griffiths. Manager Carl Fletcher then made his final change in the 84th minute as Nick Chadwick took over from Bhasera. Cowan-Hall moved to the left of midfield, with Chadwick and Griffiths leading the attack.
Five minutes of stoppage time were added on by Ward, and both sides almost snatched a winning goal during it. Wycombe substitute Dean Morgan had a chance inside the 18-yard box but Nelson made a vital tackle. The ball broke to Grant and his fierce shot was brilliantly pushed over the bar by Cole for a corner. Then, in the closing seconds, Hourihane saw his 30-yard drive beat Archer but rebound off the bar.
It was so close to a second, decisive goal for the Pilgrims, but it stayed 1-1 until full-time.
Wycombe Wanderers (4-4-2): Archer; Foster, Doherty, Johnson, Dunne; Scowen, Ainsworth (Spring 78), Lewis; Grant, McClure (Morgan 76), Kuffour (Morais 85). Substitutes (not used): Winfield, Harrison (gk), Stewart, Taylor.
Goal: McClure 12.
Bookings: Foster, Morais.
Plymouth Argyle (4-4-2): Cole; Nelson, Purse, Blanchard, Williams; MacDonald, Jenkins, Hourihane, Bhasera (Chadwick 84); Feeney (Cowan-Hall 62), Madjo (Griffiths 80). Substitutes (not used): Young, Gilmartin (gk), Lennox, Gurrieri.
Goal: Madjo 50.
Bookings: Jenkins, Purse.
Referee: G Ward (Surrey).