By Jon Harries
Tuesday night was another fantastic performance under the lights against the top 6 side. In all honesty Peterborough didn’t get a sniff for most of the game and even their opposition fans post-match said the Dons deserved the win. We went behind in the 25th minute to a Jonson Clarke-Harris header, there was possibly a foul in the goal with JCH pushing Keogh in the back but in my opinion, it would have been soft to give. Thankfully the Dons didn’t let that affect their mentality and halfway through the second half after picking up the ball from a Peterborough attack, we quickly broke, and Scott Fraser slipped in Cameron Jerome who calmly finished past Christy Pym in the Boro goal. Referee David Rock did try and make the game all about him booking two members of the Dons coaching staff and the Peterborough manager Darren Ferguson making it a very stop and start game. But I am reasonably happy as that is only the second prediction I have got right since writing this preview.
Saturday’s opponents Plymouth Argyle are in a really bad run of form. Their latest game, a narrow 2-1 defeat doesn’t do Crewe justice at all. Goals from Charlie Kirk and Owen Dale had the Railwaymen in complete control. Manager Ryan Lowe then made several changes at halftime and although Plymouth dominated it was more to do with Crewe sitting back defending their lead and trying to hit Argyle on the break. Striker Luke Jephcott scoring a late consolation goal for the Pilgrims.
Alarmingly their form coming into Saturday is extremely poor with 6 defeats in a row in the league plus conceding several goals into the bargain which is very unlike the normal mean Plymouth defence, and that means on paper this game looks winnable for the Dons, but underestimate Plymouth at your peril.
Promoted from League 2 on PPG Plymouth Argyle were lauded for their style of play in the lower league, playing a similar style to us they like to play out from the back and have an extremely high press in defence. Their home form is exceptional bar the two previous results, in particular the heavy 4-0 home defeat to Rochdale. They currently boast play off form at Home Park (6th) so they should not be taken lightly.
Recently defensively they have been exposed with former Don Scott Wootton and Will Aimson both making mistakes in recent games leading to goals. Left wing back George Cooper is probably the second-best left foot in League 1 behind Dean Lewington and if it wasn’t for his apparent temperament issues he would be playing at a higher level. Kelland Watts on the other side of the pitch has had exceptionally good reviews since his move from Newcastle United. Another former Don Ben Reeves is probably the most recognisable player for Plymouth Argyle. On his day he can be lethal, just ask Manchester United, but injuries obviously have set him back in his career and arguably his best days are behind him. Danny Mayor moved from Bury to Plymouth along with Ryan Lowe after Bury’s unfortunate demise and will certainly have a say in this game if given time and space and is able to assist with a clever through ball or a dribbling run. They have two Grants in the squad (Joel and Connor) who have slowly got to grips with the League and are keen to impress.
My “Player in Focus” this week is young striker Luke Jephcott who surely has a great career ahead of him and is currently being watched by plenty of Championship and Premiership scouts. In the first half of last season, he was sent out on-loan to local non-league side Truro City to have the experience of playing regular games. However, he was surprisingly recalled in Jan 2020 and soon forced himself into the Argyle first team, and in a dream start scored two goals on his debut followed by another brace in the following game. By the end of the season the Argyle youth product scored another three goals to help Argyle seal promotion from League Two.
The 20-year-old has continued this fine form into this season scoring 11 goals to date, a fantastic return for a player who previously wasn’t considered anywhere near being a first-team regular. While not having great pace Jephcott does have superb positional sense and awareness and has the knack of being in the right place at the right time and is rated as a top prospect who will undoubtedly attract bids during the January transfer window. It is credit to Ryan Lowe and his coaching staff in spotting Jephcott’s potential and also Paul Wotton at Truro for nurturing his talent.
Predicted Line Up
Williams – O’Hora – Keogh – Lewington – Harvie
Kasumu – Sorensen – Fraser
Jerome – Morris
This could be a good game for Harvie against an opposition wingback that also likes to attack. Kasumu was immense on Tuesday night and will need to be on point again and if we can get decent service to Morris and Jerome, I see goals in this game for the Dons although I predict a narrow 2-1 away win, but if the lads run riot, who knows, a despondent Argyle could fold if we can establish an early goal. I will add If this had been a few weeks previous my prediction would have been completely different but that is the way of football. COYDS
THE BIG MATCH PREVIEW IS SPONSORED BY
12 Drakes Mews, Crownhill, MK8 0ER
Tel No – 01908-565904