By Jon Harries
The Dons continued their FOURsome form with a 4-0 demolition of Morecambe last weekend, It sounds straight forward but it really wasn’t.
Morecambe started the game well forcing Fisher into an early save and in contrast the Dons started nervously, Harry Darling misplaced a few passes but luckily, we were not punished. Eisa scored the first goal after a great pass by O’Riley engineering space in the box before slotting away, then just before half time the former Fulham man found room in the box to slot in the second.
The second half started with Morecambe forcing two more great saves from Fisher, before Harry Darling scored unmarked from a corner, although the knee slide goal celebration needs work. O’Riley wrapped up the game with a sumptuous finish after playing a quick free kick to Twine and receiving the ball back on the edge of the box. That result meant a return to the play off places ahead of our mini break.
Plymouth have lost their last three in League 1 to Charlton, Wycombe, and Wigan. Saturday’s game at Home Park was another tough test not helped by Brandon Galloways injury meaning a change in defence. Will Keane scored from close range to give Wigan the lead, Danny Mayor equalised, but Callum Lang sparked jubilant scenes in the away end finishing brilliantly one on one.
They boast the 5th best away form (just behind the Dons) and 3rd best at home so trust me when I say this isn’t an easy game. The Dons have the advantage in terms of rest days, we’ve had a full week to prepare, meanwhile Plymouth travelled to Rochdale on Sunday in Round 2 of the FA Cup.
10 days after our last league game we now start a run of 8 games within the next month (9 if you want to include Opponent) and its Live on Sky against 4th place Plymouth.
The Pilgrims are the early surprise package, having seen off relegation after a terrible run of form at the back end of last season but with several clever acquisitions, they are a force to be reckoned with. Michael Cooper in goal is an academy graduate who has come on leaps and bounds over the last year. In defence Dan Scarr, Brandon Galloway and James Wilson are part of a brand-new defence that is solid and organised. With Jordan Houghton at the base of their diamond midfield, they have an organised and effective person allowing Ryan Broom, and Panutche Camara to express themselves offensively. Joe Edwards is a strong character and up top Ryan Hardie, Luke Jephcott and former Dons legend Kieran Agard provide a potent strike force on their day.
Danny Mayor is pivotal to everything positive from the Pilgrims, able to assist and pop up with vital goals. With 2 goals in 9 games so far this season the best is yet to come from someone Ryan Lowe brought with him from Bury being the main man in their League 2 promotion only finishing behind Swindon. At 31, age is not on his side but his brain makes up for that with his technical abilities second to none.
EDITOR – Since Jon wrote this article Ryan Lowe resigned on Tuesday and took over the helm at Preston North End in the Championship. Assistant Steven Schumacher now takes over and has plenty of experience to fall back on, being at Lowe’s side at both Plymouth and Bury when they gained promotion.
Predicted Line Up
Kioso – O’Hora – Darling – Lewington – Harvie
Kasumu – McEachran – O’Riley
Twine – Eisa
If both Kasumu and Watters are fit, for me they come straight back in. The Houghton v O’Riley battle will be key to any success the home side have. Eisa and Robson had solid games v Morecambe, and I just feel Watters and his runs might test this defence more. Those that read my last preview will know I got 2 of the goal scorers spot on (doesn’t happen often) I’m going for a narrow 2-1 win. Eisa and O’Hora with the goals. This will be a tight game between two well matched sides. I feel we are in the better form now and home advantage counts for a lot.
Photo Credit – Pinterest