Wycombe 2-1 Plymouth (agg: 5-3): Gareth Ainsworth's men ease to Wembley
Last Updated: 15/05/15 7:26am
First-half goals from Paul Hayes and Alfie Mawson helped Wycombe to Wembley as they beat Plymouth 2-1 on the night and 5-3 on aggregate.
Leading 3-2 from the first leg of the League Two play-off semi-final, Gareth Ainsworth's men blew their visitors away in the opening 45 minutes with a performance of pace, power and comitment that belied their fourth-tier status.
Plymouth rallied in the second half and grabbed a goal back from Ryan Brunt, who, along with his fellow half-time substitutes Zak Ansah and Jason Banton, gave the visitors much more attacking impetus.
Banton hit the crossbar and Wycombe had to rely on goalkeeper Alex Lynch, who made three top saves as the visitors came on strong.
However, it was Wycombe who got their noses over the line and they are off to Wembley on May 23 to face Southend United, who beat Stevenage 4-2 on aggregate.
The game mirrored the same script as the first-leg, when Wycombe raced into a 3-0 lead inside 53 minutes. This time they were 2-0 to the good inside 35 minutes.
Hayes had given his side the lead in the south west with a poacher’s goal inside the six-yard box from a corner and he did exactly the same at Adams Park.
Plymouth goalkeeper Luke McCormick flapped at a furiously whipped in Joe Jacobson centre and Hayes was on hand to skilfully poke the ball home.
The hosts continued on the front-foot and doubled their lead on 24 minutes. Yet again it was Plymouth’s inability to defend a set-piece that proved costly.
Another Jacobson corner caused havoc in the area and centre-back Mawson was brave to head home his sixth goal since March.
Much like in the first leg, Plymouth manager John Sheridan rang the changes at half-time and the visitors were a different side from the kick-off.
Banton showed his direct nature by driving down the left flank and firing over a cross that evaded Lynch but cannoned back off the crossbar.
After failing to have a shot on goal in the opening 45 minutes, Plymouth were now a different animal and got the goal their play deserved with 20 minutes remaining.
Bobby Reid had just tested Lynch with a rasping 20-yard drive before Brunt was on hand to cleverly flick an Ansah cross after he had got behind the Wycombe defence.
Ansah again found space in the box five minutes later but his powerful drive was tipped around the post by Lynch, who was playing just the second game of his professional career since joining from Peterborough.
Still the visitors came but Lynch stood strong, finger-tipping away a long free-kick in from on-loan Tareiq Holmes-Dennis with five minutes remaining.
Watch the League Two play-off final between Wycombe and Southend live on Sky Sports 1 HD on Saturday 23 May from 5pm.