01 October 2022

Goalkeeper Michael Cooper the difference as Plymouth hold off Wycombe

01 October 2022

Steven Schumacher hailed goalkeeper Michael Cooper after a string of fine saves helped Plymouth keep hold of top spot in League One with a 1-0 win at Wycombe.

Cooper denied Sam Vokes and Chris Forino-Joseph following Sam Cosgrove’s eighth-minute penalty and saved his best to keep out Anis Mehmeti as the Pilgrims came out on top at Adams Park.

The league leaders’ unbeaten run now stands at seven games and Schumacher was delighted to see his side learn their lessons from last season, when they were beaten 2-0 in the corresponding fixture.

“Michael made two great saves in the first half and we defended a lot better in the second half,” he said.

“This week I spoke to the players about a plan and they gave me answers of what they learnt from playing here last year.

“We put a team out there today who we felt could compete with Wycombe physically and thankfully we showed one bit of quality to score a goal and secure a brilliant win.”

Plymouth started brightly and were rewarded with a spot-kick when Cosgrove won and then scored the penalty.

Danny Mayor spurned a chance to make the points safe five minutes from time, but Argyle held on to secure another hard-fought win.

“We have been playing players out of position and we trust them to do their jobs and they trust our message that we are trying to give them is coming from the right place,” Schumacher added.

Schumacher’s opposite number Gareth Ainsworth was left to rue Cooper’s sterling display between the sticks as he reflected on a frustrating afternoon for his side.

“The performance was good enough for a win but their keeper has made some amazing saves,” he said.

“You could be harsh and say you need to stick those in but it was tough to beat him today.

“They are top of the league and I’ve said to the boys that if they perform like that we will be absolutely fine – and we have players coming back.”

Wycombe have suffered three league defeats in a row, having also gone down against Derby and Sheffield Wednesday in recent weeks, but Ainsworth remained keen to look at the bigger picture.

“The last seven years has been phenomenal at this club,” he said. “We just have had a little stutter at the moment but it won’t put me down, I’m so pleased with the performance today.

“They did everything for me today, they ran for me, they challenged for me, they did everything but score and sometimes you have to accept that will happen.”

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