PJT TRPHY REPORT: Wanderers v Plymouth Argyle

What a day.

Wanderers not only won their first cup competition since 1989 with a demolition of League One leaders Plymouth Argyle.

But they also showed the watching nation the club is back in business.

With more than 34,000 Wanderers’ fan in the biggest crowd to watch football anywhere in Europe over the weekend lapping up an epic Wembley win, this was an occasion which will go down in history.

Less than four years since being rescued from the brink of oblivion, Wanderers underlined their resurgence under Ian Evatt with a peerless performance fitting of a showpiece final watched by an attendance of almost 80,000.

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Early goals from Kyle Dempsey and Dion Charles set the tone and the Whites simply didn’t look back as the biggest ever win in a Papa Johns Trophy final sent the silverware north.

Plymouth hadn’t conceded a goal in their last five games against Wanderers but they were blown away and could have leaked even more than the second-half goals added by Elias Kachunga and Gethin Jones.

Apart from not winning by an even greater margin, Wanderers didn’t put a foot wrong as they repeated their FA Cup triumph of 100 years ago in a lovely piece of symmetry.

And the target is now to repeat that during the end-of-season run-in to try and secure a return ticket to Wembley and the possibility of promotion via the play-offs.

With Wanderers’ fans in great voice and creating a magical sea of blue and white in the eastern half of the stadium, the stage was perfectly set.

And the Whites didn’t disappoint in a lightning start.

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There were only four minutes gone when Dempsey headed Evatt’s men in front, peeling off to meet a corner from Declan John with a perfectly directed effort into the far corner.

Dempsey was proving almost unplayable for Plymouth and he was key again when Wanderers quickly doubled their lead.

Dempsey’s combination with Kachunga again opened up the Argyle defence once more and when Dempsey squared the ball for Charles, the top scorer kept his cool to drill the ideal finish below keeper Callum Burton and register his 19th goal of the season.

Dempsey then went close to a third as only a block by the arm of defender Dan Scarr kept out another goalbound effort after Conor Bradley – another to make a storming start and then never let up – pulled the ball back for the midfield dynamo.

Wanderers looked a threat every time they went forward, although it needed the toenails of James Trafford to prevent Plymouth potentially getting back into the game as the keeper deflected a Ryan Hardie effort onto a post.

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But the chances kept coming for Wanderers and with half an hour it could again have been 3-0 when Kachunga slipped the ball through for Dempsey, who was thwarted by Burton’s save.

Dempsey then teed up Charles for an effort he put over the top as the pair took turns to torment the Pilgrims before the end of a near flawless first half.

And if that was good, things were about to get better when the third goal finally did arrive four minutes into the second half.

Again Charles terrorised the Plymouth back line to force an error and work the ball through for Kachunga, who still had plenty to do in keeping his nerve and his aim to advance into the penalty area and calmly steer home his third goal in the run towards the trophy.

Wanderers - with stars all over the pitch - were just irresistible and there couldn’t have been a more fitting scorer of the fourth goal.

Another set-piece paid dividends as Jones powered in a header from Aaron Morley’s corner to prompt an emotional celebration as the defender – mobbed by his team-mates – looked to the heavens to remember his mum Karen.

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There was no letting up as Evatt’s heroes banished the memories of the Whites’ FA Cup semi-final loss of 2011 and the five goals Wanderers conceded that day could easily have been matched.

The outstanding Kachunga – the semi-final hero whose opening goal at Accrington had paved the way for the trip down Wembley Way – looked to continue his love affair with the competition as he twice went close to adding to the tally.

By then, though, the game and the cup was won and the celebrations on and off the pitch that followed will live long in the memory.

Wanderers: Trafford; Jones, Almeida Santos, Toal (Johnston 86); Bradley, Morley (MJ Williams 81), Dempsey (Lee 74), John; Sheehan (Thomason 81); Charles (Jerome 74), Kachunga. Substitutes: Dixon, R Williams.

Booked: None

Plymouth Argyle: Burton; Wilson, Scarr, Gillesphey (Galloway 66); Edwards, Matete (Butcher 45), Houghton, Mayor (Cosgrove 45), Mumba (Miller 73); Wright (Azaz 54), Hardie. Substitutes: Parkes, Lonwijk.

Booked: Mayor, Scarr, Cosgrove

Referee: Ben Toner

Attendance: 79,389

Read Time: 4 mins