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Lacklustre Argyle Beaten By Oxford

Lacklustre Argyle Beaten By Oxford

Argyle 0 - 1 Oxford
...... Constable 16

Attn: 7,189

Cole 7, Berry 5, Charles 6, Branston 7, Bhasera 7, Cowan-Hall 6, Hourihane 4, Cox 5, Banton 6, Reid 5, Ugwu 6 (Murray 5).

Subs not used: Chenoweth, Richards, Wotton, Blanchard, Young, Gurrieri.

John Sheridan suffered his first defeat as Argyle manager when Oxford deservedly won all three points at Home Park.

For the Green Army it was the case of another dismal Saturday afternoon at Home Park.
Sheridan was unbeaten in his first four games in charge, picking up eight points but against Oxford the team lacked conviction, urgency and fight.
The U's looked bigger, stronger and faster and could have won the game by a bigger margin if it wasn't for a fantastic save from Jake Cole and a linesman reversing his decision after initially signally a goal to Oxford during the second half.

Argyle lost this game because of a poor first half performance, the central midfield duo of Lee Cox and captain Conor Hourihane were anonymous and offered no creative forward play, while upfront new pairing Reuben Reid and Gozie Ugwu were very static and provided no movement for the player on the ball.

Jason Banton, who was Argyle's match-winner against Aldershot last week, hardly saw the ball during the first half.

Yet again, the goal was a sloppy one to concede. Onismor Bhasera lunged into a tackle, some players stopped for a foul, the ref waved play on and a simple cross was played into the Argyle area and the unmarked James Constable tapped the ball in with no defenders around to police him.

After the now traditional half time ass kicking the players played a lot better for the first 20 minutes of the second half.
Cox was now driving forward from midfield, the front two of Reid and Ugwu were a lot stronger and battled for the ball and Banton and Cowan-Hall on the wings were more involved.

Balls down the channels were now reaching their target and crosses were now coming into the Oxford area but despite this new momentum Luke McCormick in the Oxford goal still didn't have a save to make.

Murray replaced Ugwu and played on the right with Cowan-Hall moving into the middle to partner Reid.
The move had a negative effect because Cowan-Hall was starting to do well on the wing and Murray often went roaming inside which meant the team now had no width on the right.

We had a lucky escape when a deflected shot from Oxford spun close to Cole's crossbar, he punched the ball through the top of the goal net, the ball came back into play and Charles couldn't keep the ball out and everyone watched in horror as the ball trickled over the line.
The linesman signalled a goal and the Argyle players, led by Cole, raced over to him to protest.
After the ref spoke to the linesman a corner was given instead which was the correct decision but how can a linesman get it so wrong and then change his mind?

We didn't make the most of this lucky escape and the game tamely ended in a whimper. The momentum and fight that the players found just after half time had long since disappeared.

McCormick received a very good reception on his return to Home Park after his troubles, especially at the start of the second half when he walked towards the Devonport End.

Overall, the players just didn't seem up for it, perhaps that's the downside of having too many loan players in the team?
We could just be a better team away from home with Paul Wotton protecting the back four and Reid playing as a lone striker and using the pace of Banton and Cowan-Hall to attack on the breakaway.
It wouldn't surprise me if we get some pointage against Northampton next week.

At home we haven't a clue how to break down a stubborn defence.

Man of the match: Jake Cole.

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Writer:Ian De-Lar
Date:Saturday February 16 2013
Time: 6:08PM

Comments

0
We should have played Wottsy!! I know he is more defensive minded but judging by your report (I didn't go to the game), there was no urgency, and the passion, drive and vocal encouragement that he gives may have made a difference! I think Sheridan may have to accept some fault for not playing him, and also moving Cowan-Hall inside. I haven't once seen him effective down the middle to be honest! A prime chance to pull away from danger wasted, with most of out rivals picking up at least a point! Two tough trips for different reasons coming up now, one win at least needed from those I feel! COYG!
deanogreeno
16/02/2013 19:13:00
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# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Northampton 45 28 12 5 96 35
2 Accrington 45 24 12 9 84 26
3 Oxford 45 23 14 8 83 40
4 Bristol Rovers 45 25 7 13 82 30
5 Portsmouth 45 21 15 9 78 32
6 Plymouth 45 23 9 13 78 21
7 Wimbledon 45 20 12 13 72 13
8 Cambridge 45 18 13 14 67 11
9 Leyton Orient 45 18 12 15 66 -2
10 Wycombe 45 17 13 15 64 4
11 Exeter 45 17 13 15 64 1
12 Carlisle 45 16 16 13 64 0
13 Mansfield 45 17 12 16 63 8
14 Luton 45 18 9 18 63 -1
15 Barnet 45 16 11 18 59 -4
16 Hartlepool 45 15 6 24 51 -18
17 Notts County 45 14 9 22 51 -24
18 Yeovil 45 11 15 19 48 -15
19 Stevenage 45 11 14 20 47 -15
20 Crawley 45 13 8 24 47 -30
21 Morecambe 45 12 9 24 45 -22
22 Newport 45 10 13 22 43 -20
R Dag & Red 45 8 10 27 34 -34
R York 45 7 12 26 33 -36
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