Writer: Ian De-Lar
Date:Saturday October 12 2013
Argyle 1-1 Pompey
Hourihane 21. Wallace 39.
While the result wasn't much of an improvement on recent games the performance from Argyle was certainly better than the fare served up at Home Park this season.
Pilgrims' boss John Sheridan rolled the dice to find the winning formula and opted for a 3-5-2 formation and made several changes to his starting line-up.
Curtis Nelson, Neil Trotman and Max Blanchard formed the three-man centre-back partnership, Durrell Berry and Jamie Reckord operated as wing-backs with Rommy Boco buzzing between the two strikers and Luke Young and Conor Hourihane in midfield.
The change worked for most of the game with Argyle creating the better chances, particularly in the second half.
Young and Hourihane were allowed to dominate midfield for the first 30 minutes and the passing ability of Young was the stand-out feature.
Nelson should have put the Greens one up early doors when he rose to connect with a Hourihane free-kick but his header from 10 yards out sailed agonisingly wide.
No matter, because Pompey defender Yasson Moutaoukil claimed an assist for Argyle's goal when he chested down a cross with the intention of clearing the ball except his control was poor and Hourihane pounced on the loose ball to rifle in from close range. 1-0 to the Greens.
After the goal the influence of Young and Reid slowly faded as Pompey got to grips with Argyle's new formation and Patrick Agyemang (he's a big unit) started to cause problems for the new-look Argyle defence.
The problem with playing wing-backs is that there is always space behind them and sure enough Pompey found this weak link to set-up their equaliser.
The ball was played in the space behind Reckord on the left and Jed Wallace had the freedom of Home Park to pick his spot from 20 yards out and fired past McCormick to make it 1-1. Cue the bells!
All square at half time.
The second half was more even although Argyle created the better chances.
A Young free-kick beat the blue wall but Pompey keeper Trevor Carson was equal to it.
Agyemang was still causing problems for Argyle and in one run he wiped out three Argyle challenges before Trotman stepped in to stop the big unit with a well times tackle.
Substitute Lewis Alessandra added some momentum to the Argyle attack, replacing the disappointing Paul Hayes and it was Alessandra who crossed for Reid but his close range attempt was blocked, although somehow the ref signalled for a goal-kick!
It was Alessandra again who set-up fellow sub Tyler Harvey and with only the keeper to beat the youngster's shot was saved by Carson.
The game ended all square at 1-1 but Argyle fans, players and manager will take great encouragement from a much-improved display and with Pompey having a good away record a point isn't too shabby.
The big surprise of the day, apart from the 3-5-2 formation, was the low crowd of 8,742, I thought there would have been a lot more than that, the £30k from Sky will help.
Overall, a very encouraging performance and the signs are the 3-5-2 formation will get better and better once the players get used to it.
It was disappointing that Argyle keeper Luke McCormick had to endure almost non-stop abuse and insults from the Portsmouth fans for the second half. It's understandable that fans want to give their team the edge against the opponents but this was way over the top. I thought Pompey fans were better than that.
McCormick 7, Nelson 7, Trotman 7, Blanchard 7, Berry 6, Reckord 6, Hourihane 7, Young 8, Boco 6 (Harvey 6), Hayes 5 (Alessandra 7), Reid 8.
Man of the match: Young.
Date:Saturday October 12 2013
Ball Number 58 (Thursday December 5 2013)
Argyle Half Season Tickets On Sale (Wednesday December 4 2013)
Ref For Argyle v Welling (Tuesday December 3 2013)
Where Are They Now - Kevin Nugent (Monday December 2 2013)
Argyle Player Of The Month For November? (Sunday December 1 2013)
Argyle Gone For A Burton (Saturday November 30 2013)
Stats: Plymouth Argyle v Burton Albion (Saturday November 30 2013)
Argyle v Burton - Latest Betting (Friday November 29 2013)
Ref For Argyle v Burton (Thursday November 28 2013)
Argyle's Best Run For 10 Years (Wednesday November 27 2013)
|Plymouth||2||-||1||Dag & Red|
|Door still open
» York : 06/12/2013 14:15:00
|Take One For The Team
» Morecambe : 06/12/2013 14:09:00
|Consequences Of Success Or Failure
» Hartlepool : 06/12/2013 14:02:00
» Portsmouth : 06/12/2013 13:22:00
|Someday, just not today...
» Portsmouth : 06/12/2013 10:07:00
|On this day in history...6th December
» Portsmouth : 06/12/2013 09:21:00
|Sky Bet League 2 POTM - Zavon Hines
» Dag & Red : 06/12/2013 06:00:00