Argyle Too Good For Stevenage
Argyle come from behind to win 4-2 two against Stevenage at Home Park.
It was a topsy turvey game, at times we looked a classy and confident team and at other times we were lethargic and indebted to keeper Luke McCormick for some superb saves. It was a cracking game of football and very enjoyable.
You can see why Stevenage have an excellent away record, they matched our attempts on goal, an incredible 17 for each team and bettered our shots on target and yet we still beat them.
All three starting strikers scored and David Goodwillie finally scored his first Argyle goal, although he kept us waiting with a cheeky dummy to fool the two defenders on the goal line before slotting home.
The only down side was what looked like a serious injury to Connor Smith, he put in a thunderous tackle to win the ball for Goodwillie's goal and left the pitch with a leg injury.
Manager Derek Adams tweaked his formation slightly by playing Fox in a deeper role with Smith and Carey in front of him.
We lost the toss and had to play facing the Devonport End for the first half.
We were sloppy during the first 20 minutes of the game, after just two minutes Carey gave away a needless foul, the cross to the far post was headed back across goal and Godden poked the ball home. A soft goal to concede.
We looked lethargic and passes went astray but led by the fantastic work rate of Carey we started to put pressure on Stevenage, Jervis was having some joy down the right and from one of his crosses Slew headed over.
The goal finally came when David Fox took a short corner, a shot from Jervis was saved and Slew forced the ball across the line despite a defender on the goal line.
We were now rampant and looked such a good team, the confidence was back and we were camped in the Stevenage half.
We took the lead when Smith cut-back the ball to Jervis who volleyed into the roof of the net. Surely we would have a half-time lead?
With two minutes of injury time played Carey gave away another free-kick, Schumacher stepped up and from 25 yards out his shot beat McCormick, although he did get a hand on the ball and should have done better.
2-2 at half time.
We started the second half we did the first, slow and content to sit back.
Once again it took a while for us to get going and the third goal was due to a superb run from Threlkeld, he beat three defenders and sent in a low cross, this was cleared to Carey who thumped in a 20 yard shot that hit Garita and crossed the line.
Garita claimed the goal but who cares, it's a goal!
A free flowing move nearly produced a fourth goal, Slew sent Carey away down the left and his pin-point cross found Jervis who hit the cross bar.
We now sat back and reverted to 'Liverpool' mode by letting Stevenage have possession and play on the counter-attack.
McCormick made several good saves to keep our 3-2 lead and Stevenage also hit the cross bar, there was a feeling that a Stevenage goal was not far away.
Goodwillie replaced Garita and it looked that was the wrong option because the ball was now not sticking up front and coming straight back.
Late in the game new signing Nathan Blissett replaced Jervis and Goodwillie moved to the right. Blissett brought some muscle up front and had a hand in the fourth goal.
Smith made his brave tackle, we broke away with Tanner and Blissett's scot was saved, the ball fell to Goodwillie who dummied before hitting the net.
4-2, a great win against a very good travelling Stevenage team.
McCormick, Bradley, Fox and Jervis all had excellent games but Smith was the pick of the bunch, he was everywhere and had a hand in two of the goals. Bradley has a lot of strapping and support on his legs, he's obviously playing with a niggling injury.
Garita was our best player while we were struggling during those first 20 minutes of the first half but was strangely subdued while we had our best spell for the second half of the first half.
I didn't understand why Purrington was left to mark the big number 9 for Stevenage at every corner and free-kick, Liburd was a lot taller than Purrington.
I can understand Adams picking Goodwillie ahead of Blissett who has just signed but they are different strikers and Goodwillie just couldn't hold the ball up front. Blissett did finally arrive on the scene and is all arms and legs, a slimmer version of Garita.
Man of the match: Smith.
McCormick 8, Threlkeld 7, Songo'o 7, Bradley 7, Purrington 7, Fox 8, Smith 8, Carey 7, Slew 7, Jervis 8, Garita 6. Subs: Goodwillie 6, Tanner 6, Blissett n/a.