A Grim End To A Fantastic Season
Argyle gifted the League Two title to Portsmouth after a 1-1 draw against Grimsby Town.
It was one poor first half too many and this time, when it mattered, we just couldn't recover.
Poor first halves has been our Achilles heel recently and this time it cost us the title.
But there were great scenes at the end when the players came out to celebrate promotion with the fans, you could see the players were down and were reluctant to celebrate but the chanting of the fans lifted them and the champagne was finally flowing.
The atmosphere before the game was incredible, there was non-stop noise but everything fell apart when we conceded a first minute corner, we didn't defend it well and Grimsby scored soft goal when Pearson took advantage of a McCormick mistake.
From that point we panicked and rushed everything and this led to mistakes. Slew and Kennedy (after a good start) were virtual passengers. I'm a big fan of Slew but today in a big game he was poor.
It looked like nerves had overcome the players, it was definitely tense watching the game.
Grimsby were robust with tackles and elbows flying in and we struggled with this rough approach.
Carey tried to lift the team with his play but he also had arguments with Slew and Kennedy, the Cardiff winger seemed to retreat into his shell after one disagreement with Carey, it didn't look good.
Blissett replaced Slew for the second half and we were much the better team, in fact we were camped in the Grimsby half and the hosts didn't trouble McCormick at all during the second half.
A Carey free kick was tipped over, Spencer then replaced Kennedy and his first touch was to score the equaliser when he finished well after being put through on goal by Taylor.
We bombarded the Grimsby penalty area but nothing would drop for us, Carey had another free kick saved and Taylor had a long range shot tipped around the post for a corner. Grimsby were more concerned trying to injure an Argyle player than attacking.
We had one last chance when Bradley had a shot that was saved.
And that was it, the title was over and the season was over.
The players well to their knees, they gave everything during the second half and had to settle for second place but only on goal difference.
Fox was brilliant, we lost some momentum when he was subbed, although he looked tired and had just picked up a yellow card.
At the end the fans chanted for Carey to stay, he gave away his spare shirt to a young fan in the crowd, he was the first to do this before other players gave away match shirts and boots.
It was a miserable end to a glorious season, the bigger picture is what counts. Derek Adams and his players achieved promotion and that is what counts.
The fans at the game backed the team throughout the game and created a fantastic atmosphere.
Man of the match: Fox.
McCormick 6, Miller 6, Songo'o 6, Bradley 6, Sawyer 6, Fox 8, Sarcevic 7, Carey 8, Kennedy 3, Slew 3, Taylor 6. Subs Blissett 6, Spencer 6, Smith n\a.